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Wade’s stat stuffing brings Heat closer to 2nd seed

Mar 26, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Getty Images

The Heat brought it in the fourth against what you may not know is a surprisingly good Philadelphia 76ers squad in a 111-99 win. Sure, they’re not going to be headlining any Sunday afternoon nationally televised romps, but Doug Collins has put together a good team with solid chemistry, role players that can produce and the occasionally brilliant performance from 1-3 players. The team was good enough to push the Heat around for three quarters. Then Dwyane Wade took over.

Wade blistered the Sixers with a stat-line that will go down as one for the ages. While his 39 points weren’t all scored in the final frame, it sure felt like it as he repeatedly pushed the ball himself in transition, not waiting for or searching out his All-Star teammates on his way to the bucket. He was downright fearless in attack, and it led to either points, fouls, or both. But the most remarkable thing about the night wasn’t about the way the Heat finally closed out a game against a playoff team, but Wade’s line.

Wade finished with 39 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 blocks in the win. That marked the first time since 2001 when Shaquille O’Neal pounded the Wizards that a player has registered 35+ points, 10+ rebounds, 8+ assists, and 5+ blocks in a single game. They are the only two players in history to have achieved such a performance.

The win moved Miami to within a half-game of Boston for the second seed in the East. Should Miami be able to topple Boston, not only will they have homecourt in a brutal second-round series, but they’ll face New York in the first round instead of Philadelphia. But given the way the Heat’s last two games against New York and Philadelphia have gone, they may not be the best thing after all, no matter how badly the Knicks are slumping.

Oh, and Dwyane Wade also did this:

  1. thestudiokida - Mar 26, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Dwyane Wade is special. He is a breathtaking athlete with more basketball skills than anybody in the league. He’s the best shot-blocking guard, a vicious dunker, a tenacious defender, and a smooth driver who can change direction in the blink of an eye to avoid a charging foul.

    If you could keep everything the same and give him a 6’7″ body he might go down as the best of all-time. I know many of you will criticize his jump shooting but I believe his awful shooting has made him what he is: a relentless attacker on offense. He shoots around 50% and gets to the FT line as often as anybody. A truly great player.

    • musilly - Mar 26, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      Absolutely, Wade is an incredible basketball player. But this idea that if he were only a few inches taller–no. His being 6’4 or whatever is a big part of his game. He wouldn’t have the same quickness or body control if he were a larger guard.

  2. davidly - Mar 27, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    re: the vid clip. Big deal, players alway walk in the nba.

  3. hnirobert3 - Mar 28, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    On the second shot of the dunk, the one in slow-mo, look behind the Heat bench. There’s a guy wearing a D-Wade All Star jersey who absolutely misses seeing the dunk. Too funny.

    Also, if the Heat win this year, it’s not going to be because of LBJ. It’ll be because of Wade, and what an animal he is in the playoffs *when he has teammates*. Even last year, the Celts didn’t roll through the Heat, even though the Heat’s 2nd best player was Beasley and their third was Jermaine Zombie O’Neal, who I think scored 20 or so points for the entire series.

  4. davidly - Mar 28, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    I gotta wonder if the up-to-know two thumbs down on my first comment are because they think he didn’t walk, don’t like my pointing it out, and/or that they just didn’t find my comment amusing;-(

    Nothing against D-Wade, it’s just that he’s got way better moves where he doesn’t walk.

    At any rate, if the clip didn’t start where it did (bazaar, no?) we’d probably see that he took even one more step than we see in the slo-mo. He looks like he’s running the tires in football practice.

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