Skip to content

Is Dwyane Wade just having a slow start or is this something bigger?

Dec 7, 2012, 3:56 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat Getty Images

The Miami Heat did not lose to the New York Knicks solely because Dwyane Wade had a 3-of-13 off night shooting. They lost because the Knicks are playing well and the Heat’s defense is not.

But Wade certainly didn’t help.

And we’ve seen a lot more of this Dwyane Wade this season. The one that looks a little off, a little slow. If you’ve watched a lot of Heat basketball you don’t need an avalanche of statistics to tell you that Wade is not himself — he is scoring 19.4 points per game, lowest since his rookie year, his shooting percentage of 47.3 is the lowest since 2008 for him, he is shooting 25 percent from three (and he missed some open ones against the Knicks) plus Hoopdata shows he is shooting just 31.1 percent on shots from between 3 and 15 feet out (and taking 4.5 shots a game in that range). His PER of 20.4 is the lowest since his rookie year.

A look through Synergy Sports shows Wade shooting just 30.8 percent in isolation sets and 34.6 percent when he posts somebody up. Those account for 30 percent of his shot attempts.

Isolation and post up spots are where it’s Wade using his superior athleticism to get his shot. Except it hasn’t looked that superior this season. You saw it against the Knicks when he got his good looks with step backs as people feared him on the drive, but when he did drive the lane he couldn’t elevate to get clean looks.

Wade has not been bad this season — he’s had great games, including dropping 34 on the Nets — but he hasn’t been his old self. And the
Heat need that old Wade at both ends of the floor come April and beyond.

Which begs the question — is this a temporary thing or is it something bigger picture?

Wade is coming off knee surgery this summer and that certainly is part of the issue. It takes a while for people to fully recover, which seems to be the case here.

But Charles Barkley said on TNT he thought it something more, the decline of Wade with age. Wade certainly has been a player who threw his body around throughout his career.

“He’s starting to lose his athletic ability,” Barkley said of Wade, who will turn 31 in a month. “He’s not the same guy. I got a better look at him in person. He doesn’t explode anymore and he’s shooting a lot of fade-away jumpers.”

He’s right. After re-watching every Wade shot of the last couple weeks he is living and dying by the step back, but teams are going to catch on at some point and force him to drive. Force him to use the athleticism they all once feared.

We’ll have to see if he can make teams pay for that.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    All those years of flopping by throwing himself to the floor when no one touched him are catching up. Nothing to see here.

  2. fanofevilempire - Dec 7, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    D-Wade looks like he lost a little lift maybe a step but at thirty one doesn’t necessarily
    mean he is done. He is still young enough where he can re-invent himself as a
    shooter, just like that fella Allen. I said before I believe the Heat have to run their offense
    through LeBron and they have, Bosh too. I believe Wade will be playing for a few Years more.

    • doctorfootball - Dec 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      Wade is in his 10th year. You don’t all of a sudden become a jump shooter. Even for Jordan, it was a gradual change.He didn’t turn into a jump shooter over night. And you can’t compare him to Allen. He was a good shooter coming into the league. Wade is at best an inconsistent shooter. But, no, he’s not done in the least. He’s still a terrific player. But it’s obvious he’s slowly declining as a player.

      • zerole00 - Dec 7, 2012 at 4:44 PM

        It’s not all about age, it’s about how you treat your body in the time played. Just take Tim Duncan and Kobe for comparison’s sake. Duncan’s got 2 years on Kobe, but he probably has more years left because he had a coach that managed his time well and he didn’t play as recklessly. Even Kobe admitted he’s stopped risks like trying to draw offensive fouls because it wasn’t worth the harm to his body. Falling down from flops can do damage too, and I’m not trying to be insulting here.

    • scalfor3 - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      First, Allen never remade himself as a shooter. He was always a shooter, and always far less reliant on dominant athleticism than Wade. I agree that Wade can still be an effective player, but it looks like his days as a bona fide superstar are just about over.

  3. e39er - Dec 7, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Cannot and will not compare him to Kobe…..his game is too reckless although it gets the highlights but he shows an example that if you rely on your athleticism for your game sooner or later its going to fall apart as you age

  4. iamjimmyjack - Dec 7, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Just goes to show ppl how great Kobe Bryant truly is at 34.

    • dangernearing - Dec 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      Or how good MJ was at age 40 even.

  5. buffalowned - Dec 7, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    He has been terrible on defense he is a big reason everyone lights them up with 3s..and it’s mostly from lack of effort. So frustrating watching him this year

  6. glink123 - Dec 7, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    All those years of taking HGH are finally catching up to him.

  7. ricocardwell - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Just shows you how great Kobe really is at 17 years in and 34 yrs old. But I hes not done but he’s definitely on the decline . And LBJ is gonna NEED him to be a 25 a night guy consistently if he’s gonna repeat.

  8. ninthwardfriend - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    From the start of his career, I have often looked at D-Wade as being a little suspect, and I mean a little.

  9. SuckForLuck - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Since the arrival of Lebron & Bosh, D Wade has saved his body for the playoffs. Heat turn it in a month before the playoffs.

  10. 00maltliquor - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    It’s called AGE.

  11. reupjosh - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    He’ll still (undeservingly) get voted into future all star games… Which is a great thing for those who enjoy wearing unnecessary pink band-aids and faux eye glasses.

Leave Comment

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

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2092)
  2. L. James (1852)
  3. K. Irving (1668)
  4. K. Bryant (1661)
  5. J. Smith (1431)