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Dywane Wade is hot, which is forcing LeBron to adjust his game

Mar 19, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Phoenix Suns v Miami Heat Getty Images

One of the key reasons the Miami Heat offense really came together two years ago was Dwyane Wade agreed to take a step back and let LeBron James be the focal point of the offense. The season before they basically traded turns and that couldn’t get them past the Dallas Mavericks in the finals. Wade adjusted and the Heat thrived.

Now LeBron James is adjusting.

The “Wade knee maintenance program” has been a big success — in his last 10 games he is scoring 22.2 points a game on 55.1 percent shooting, plus he is getting to the free throw line 6.4 times a game. He is attacking and 48.7 percent of his shots have come within 8 feet of the rim in his last 10 games.

Wade has the ball in his hands more and that has thrown LeBron off a little bit, he told Shandel Richardson at the Sun-Sentinel (hat tip SLAM).

“He’s played so well of late,” James said. “He’s been handling the ball a lot as of late. I’ve kind of gotten out of rhythm. I’ve got to figure it out….

“It’s a challenge,” James said. “When [Wade] was in and out, I knew exactly what I had to do and exactly how to attack the game. His health has gotten better. It’s going to be better for the team but it’s kind of got me out rhythm as an individual. It’s not like our first year playing together. It’s something that we figured out in Year One. You can’t take it for granted. You still got to try to figure it back out and that’s something I’m going through right now.”

It’s more than just Wade. LeBron has had a number of games like the Cavaliers one from Tuesday night, where he gets off to a fast start (25 in the first quarter) only to slow down in the second half, the fourth quarter specifically (although LeBron made a couple big blocks late). It was Chris Bosh with a dozen in the fourth Tuesday night — and Wade was taking the night off. Whether he is tired, this is remnants of the broken nose or what, LeBron hasn’t quite been himself of late.

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Expect LeBron to figure it out. Expect the Heat to figure this out. This is when an experienced title team starts to really put the pieces together for a title run, and Wade and LeBron have done this dance before. They can put the pieces back together again.

The bigger question is will that be enough for a three-peat?

  1. reesesteel23 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    D Wade!!!!!!

    • romestar82 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      Floppy Wade

    • m4a188 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Dirty Wade

      • reesesteel23 - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        That’s a good one. He does his opponents dirty when he’s healthy. Thumbs up.

    • pputnam100 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      LeBron is finished. This year after they get stomped, and I mean stomped, by the Pacers he will go through some mental and spiritual gyrations that will leave him basically impotent… The LeBron era is over. As great and gifted as he is, there just seems to be some kind of mental weakness…. Put a fork in him, he’s done!!

      • pputnam100 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        Of course I’m joking, well, everything but the Pacers stomping some butt, they are going down, just can’t rebound

      • miamatt - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        I was wondering where that stench of desperation was coming from…

      • ranfan12 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        He’s had this same mental weakness during their famous streak and b2b rings lol

  2. miamiheatles - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Good problem to have. Kudos to Dwade for taking the necessary steps to recovery.

  3. coltzfan166 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Uh oh Pacers fans…the Heat are getting hot at the right time.

    • bucrightoff - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      The Heat are 5-5 in their last time. Absolutely scorching….

      • bucrightoff - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        And by time I mean ten….

      • casualcommenter - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        Lol. Exactly. All anybody wants to talk about the Heat’s offense, and how good Wade looks. Well, the Heat’s offense has been top 3 ALL SEASON.

        Their drop off this season is on defense. All their defensive stats are down. They have solid defenders at point guard, but behind LeBron, Wade, and Battier, they have no good wing defenders. Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and Mike Beasley are all bad on defense.
        Behind Bosh and the Birdman, they have no good front court defenders who aren’t liabilities on offense (Oden and Haslem).

        The issue is defense, not offense. They allowed the Cavaliers without Irving or Deng to score 96 points.

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        I was born and raised in Indiana and went to college at IU just south of Indy.

        I’ve always rooted for the Pacers, Bulls are my number one team because I was from up north in the state not far from Chicago.

        So Bulls #1 and Pacers #2.

        The Heat are the defending champs and they are the champs until beaten. They aren’t like the Bulls who were broken up after their 6th title.

        LeBron is still on 29 yrs old and the best in the game… I don’t want the Heat to win… but they are still young enough and they know what it takes…

        Can they be beaten? Yes, but they are the favorites until they are taken out…

        I so wanted the Spurs to win last yr… I can see Duncan retiring after this season as he knows that their window has really closed and it isn’t worth it for him anymore at his age, the effort it takes, all the late night flights out of cold northern cities in Jan, Feb and March, not to mention all the money he has plus the many titles and other awards…

        The Heat are not in the same boat as a team like the Spurs yet… Imagine if LBJ was 37 yrs old like Duncan is right now. If D Wade was 36 like Manu (yes, I know he’s REALLY older than LBJ, I’m changing it to match the Spurs big guns…). Well, Bosh being 31 like Parker would be another two yrs older too…

        IF the Heat WERE in this boat, even if the were the defending champs, I would not have them as the favorites…

    • turkbox420 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:40 AM

      I love Indy and they are terrible right now. PG`s baby mama in his head I think. D West should set the team straight, he is the only consistent player. If Wade plays like he did 2 years ago in the playoffs Indys fugged

  4. casualcommenter - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    It’s really incredible how all anybody can focus on is offense. Think about it. Even with Wade missing a lot of games, the Heat have been top-3 in offensive efficiency most of the season.

    Meanwhile, they allowed the Cleveland Cavaliers without Kyrie Irving or Luol Deng to score nearly 100 points, 2 games after letting the Nuggets score 111 points.

    So what’s the story line afterwards? “LeBron not being in rhythm on offense because Wade is being so efficient on offense.”

    The Heat are more than fine on offense. The question is their depth on defense, especially when Wade sits.

  5. big64d - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    They’re going to have to alternate who flops on which play. It would be to obvious if they both flopped together.

  6. prareedoggin - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Don’t think the issue is on defense, its effort. Once they games matter theyll crank up there intensity and the defense will be much better. Its hustle plays and it looks like they don’t want to expend lots of energy yet

  7. antistratfordian - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    No big. They’ll figure it out.

  8. blackman24 - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    I hate Wade, but his mid range has been on point this years as well, he’s shooting it a nice rate of 46% which is a career high and has to be respected.

    • ranfan12 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      Still has that top 5 pump fake too

  9. prareedoggin - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:35 PM


  10. divan22 - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Who’s Dywane Wade?

    • ranfan12 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      Google it

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