Apologies for the tardiness on this post. I hope you got a chance to read yesterday’s post on Chauncey Billups.
“From Robbins, Illinois, 6’4 guard, Dwyane Waaaaaaaaade.”
For those of you who don’t remember, the Miami-Dade county commission voted to rename the county “Miami-Wade County” for one week beginning on July 1st which was coincidentally the first week of NBA free agency. Apparently this, www.wewantwade.com, a billboard with Wade’s contract, and Burnie standing on the AAA roof was enough to get Wade to resign with the Heat last season. Oh yeah, the signing of Bosh and LeBron also was a plus.
Let’s get right to it. Yes, his numbers were solid. He had a great year even while sharing the ball with LeBron. But everything about last season comes back to the finals. Wade did in fact lead the team in points in the playoffs and finals. In an earlier post about LeBron, I mentioned that Wade should have taken control of the finals. When James was struggling, Wade should have demanded the ball. This didn’t happen last year and I’m not surprised. It is not Wade’s personality to demand the ball.
Heat fans know that the higher the pressure, the better Wade performs. He had arguably one of the best individual performances in the NBA finals by a player in history posting the highest Player Efficiency Rating since the merger in 2006. On that team, he didn’t need to call for the ball. The team relied on him and he delivered.
That’s what must change this year. The team needs to put the ball in Wade’s hands and rely on him to make plays when the others are struggling. He’s not going to call for the ball but he will take control if it’s given to him.
Bold Prediction: Wade will play a greater role in the offense this season. He will lead the team in points during the regular season and take control of games in crunch time. Because of his performance, the Heat will put the ball in his hands more often late in games.