It was as if every word coming out of the shooting guard’s mouth was frustration, his body language signaling “I’m done.”
After shooting just 15 percent from the field on 2-for-13 shooting, with five turnovers, you can’t be blamed for thinking the Heat just weren’t the same without Chris Bosh.
But the way Wade has turned it on the last few games, it looks like we were all wrong. Wade’s recent dominance makes a case that the Heat don’t even need Bosh on the offensive end of the floor.
Over the last three games, Wade has been nothing short of sensational offensively. He has averaged 33 points per game, along with 7.3 rebounds and three assists. Maybe all D-Wade needed to do was release his frustration of playing without the big man, which was exactly what coach Spoelstra let him do.
When Bosh went down with an abdominal injury in Game 1, people thought the Heat were vulnerable. Without their one true threat on the inside, how could Miami survive? True, the Heat struggled in Game 3, but Wade stepped up and they figured it out.
All Miami’s “Big Two” needed was two games to adjust, which it appears they have. In the last three games playing without Bosh, the Heat have actually improved offensively.
Over the course of the regular season, Miami averaged 98.5 points per game, good for seventh best in the NBA. During the last three games? The Heat averaged 107 points per game, including a 115-83 Game 5 blowout, thanks in large part to the offensive explosion by Wade.
The five-time All-Star has changed his game, and he looks near unstoppable as of late. With Bosh out, LeBron James has been pushed to the power forward spot, clearing out space for Wade to operate. One would assume that with limited interior presence it would be time to unload the three pointers, right?
Well, not for Wade. He has adjusted his game, only attempting four three-pointers (and making three) in the last three wins for the Heat. In fact, he didn’t shoot a single three-pointer in Game 6, when he dropped 41 points.
Wade has adapted. He still uses his strength and speed to get to the rim, but he has honed in to a perfect level of calmness on the perimeter. He has shot an incredible 61 percent from the field on 40-for-65 shooting in Games 4 through 6.
During the regular season, Wade only shot 49 percent from the floor. He has been more selective with his shots as of late, using picks to get to open spots. Instead of forcing up jumpers or looking for fouls, Wade has utilized the perimiter space to work on his mid-range game. Without Bosh on the floor, Wade has looked to push the ball in transition frequently, but has looked mature in not forcing the issue. He has also chipped in on the boards in the big man’s absence with 7.3 rebounds over the last three games, compared to a regular season average of only 4.8 per game.
With Bosh out, the Heat have to rely on Wade and James going forward. The thing is, Miami may not look as vulnerable as first predicted. It took a rough two outing to settle things, but the team looks to have found its strategy. With Wade and James shooting the ball nearly 40 times per game, the way they have as of late, the Heat look like a team ready to burn by the Celtics or 76ers.
It’s no secret that Wade and James are more offensively gifted than Bosh. With Bosh off the floor, Miami can give Wade and James more touches and provide their stars a chance to heat up with more shots.
The way Wade has been playing, The Heat may not even need Bosh on offense right now. If Bosh has a chance to return next round, Spoelstra should consider sitting him in the fear of facing Tim Duncan in the Finals, because right now, the Heat don’t need him.
And after that argument with Coach Spoelstra, which seemed to characterize Wade as immature and hot-headed, all the superstar has been with the ball is calm, cool and collected.
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