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Dwyane Wade is trying to fix his jumper by tweaking his catch

Sep 9, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

Dwyane Wade is an elite scorer in the NBA, but one drawback has always been his range. He’s flat-out not a good perimeter shooter, and despite the ability to nail some monster shots off the pull-up, that’s just not the strongest part of his game.

But he’s trying to improve it after what he felt was a step back last year. Wade has hired a shooting coach, but what’s interesting is what Wade says is the issue, as well as how he regards his mid-range game.

The reality, Wade said, is what he really needed was a catching coach.

In the wake of a season where he felt his jumper got away from him, Wade said upon further review it was not as much about how he was shooting the ball as how he was going through that motion.

Now, with training camp three weeks away, he believes he has a grasp on the situation.

“I have one of the best mid-range shots in the league,” he said. “But, obviously, when you have different injuries, it makes you change a little bit. So it’s just about getting back to that comfort of it and finding out where you are now.

“My midrange game is very important to me. The biggest thing is coming out of my pull-up without losing the ball and just making sure it comes through my hand the right way. When it comes to my shot exactly, I don’t have a bad shot. There’s other reasons why I come up short a lot. So it’s just trying to work the kinks out.”

via Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade looks ahead to NBA championship defense. – South Florida

Let’s back up there a second. “One of the best mid-range shots  in the league?” Not too sure about that. From 16-23 feet, here’s where Wade ranked among shooting guards, not the entire league, just among shooting guards, from 16-23 feet over the past five years: 42nd, 63rd, 26th, 56th, 45th. Even with many of those players getting bumps by only taking a handful of shots per year without minute restrictions, that’s not elite, by any stretch of the imagination.

From 10-15 he was better, though, clocking in at 44th, 27th, 42nd, 33rd, and 21st. That shows you the real issue, which is just pure and simple range.

(Data courtesy of HoopData.)

So no, Dwyane Wade does not have one of the best mid-range shots in the game. But the work he’s doing can only improve it. Wade was more easily pressured on-ball last year, and the injuries would be a logical reason. By working on control of the ball coming into his shooting motion, he should be able to get more accuracy without needing as much of a burst, which is good coming off knee surgery and his myriad injuries. If he can get that shot up at a higher percentage, it’s only going to make the Heat more deadly.

You know, because that’s something they really need.

  1. dls612 - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    What a relief! I thought it said twearking his catch! Lets go then!

    • dls612 - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Ok that sounded weird!, I’m talking about him working on his jumper! That was close!

  2. soflasfinest - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Would love to see him get back to his days in 06 when we won our first ship. His mid range j was automatic in the finals and his free throw percentage was in the upper 80’s. I’m not worried. He Is definitely capable of getting back to that form.

    • money2long - Sep 9, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      yeah man. i always respected wade’s mid range jumper. early in his career he made it clear he wasn’t a 3pt shooter. i heard stories about how wade admired jordan growing up, and how he would watch so many mj footage and modeled his game after him. he noticed how jordan mastered the mid range game and he wanted to mirror that. you can’t leave wade open from 2. the fact that he can average over 25 a night as a (somewhat) undersized 2 guard without a reliable 3 pointer shows how remarkable he is at driving to the hole. his handles help him create space to get off his mid range shot and his mix of strength and athleticism help him score in a variety of ways around the paint.

      he did mention how he wanted to become more of a threat out there as his career went on. and now, he is showing that he still wants to improve on his jump shooting game, overall. no one in the NBA is a stranger to father time, and dwyane is getting older. he knows in order to keep his success going he has to continue to perfect the jumper. jumpers help in so many ways, because it opens up your scoring; keeps the defense honest.

  3. nbascreed - Sep 9, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Wade has a very good looking stroke and really good balance for a guy who gets so much elevation on his shot (I think his work with Spols as an asst has been well chronicled). Like most shake-n-bake guards it’s not his form but repetition. He spent his time taking j’s with the ball which is a totally different beast than catch and shoot and very few perimeter players can do both equally well (Ray in his younger days was more than serviceable off the bounce but I can’t think of too many more). FWIW I like Wade’s shot and I think as long as he’s willing to work at it he’ll develop into a very good shooter (he’ll need to as his athelticsm atrophies).

    D-Rose is another guard who has a very nice looking stroke who has had to really put the time and dedication into becoming a knock down shooter. When I watched him at Memphis I thought all the “he can’t shoot” talk was premature. The mechanics were there it was just exposure and repetition. If I’m not mistaken I think there was marked improvement b/t Y2 and Y3 (don’t quote me).

    On another note this effort to introduce sabremetrics and advance statistical analysis to the hoops watching public really make my head hurt. The problem with sabremetrics like the ones Matt uses to disprove Wade’s statement are in actuality there are only 10 2’s or combos that SHOULD BE compared Wade. Saying some 2 who took 27 shots all years is a better mid-range shooter than Wade b/c that’s what the math says is disingenuous and laughable for anyone familiar with statistical analysis.

    If I was really looking to genuinely disprove Wade’s statement (btw what is he supposed to say? I love the guys confidence) to determine validity of Wade’s statement there are a number things I would need to isolate including position, mpg, shots per game, ppg. I would do this to create a profile of perimeter players most comparable and THEN and only then would I apply the advanced stats. What Matt offered is what analyst (of any stripe investment, business, financial, strategic, basektball, etc) refer to as “noise”.

    Empirically here are the 10 perimeter players I’d like to see compared to Wade (too disintestered to do the analysis)
    1. Rusty Westbrook
    2. Jimmy Harden.
    3. Deron Williams (I know he’s a pg but his size allows him to do a lot of the things Wade can off the bounce).
    4. Paul George
    5. Tyreke Evans
    6. Bron
    7. Rudy Gay
    8. Mamba
    9. Kevin Martin
    10. Watkins from the Bobcats (circa 2029)

  4. nycalldayz - Sep 9, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Wade was never a great shooter. He’s been effective most of career slashing to the rim.

  5. lakerluver - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    If he hasn’t fixed it thus far in all the years he’s been playing basketball it ain’t getting fixed!!!

    • brokerhenry - Sep 10, 2012 at 3:20 AM

      @lakerluver: I have a feeling you may be right because D-Wade may be set in his ways. It does says that he has hired a shooting coach for the first time in his career. Plus we know that the great ones lengthen their career by adding different dimensions to their game. So, maybe all is not lost for D-Wade. I hope he finds success. I’am a Heat fan after all.

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