Cavs’ Dean Wade being unfairly criticized in this current stretch of games

Evan Mobley and Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Evan Mobley and Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Dean Wade is not going to be your flashy Cleveland Cavaliers player that gets the headlines. He never has, and never will, however, how he has played the game of basketball that includes his excellent defense and hustle are things that NBA teams need to go far, especially in the playoffs.

In recent weeks, Wade has struggled and according to some, he has struggled immensely. Many of those screaming for him to be taken out of the Cavs lineup are fans that like a quick fix to a problem. But, many of those same fans have ignored how much Wade has actually helped this team over this year and the ones prior.

Wade has been unfairly criticized recently, and plenty of Cavs fans seem to be glossing over how he’s often helped the team.

His stat lines in box scores are never going to blow you away but if you watch the games and pay attention to all the underlining details, you’ll see a player that is constantly helping his team succeed. He usually is defending the opponents’ best players and in most cases, he’s making his opponent work to score and that doesn’t happen often. And if you want the proof, fans, go back and watch the tape.

Wade started off the year out well, but then he struggled with some injuries and was sidelined for several months. Since his return, his former teammate, Kevin Love was bought out. Since then, some thought that he would fill in the role for Love and immediately take off in terms of offense.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t been putting up that many shots, largely due to the fact that his minutes have been severely cut down and even when he gets out on the floor, he’s not given opportunities to put that shot up that often. My colleague, Josh Cornelissen, recently wrote about how much Wade has impacted winning when he’s been on the floor, prior to this latest run of games.

I’ve been critical of the Cavs head coach, J.B. Bickerstaff, and how he has managed his bench, including Wade, and a lot of that has to do with him not giving some players on the bench like Wade time on the court to get acclimated and help his team out. It has been especially noticeable over the last few weeks where Wade’s playing time has been reduced significantly.

You can’t stick a player out there for three minutes and expect that player to produce immediately. That’s unfair of the coach to put players in that type of position. Unfortunately, that’s what’s been happening over the recent series of games with Wade and fans watching Cleveland play see Wade not make a three-point shot or pass on taking a shot inside the arc, and start saying that the player has lost his confidence. That’s not the case with Wade or many of these players who are getting shorted time. These issues have more to do with a head coach that doesn’t know how to consistently play his supporting cast of players.

Lamar Stevens, Wade‘s teammate, had a really nice game against the Boston Celtics the other night, and he has been praised for that performance which he has earned. However, Wade has had many of those same type of performances over the course of the season with not much of the same pomp and circumstance. Who Bickerstaff is going to play favorites with has more to do with what’s going on with the Cavs in their bench right now.

Cavs should be utilizing multitude of playmakers in upcoming stretch. dark. Next

Moving forward, as the Cavaliers approach the playoffs it would be helpful if Bickerstaff stuck to those three or four players in the rotation and played them consistently rather than playing someone like Wade 20 minutes one night and three the next.