It’s amazing how quickly and effortlessly people will turn on LeBron James.
Not a week has passed since his epic Game 6 and 7 performances against Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals, and already everyone has forgotten that and has anointed Kevin Durant as the best player in the world, because of one game.
I am not surprised because we know how knee jerky the American media and country as a whole is. The leader of the lunatics, Skip Bayless, made the point that Durant was asking to guard James but LeBron was not returning the favour. If he and the rest of the country actually knew what they were talking about they would have noticed Russell Westbrook was the player controlling the game, not Durant, and because Dwyane Wade was being torched by the athletic point guard, Miami had to try and stop the ball, this meant putting their best defender on him, LeBron James.
As James moved to cover and stop Westbrook, Durant went berserk in the fourth quarter, taking advantage of his ridiculous athletic and talent superiority over Shane Battier.
The issue here is not LeBron James, nor Kevin Durant, nor even Russell Westbrook.
It is Dwyane Wade.
Over the course of this season Wade has missed a lot of time due to nagging and niggling ankle and knee injuries. During his absence, few can argue the Heat looked spectacular. James and Bosh functioned beautifully and they were able to find contributions elsewhere.
The biggest criticism of Dwyane Wade is his attitude. We all know he is as talented as just about anyone in the league. On his day he is second only to LeBron James. But too often do you see him letting the team down because of his emotions.
How often do you see Dwyane Wade miss a shot, complain for a foul whilst the other team moves down court in transition, leaving the Heat one defender short? I honestly count it at least three times a game. Three times in a series is too much. You’d think a player of his level and experience would be able to push that aside, but constantly he lets Miami down because he’d rather argue with a referee.
Not only that but he has yet again fallen in love with his awful jump shot. His shot selection in Game 1 was appalling. I don’t know about you Heat fans, but every time he takes a jumper I yell out NOOOO.
His strength is getting to the rim, yet he has been reluctant to do so throughout the entire playoffs, barring a few games.
When James and Wade both score over 25 points, the Heat are nearly unstoppable. The reason for this is that they will both always contribute at least 5 assists, at least 5 rebounds, they’ll get you steals, blocks and play defense unlike any other wing tandem has done since Jordan and Pippen.
For whatever reason, we haven’t seen nearly enough of that and I put most of that on Wade.
Now to be fair to him, he clearly is injured. His knee is no good and I am hoping he has had it drained between games.
LeBron James will play to his averages. His 30 8 7 averages that have become such a staple of his career, we now deem that as a bad game. Dwyane Wade must offer that second option both offensively and defensively.
Whilst James could take on and beat the entire Celtics team on his own, he cannot defeat the Thunder without help.
Will the real Dwyane Wade please stand up?