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Dwyane Wade helps Heat pull away for win over Clippers

Nov 7, 2013, 10:16 PM EDT

d wade Getty Images

LeBron James is in the rare situation of being widely recognized as the game’s best player, and few would argue his position in those rankings. But what makes the Miami Heat a championship level team is the star talent surrounding James, and that starts with a healthy Dwyane Wade.

Wade is still able to impact the game in his 11th NBA season, and when feeling right can flat out take things over. That’s what he did in this one, and his effort early in the fourth quarter helped his team pull away for the 102-97 victory over a Clippers team many expect to contend in the West.

This game was tightly-contested throughout, but with James and Chris Paul on the bench early in the fourth, Wade was dominant enough to stretch Miami’s lead to the point where L.A. was unable to claw its way back. Wade scored 11 of his game-high 29 points in 10 fourth quarter minutes, and looked good doing it with a dunk in the half court set to go along with a long baseline jumper that was well-defended.

LeBron was decent all around as usual, but was largely passive in this one, finishing with 18 points, five rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes of action. Ray Allen was important for the Heat off the bench, not so much in terms of numbers but more in the way that he was able to get to the basket. Allen was deadly off the dribble, which made the Clippers’ defense pay for trying to overplay him without worrying about having the proper rotations in place.

The Clippers are only going to go as far as Chris Paul takes them this season, and in the games where he’s been aggressive and dominant offensively, they’ve cruised to easy victories. The Heat may have given other teams around the league a blueprint for slowing L.A. with the way they shut down Paul, focusing their defensive energy on him to the point where he was limited to just 11 points, 12 assists and five turnovers on 3-of-11 shooting in over 37 minutes of action.

Miami is further along than this Clippers team at this early point in the season, given the stability on the roster along with the team’s tenured head coach. The Clippers are still figuring things out, and they’ll get better as the season progresses. But Doc Rivers is going to need to come up with some counters for when teams key in defensively on slowing Paul, otherwise the Clippers might be in for some underwhelming results as the year rolls along.

  1. kingwithringz - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Keep proving them wrong, Flash. Can’t replace a player becuz of an injury.

  2. jzone954 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Yes. When he looks like he did tonight, the Heat are truly hard to stop.

    • realfootballfan - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:52 AM

      Correction, when he plays like he did tonight, the Heat are unbeatable.

  3. miamatt - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    When Dwayne Wade plays like this, the Heat are unbeatable, lack of size be damned.

    • universalseeder305 - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      This is what happens when you have the 3rd best 2guard in NBA history as the 2nd option on your team! They are unbeatable!

  4. antistratfordian - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Still a boss.

  5. pistolpete0903 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Blue print for beating the Clippers!!! Ha
    Play good D on CP3 and see how they crumble. Griffin and Jordan might be athletic and look good throwing down those alley oops, but they ain’t scorers on their own. Crawford is OK coming off the bench.
    As the blogger said, they only go as far as Paul takes them.

  6. senorpapino - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Clips have poor defense and their offense stalls when they can’t get out in transition. The team has a long way to go if they are going to live up to the preseason hype.

    • antistratfordian - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:47 PM

      Doc is really wishing KG came with him right about now.

      • fanofthegame79 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        Not with the way KG is playing in Brooklyn right now. He’s been pretty pedestrian so far. Age may have finally caught up with him.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:15 AM

        Well Doc Rivers isn’t in Brooklyn. Doc knows how to anchor a defense with KG.

      • pistolpete0903 - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:47 AM

        The real architect of that Boston defense was Thibs; Doc gets way too much credit for that.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:19 AM

        You’re right about that, pete. But you’re underestimating Doc’s defensive proficiency a little bit – and the C’s still deployed an über elite bulwark without Thibodeau.

    • realfootballfan - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      Griffin and Jordan are going to have to buy in and get a whole lot tougher for this team to go anywhere. Had Doc been able to get Garnett and Pierce in that trade, it would have went a long way to establishing his brand of basketball more easily. At the end of the day, the Clipers might just have to get rid of both of those guys in search of Doc-type players who will buy in on both ends of the court because with those two being your big men, they’re soft until further notice.

      • universalseeder305 - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        Since when does the inability to play good defense make you soft?
        I don’t remember anyone labeling Amare Stoudomaire and Steve Nash as soft, do you?

  7. jbeagles23 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    It’s still only week two and I heard a lot of good things about the clips comming in to tonight. But damn their defence is horrible. I think this is a team that needs to move Blake and Crawford to add quality young depth. And adding redick to that offence adds a new dimension but any player,including the bench, that he was guarding can light him up on the defensive end

  8. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    We all joke that the a Dolphins are the penance we pay for having a basketball team like the Heat, but I’m seriously thinking it’s no longer a joke. But if we havevto sacrifice ourselves to the Football Gods in exchange for this Heat team, so be it.

    • miamatt - Nov 8, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      Amen.

      And if there truly is a bizzaro world phins-heat dichotomy going on, this should be the greatest Heat season yet…

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        Would you object to this? The Dolphins disband immediately and are suspended from all football operations through the end of the 2014-15 Super Bowl. All other teams can put in claims our players or a disbursal draft for the 2014 season.

        Then in 2015, we’re treated like an expansion team. 1st pick in draft and every subsequent round (Jameis Winston?). Get some compensatory picks in rds 3-6. Have a disbursal draft off other teams bottom 25% of rosters. And start all over. Cleansed. Refreshed. Renewed. Ready to go.

        How is this a bad thing?

      • universalseeder305 - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        lol Dolphins really can’t catch a break, and I would be okay with disbanding the team if it means Jeff Ireland is gone! Six years as the GM and we are barely a playoff contender! For the life of me I don’t understand how he still has his job?!?

  9. gquesen - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    For all the preseason talk of real challengers to the Heat, only Indiana truly looks like a realistic threat. Yeah, Brooklyn beat them, but it’s hard to see them staying completely healthy. The clips really need to buck up if they want to beat Miami. If they get a healthy D-Wade in the playoffs, it’ll be Miami’s title to lose.

  10. miamatt - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Yesssss. It is an exorcism the dolphins need.

    The sins they must answer for:

    1) The Robbie family losing the team, which led to

    2) Don Shula being forced out before he was ready

    3) Dan Marino being forced out before he was ready

    Shula and Marino deserved to make their own call.

    Let the Cleansing begin!!!

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