The ball flew through the air, clanked off the front of the rim, hit the back iron, and fell to the floor. The Celtics won game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals in OT.
As I watched Dwyane Wade fire up the last shot, I thought Dwyane was going to drain it. Dwyane Wade is everything LeBron is not. Dwyane is clutch, Dwyane is a winner, Dwyane is well-liked. Dwyane always plays his best when the Heat are up against the wall.
While LeBron certainly put all the pressure and the blame on himself with the Decision Special, LeBron has been showing up each game of this postseason. No, he hasn’t been Kevin Durant in terms of 4th quarter production, but LeBron’s numbers have been absolutely incredible.
As “Not Bill Walton” put it on Twitter: “@NotBillWalton: LeBron’s last 6 games: 34-8-5, 34-10-7, 32-13-3, 28-6-7, 30-10-8, 40-18-9. Question: When will Dwyane Wade start to get more blame?”.
So what’s wrong with Dwyane? He’s been everything that Dwyane Wade isn’t known to be. Inconsistent, absent, and just as unclutch as LeBron. He’s averaged 23 points a game to LeBron’s 30. He’s averaged only 4 rebounds and 4 assists a game. We’ve seen him throw temper tantrums, and we’ve seen him visibly upset. We’ve even seen him even verbally attack his coach.
To be fair, his numbers are good. In fact, they are much better than the average. But, Dwyane Wade is not an average NBA player. He, and the rest of the league, hold him to a different set of standards. Standards to which he has not lived up to.
Something is clearly upsetting Dwyane, and I don’t think anyone knows what it is. Is it LeBron, who has finally begun to overshadow Dwyane as the leader of the Miami Heat? It could be Coach Spo, who is more of a figure head than an actual coach. It could also be the lack of Bosh, who has had a phantom abdominal strain for the past few weeks. I don’t know what the answer is, but regardless, Dwyane has to figure it out.
If Dwyane was doing enough to get the Heat wins, I wouldn’t be on his case. Tied two a piece with the Boston Celtics and losers of two straight games, it’s clear that the Miami Heat aren’t going to win the way that Wade is playing now. I expect LeBron to put up the numbers we all have become accustomed to. Chris Bosh is going to help the Heat in terms of their issues with size. But Dwyane, the only guy I used to be sure of each and every game I watched, is the guy that I now am completely confused by.
If Dwyane is all that he used to be, I fully expect to see the Heat take the series and head to their second straight Finals. But, who knows which Dwyane is going to show up.
As much as I dislike LeBron for many different reasons, he has done all that the Heat have asked of him. If the Heat lose, this time, it’s on Dwyane.
If you think you know what’s wrong with Dwyane, or simply want to continue to pour on the blame, comment here or let me know on Twitter @H_Grove .
Follow Hayden on Twitter @H_Grove