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Celtics-Heat Game 7 Preview: The disturbing mystery of Dwyane Wade

Jun 9, 2012, 11:30 AM EDT

Dwyane Wade AP

Dwyane Wade has not been good. No superstar has struggled more in the Conference Finals than Wade, which is bizarre considering his matchups. Wade’s facing Ray Allen, who is better, but not completely back from bone spurs. He should be eating him alive. But the Celtics’ help defense has been brutal in cutting off Wade’s angles. Wade’s still shooting 44 percent vs. the C’s, and 70 percent at the rim, but he’s had a difficult time getting his game in gear.

For Wade, Game 7 Saturday night is a referendum on his legacy. Last year’s playoff run was ultimately about LeBron James and LeBron James only. And while James will suffer a heaping dose of scrutiny should the Heat go down the tubes in Game 7, there’s been a rising trend of questions about how Dwyane Wade isn’t helping matters. He’s been off, and worse, his effort has been questioned, as he spends his time complaining about no-calls instead of getting back on defense.

Should the Heat go down in flames (GET IT, BECAUSE THEY’RE THE HEAT?), Wade’s facing a drastic re-evaluation of his career. You’re already seeing it. “Well, Shaq was really why they won the title!” (despite the fact that O’Neal was in full-on gentle-slide-to-retirement mode already and Wade accounted for about a billion percent of their offense. “The league had a down year that season!” (despite Wade having gone through the Mavericks in their second best team assembled). Wade’s facing a pretty explosive dose of revisionist history if the Heat don’t win the title, especially by losing in this Game 7.

Wade’s always been fearless. That’s who he is. But he’s let the officiating’s interpretation of the Celtics’ physicality get the best of him. LeBron James didn’t complain to the officials in Game 6. He took over. That’s what Wade has to do. He may not be able to at this point thanks to his knee not being in good enough shape. He may not be able to due to age, injury, or the Celtics’ defense. But Paul Pierce is proof you don’t have to play well consistently in this series to have a huge impact. He’s got to play smart, and he’s got to play hard. The Heat can’t spare a man. It’s all hands on deck.

Wade can get past Allen. The problem has been his inability to draw contact on the drive or to hit the pull-up jumper. He’s rushing shots and many of them, he’s just missing. He’s tried angling for some threes, and that’s a bad plan, Wade’s never been a good perimeter shooter. Wade needs to work his way to the middle of the floor. That’s where the Celtics are driving him away from, but it’s his best chance to attack. The Celtics don’t want him there because he’s great there, and the Celtics are weak there. But Allen and Rondo are overplaying to that side, and help defense is coming from the wing to attack the dribble.

But forget X’s and O’s. This is about legacy. This is Dwyane Wade’s moment to validate his career and answer the questions about whether he’s already past his prime. This is Game 7, and it’s time to find out who Dwyane Wade is.

 

  1. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects - Jun 9, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    holy sh!t. i just chased some kind of hedgehog thing out of my office. wtf!?!

  2. mikejd12 - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Haven’t you heard Matt Moore. Its all about Lebron James. Nothing or no one else matters. He has to play like god every game or the haters will be all over him. Its James vs 5 people and he has to win every time. (sarcastic)…….Hell yeah Dwayne better step up! I agree but all people want to talk about is Lebron. And the media keeps bringing it up. Lebron has been playing Farley well averaging 30 points over the last 8 games and then a 45 point explosion. But no one wants to talk about wade. Wade when his back was against the wall blew up against Indiana. Maybe he needs that again. He hasn’t played well. Ill give Boston credit because they have been double teaming him and trapping him that’s part of it. But its on spolestra to get him in the right position to make plays and hit shots. 6-17 last week is not good enough……Lets go wade its your time to shine!

    • infectorman - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      “At the end of the day, all the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today,”
      “They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point,”

      -Lebron James

      _____

      Anything more need to be said? The kid has dug his own grave and is now trying to claw his way out of it…
      It doesn’t make me happy to see him fail, it makes me sad to hear a professional athlete be so far gone down the road of imagined self-importance as to think his succeeding or failing matters a single iota in my life.
      It oozes arrogance….

      America loves a redemption story. Personally, I hope he gets a ring, just not at the expense of my Celtics.

      He needs to grow up and act like an adult

  3. leftyjsf - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    LeBron put it on himself. When you invite ESPN to broadcast the Nero-Esque “decision” and enjoy the spoils of celebrity, you have to expect the polarity to occur when “expectations” fall short. This isn’t on the haters or the media, it’s on LeBron for inviting the circus in the first place.

  4. rickeydynamite25 - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    D(irty) Wade will have another terrible shooting night but will probably finish with about 23pts courtesy of the 25 free throws he’ll be shooting tonight.

    • edweird0 - Jun 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Glad you already got the excuse machine cranking up

  5. canyoufeeltheHEAT - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    “wade is no where near 100%.” Stephen A. Smith, after game 6 which he attended live @ Boston.

    D-wade isn’t playing his best because his body isn’t at it’s best. He has never tanked on purpose. But I’ll take 70% of wade than none at all. Hopefully he has his knee drained again so he can have another great game like he did with the Indiana series. Tonight is about lebron and the rest of the heat backing him up. If they all step up this is last time we see Boston’s big 4.

  6. cantonbound13 - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Wade is a flopper & Diva, mystery solved.

    • edweird0 - Jun 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      Hahahaha, i see your tactics; if you can’t hate on James then just talk Sh!t about wade.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        Why can’t I hate on James? The same James that has no rings? The same James that is 2-8 for his career in the Finals. The same James that never won a game 7. Plenty of reasons to knock James.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Jun 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

        WHo is Matt Moore to say that his performance in this game will determine Dwayne Wade’s careeer? Bogus , bogus and more bogus.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Jun 10, 2012 at 7:15 AM

        It’s Sunday morning and I was right. The game did not defrine DW’s careeer.

  7. ceschatz - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Hahahahahahaha. Now that Lebron dropped an axe on them, you pathetic hates switch to wade? Jealousy makes you all look pathetic, but keep it coming!

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Look at all the Heat fans that disappeared after game 5 starting to come back. Pathetic.

      • edweird0 - Jun 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM

        Not as pathetic as you buddy!

      • andyhr17 - Jun 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM

        Creative comeback.

  8. truthhurtstoo - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Glad when the HEAT finshing off the very old and very overrated creakers… like last year. Their fans constant whining is pathetic!

  9. paulhargis53 - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    After the Heat lose tonight, how long before some turf posts Heat in 8.
    Heat have no chance. Rondo and The Big Ticket will see to that.
    Boston isn’t going to shoot for crap like last game. Look for the score to be Boston by 9.

  10. Richard Phillips - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Ever since going off in the 2nd half of game 4 against Indiana, Wade has been coasting along. At this point he’s nothing more than a slightly better Mo Williams…

    http://thesportsdump.com/2012/06/09/eastern-conference-finals-game-7/

  11. fm31970 - Jun 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Typical Heat- play hardest when you absolutely must win, then make the press wonder why you don’t play that hard EVERY game.

    Instead of deciding who should “take over” this game, Bosh, Wade, and James all need to take the game over.

  12. rodge1 - Jun 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Wade should take a pay-cut next season if he doesn’t step-it-up. I’m a Heat fan saying this. I love D Wade but he has been slacking. Wonder if it’s because his knees are hurting.

  13. rickeydynamite25 - Jun 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    So what will be worst for Miami,, losing to Boston in the Eastern Conference finals,, or getn blown apart by OKC in the NBA finals? Yeah Lebron had a memorable game but history shows 1 guy having to carry the whole team by himself doesn’t work. It didn’t work for Jordan, and it didn’t work for Kobe, but somehow Heat fans believe it’s going to work for Lebron huh? Oookay,,, weee belieeeve you.

    • drunkenjunk - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      this x 1,000,000. Either one will be fine.

  14. scalfor3 - Jun 9, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    C’s strategy seems to have been to focus more on wade than lebron. lebron is gonna get his numbers regardless of how you defend him, but slowing down wade is possible. he’s (sorta) gotten his numbers, but hasnt been efficient this series. heat are really tough when both lebron and wade have it going, but beatable if only one of them is playing well. hence we’re at a game 7, even though lebron’s averaging 30+ and 10.

  15. neelyisgod - Jun 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Just like in Star Wars, the green light sabers (Celtics) are good and the red light sabers (Miami) are bad. The dark side never wins in the long run havent you seen the movies? Use the force young Rondo and defeat the dark side. Master Auerbach will watch over you.

  16. md23rewlz - Jun 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    This isn’t about legacy. Wade has already played at a Jordan-esque level in two NBA Finals. His legacy isn’t in doubt because of one lackluster series (and it’s the freakin’ Eastern Conference Finals–it’s not like this is the first round or something) against a very good defensive team. Can’t we hold off on the shortsighted, overreaching “legacy” articles? What happens in any one year does not matter to how a player is viewed. It doesn’t matter one iota in the long run. Unless Wade gets hit by a car in the next week or so, five years from now, nobody’s going to be citing the 2012 ECF as a series that defined Wade. Individual series only matter in a vacuum. Even with the Finals. If the Heat win a title this year, that loss to Dallas last year becomes a footnote.

  17. berbes - Jun 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    no matter how this irons out, you gotta admit it’s fun; from the flaming here to the actual game itself. i almost hope the heat win just to keep this posting hatred up…almost :) .

    and give those heat fans a break.. i mean think about it. they live in a swamp surrounded by old people driving buicks. how good can it be once you leave the beach? it’s not like it’s 1965. this is all they’ve got.

    • edweird0 - Jun 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      Lmao. You clearly have never visited South Florida if that’s what your ignorant ass think its like down here.

  18. buffalowned - Jun 9, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    it’s funny cause whenever wade has a good game people start saying lebron isn’t even the best player on his own team and this is “wade’s team”…..get a clue

  19. fanz928 - Jun 9, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Lebron’s decision was a charity event

    • edweird0 - Jun 9, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      It’s always easy for ppl to not mention that when they bring it up. It makes it easier to rationalize their hatred.

  20. dgforreal - Jun 9, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    In that pic Wade looks like Mike Tyson when you landed punches on him in Mike Tyson’s Punchout.

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