Cavs need to have Dean Wade keep shooting 3s, it’s that simple

Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten Kevin Love (right calf injury/soreness) back in their past two games, which has been a positive.

Unfortunately, the Cavs haven’t had Larry Nance Jr. in the past few games (illness) and Jarrett Allen (concussion), which has not exactly aided their defensive efforts.

Cleveland was obliterated by the Utah Jazz on Monday, blown by in the second half by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, and then on Saturday, the effort was there and there were positives, but the Miami Heat took that one.

In this last bit of recent games, though, Dean Wade, who has established himself as a rotational regular, at least from my view, hasn’t had it going as a catch-and-shoot threat from deep as much. In his last five games, Wade is only seven-of-29 from three-point range (24.1 percent), and in his past three games, he’s gone one-of-three, three-of-11 and one-of-six from deep.

It’s natural for a guy like Wade, who was a two-way player last season and mostly played meaningful minutes with Cleveland’s G League Affiliate, the Canton Charge, to have ups and downs as a deep shooter, though.

But given the Cavs’ three-point shooting woes as an overall team, with them being second-last in three-point shooting hit rate and last in makes/attempts per outing, they need Wade to keep letting it go when the opportunities present themselves.

This is understandable from Wade, and the Cavs need him to keep shooting triples, it’s that simple.

The Cavaliers are banged up right now when it comes to bigs, so I’d still expect Wade to get plenty of burn in coming games.

Now, him the playing 5 for stretches isn’t necessarily something I personally cosign, but with Isaiah Hartenstein often having fouling issues, and the Cavs wanting to avoid having Kevin Love at the 5, to an extent at least, I get it. And hopefully either Nance or Allen can be back soon enough, anyhow.

Regardless, the Cavs need Dean Wade to keep letting three-point looks fly when the chances come, and they will, I’d think, and in some run with Love and Matthew Dellavedova, whose passing has started out on-point in his first two appearances this season, in particular.

Wade has still for most of when he’s been regularly in the fold had success as a catch-and-shoot player, whether it be via ball-swings, kickouts or pick-and-pops/off movement a bit.

Point being, also factoring in that Wade has typically been pretty solid defensively, and has shown good instincts off the ball, and has had a fairly respectable 6.5 rebounds per-36 minutes this season, he’ll continue to get his share of burn.

Additionally, Wade has shown some viability as an occasional driver when there’s been hard closeouts, and he’s flashed some feel for timing up his receiving of lob passes over-the-top, too. Plus, he’s set timely screens on and off-ball, which has been meaningful, from my perspective, particularly in Allen’s absence.

That said, the key here for the Cavs is to keep having Wade let deep balls fly, and frankly, with some volume. Some rough patches and/or slate of games for a young stretch big are understandable, and even Collin Sexton in the past 10 or so games has been in a deep shooting slump.

With Wade, in this case, though, with what he’s been showing as a pick-and-pop/spot-up big, I just hope he keeps showing confidence in upcoming games and that guys like Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro continue to look for him.

I’d expect him to keep getting his share of looks, and even more so with Nance again, and Dylan Windler (knee soreness), for example, having been inactive as of late.

Next. Early impressions of Hartenstein with the Cavs. dark

Moreover, I’d imagine Wade, who has hit a pretty respectable 35.7 percent from deep on the season, will be plenty fine, anyway. Albeit the Cavaliers and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff need to stress to Dean that the light will stay green when his burn comes.