Skip to content

Shockingly, Dwyane Wade likes all the Heat’s new shooters

Sep 17, 2012, 1:23 PM EST

Miami Heat Victory Parade And Rally Getty Images

Dwyane Wade won a 2006 NBA title driving, getting fouled, and dishing out to hot shooters on the perimeter. Oh, and there was that Shaq guy and some interesting officiating, but Wade’s relentless attacking and smart playmaking were what got the Heat their first title.

The 2012-13 Heat are not going back to that — this is LeBron James’ team now — but at moments it could look a little more like it. This summer the Heat went out and got sharpshooters Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis (who hasn’t been quite as sharp lately) to go with Shane Batter, the somehow healthy Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers and three-point contest champion James Jones.

The Heat have shooters to space the floor and Wade told Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel he is excited about the possibilities. Last year he started to develop some chemistry with Shane Battier during the playoffs.

“I think I did a little bit in the Finals,” Wade said. “With the matchup problems, sometimes I drove just to get guys shots. So I knew that once I drove, that bigger guys who were guarding Shane were going to come to the rim and protect the rim. Shane had a lot of open shots…”

“My mind frame a lot would be when I get to the paint, when I attack, sometimes I’m going just to draw the defense, knowing I’ve got the shooters and I need to get my shooters shots,” he said. “I can always get my own shot. But when I’m in the game, my mindset is, ‘OK, I need to get these guys going,’ because they’re going to get things open for everyone.”

I don’t need to remind you what happened in Game 5 of the finals when Millers mind overcame his body and he started draining threes. If the Heat get consistent scoring threats from outside their big three they become nearly impossible to defend.

We will see how much of drive-and-dish Wade we really see during the season, it’s not going to be 2006 redux, but it’s another potential way for Miami to take advantage of matchup problems. And they create a lot of matchup problems.

  1. thestudiokida - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Two most important things for the Heat to remember is:

    1) They excel with small-ball lineups featuring Bosh at center, creating a lot of matchup problems for the opposing frontcourt. Centers won’t come out to guard Bosh’s high percentage 18-footer, power forwards are too slow to stay with LeBron’s drive or to rotate on Battier’s at the 3-point line, and small forwards have never been able to defend LeBron in the post, which brings me to…

    2) The offense is unstoppable when LeBron posts up relentlessly like he did in the 2012 NBA Finals. He’s so quick to recognize where a double team is coming from that he’s passing the ball before the help defender arrives, leaving the helper in no man’s land. And if LeBron isn’t doubled in the post then he can utilize an array of quick/powerful moves for high percentage shots around the rim and to draw fouls.

    Only Miami can beat Miami now.

    • Michael DeCicco - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      I know it seems like they can’t be beat when they go small… but a tall team with bigs that can score off the block and rebound well (hint, hint, the Lakers) will give them a lot of problems. Chris Bosh is not a great rebounder at the 4 let alone the 5. LeBron isn’t a force on the boards despite what he did in the Finals last year. Haslem is undersized. Battier is not a 4 and I don’t expect Rashard Lewis to go in there and get the big rebound when they need it. Offensively, this revamped LeBron style Heat team is nearly unguardable… but they will struggle defensively and on the boards against bigger teams.

  2. michaeljordanseviltwin - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Two most important things for the Heat to remember is:1) They excel with small-ball lineups featuring Bosh at center, creating a lot of matchup problems for the opposing frontcourt. Centers won’t come out to guard Bosh’s high percentage 18-footer, power forwards are too slow to stay with LeBron’s drive or to rotate on Battier’s at the 3-point line, and small forwards have never been able to defend LeBron in the post, which brings me to…2) The offense is unstoppable when LeBron posts up relentlessly like he did in the 2012 NBA Finals. He’s so quick to recognize where a double team is coming from that he’s passing the ball before the help defender arrives, leaving the helper in no man’s land. And if LeBron isn’t doubled in the post then he can utilize an array of quick/powerful moves for high percentage shots around the rim and to draw fouls.Only Miami can beat Miami now.

  3. michaeljordanseviltwin - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    face

  4. eventhorizon04 - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    One of the problems the Heat had after forming was that Wade and LeBron wanted to get the ball on the wing and drive to the basket while Bosh wanted to take 10-15 foot jumpers.

    Combine that with the fact that the Heat’s lineups included centers who were non-factors on the offense – only able to score on dunks and layups – and the Heat were easy to slow down by playing zone defense and sagging into the paint in response to dribble penetration.

    With Bosh expanding his shooting range and moving to the center position and LeBron finally accepting the role of low-post scorer and facilitator (and de facto Power Forward), the Heat are now able to include 2 3-point shooters on the court with Miami’s Big 3.
    This not only gives room to Wade to operate on drives to the basket but also targets for him to kick the ball out to in the event the defense collapses on him.
    It also gives LeBron space to operate in the low-post and shooters for him to pass to if the defense tries to double-team him.
    Last but not least, Bosh has a significant footspeed advantage against most centers, allowing him to drive past a defender if the opposing center defends him close or to take an open jumper if the other center, afraid of getting beat off the dribble, gives him space.

    The Heat aren’t unstoppable, but now their 3 best players have styles on offense that are “complementary” instead of “redundant,” and they have enough depth to always ensure adequate floor spacing.

  5. miamatt - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Drive and kick, Drive and kick. Miami is at their best playing inside-out. Traditionally this has been done with a dominant center, but in South Florida it’s about Wade and James driving, posting up, and passing when a teammate has a better shot.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Can Rockets, Grizzlies keep up hot starts?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (7900)
  2. D. Wade (7234)
  3. K. Durant (6566)
  4. P. Gasol (5776)
  5. R. Westbrook (5479)
  1. T. Jones (5277)
  2. O. Asik (5122)
  3. R. Gay (5099)
  4. D. Howard (4868)
  5. N. Young (4726)