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Dwyane Wade disappears in Game 4 of Finals

Jun 13, 2014, 1:24 AM EDT

Dwyane Wade Dwyane Wade

After the thorough thrashing the Spurs delivered in a Game 4 victory over the Heat that placed them one win away from the NBA title, it’s perhaps unfair to single out one player’s performance as the reason for the loss.

But watching Dwyane Wade struggle through this one, it’s hard not to believe that his disappearance at the most critical of junctures was something more than simply an off night.

Wade started 1-of-10 from the field through the first three quarters, and chipped in two more buckets in the fourth quarter’s garbage time to finish with 10 points. Eight of those attempts came right at the rim, and he converted just one — partially due to San Antonio’s defensive presence, but more because of a clear lack of elevation or explosiveness when taking those shots.

In addition to the shooting woes, Wade looked a step slow all night long, and lacked any type of energy that would show he was playing at 100 percent. Look at the way Kawhi Leonard badgered him into a turnover late in the fourth — you can say the game was over by then, and surely, it was. But Wade wasn’t able to elude the defender, and ended up falling down as the ball was stolen.

There was another example on the defensive end here, where Wade looked gassed and didn’t even bother to hustle into the paint or jump for a rebound that he might have had a chance at if he had exerted the effort.

For those looking to chalk it up to fatigue or simply being washed up, this has not been the way Wade’s performed this postseason.

In the six Conference Finals games against the Pacers, Wade averaged 19.8 points on 54.5 percent shooting, and posted 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting as recently as Game 3 of the Finals. No, this was definitely different — even if he or his head coach weren’t willing to admit it afterward.

“No,” said Erik Spoelstra, when asked if there was something different about Wade in this one. “You have to credit their defense as well. It looked like he had a couple of opportunities. A couple he just missed, and that happens through competition, and Leonard got a piece of another one. Made a heck of a play on that. He was able to at least get into the paint a few times, but once they got up by 15, then we started to lose a little bit more rhythm from there, and that was everybody, not just exclusive to Dwyane.”

“Yeah, I just missed them,” Wade said, when it was pointed out he seemed to lack his usual explosiveness on his shots. “You know, I’m a very accurate shooter, so I don’t like missing. I’m not used to missing around the basket. But law of averages, man. The ball just didn’t go in. But I’ll take those same opportunities next game for sure.”

We don’t know exactly what was ailing Wade in Game 4, and even if he had put up one of his more traditional statistical lines, it’s likely the Heat still would have been crushed due to the way the Spurs flawlessly whipped the ball around to the open shooter in executing their offense.

But we do know that if Wade can’t bring anything more to a potential elimination game on Sunday, the Spurs will be crowned champions before the night is finished.

“You have to look at yourself and see what you can bring better to the game to be able to help this team,” Wade said. “Then as a team we’ve got to continue to trust and believe in each other, like we’ve done for four years here, like we’ve done all season. I’m confident that we will do that.”

  1. rrhoe - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    The whole team looked tired to me.

    • rodyaugu - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:04 AM

      They looked like a broken down old team getting destroyed by a younger and hungrier team. I watched D wade goes up right under the rim twice, but failed to get the ball over the circle because he didn’t have lift on those legs. That’s when the reality hits me as heat fan.

    • spursareold - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      Three games. Five days. The Spurs just keep coming at you in waves. They couldn’t rest anyone. LeBron played at or close to 40 minutes each game. That’s what’s different from the rest of the playoffs for Miami.

  2. pistolpete0903 - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    “You know, I’m a very accurate shooter”
    Vow…he was never a good shooter….maybe a good slasher, driving to the basket type of guy.

    This is a good lesson to youngsters coming to the league….you can play at a top level in the league based on your athleticism, BUT for only so long. The smarter players (Duncan, Kobe) will adapt and improve more on their fundamentals and skills. He should have improved his jump shot a long time ago.
    Good 3-pt shooters will always be in demand (no matter if they are getting older)

    • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:08 AM

      Are you trying to saw that Wade didn’t improve on his fundamentals? He shot 52.1 percent last year and 54.5 percent this year. He was able to do that by being Mr. Fundamentals as far as shot selection. Kobe couldn’t shoot 54 percent in an empty gym.

      But what has changed on Wade over the years is probably the rising significance of the 3 point shot. It’s 2014 now, not 2004 – shooting guards have to be able to hit threes.

      • musician0785 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:31 AM

        when all else fails, throw a shot at Kobe….

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:07 AM

        The guy mentioned Kobe, so I was replying to that. He said Kobe improved his fundamentals – yadda yadda yadda – and I was pointing out that, unlike Wade, could never figure out how to make most of the shots he takes.

      • musician0785 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        that’s because unlike wade, for the majority of his career he was THE BEST player on his team, and he saw double teams, Wade didnt see a double team with Shaq on the floor, and he doesn’t see double teams now with Kobe on the floor…..tell me whats Dwade’s fg% the year Miami won 15 games and he was the best player. Wade didnt get to 50% shooting until LBJ got there, and thats a fact

        http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/wadedw01.html

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        That’s because LBJ showed Wade the secrets. The same ones he showed KD. Kobe is still ignorant of this magic.

      • kb2408 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:36 AM

        Kobe couldn’t shoot 54% in an empty gym but 99.999% of all the lists of greatest players has Kobe rated much higher than Wade. So, what’s your point? You have no point…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:09 AM

        Well he’s not higher than Wade on my list. But no one was talking about greatest players lists anyway. We’re talking about Kobe never being able to make most of his shots, despite him being a gym rat and working on his shot endlessly. He just comes out every year pretty much the same 45% shooter that he’s been for 20 years.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:51 AM

        Uh, I’m against Anti for almost everything he says…

        But Kobe CAN’T shoot threes…

        little thing called stats and basic simple math says he CAN’T shoot threes either…

        In most seasons, Kobe’s 3 pt shooting percentage would ONLY help the bottom team or bottom two teams 3 pt shooting percentage.

        In other words, most seasons, Kobe’s 3 pt shooting percentage would help LOWER 28 teams 3 pt shooting percentage…

        Uh, Kobe, you MISS way too many threes.

        Kobe 2012/13 3 pt % was .324% The ONLY team that Kobe would have helped raise its 3 pt shooting would have been the WORST 3 pt shooting team in the league that season, the Timberwolves who shot .305% as a team from 3 pt range.

        The 29th place team shot .329% from 3 pt range so Kobe’s .324% would have brought them down…

        In 2011/2012 season, Kobe shot .303% from 3 pt range. Again, ONLY the worst team in the league for 3 pt shooting, the Bobcats that year and their .295% from 3 pt range would have been helped by Kobe’s bricks from 3 pt range.

        In 2010/11 season, Kobe shot .323% from 3 pt range and once AGAIN he would have ONLY helped raised ONE teams 3 pt shooting and it was the LAST place team in 3 pt shooting again, the Raptors that season and their .316%

        Notice a trend here? His last 3 full seasons he would ONLY help the WORST 3 pt shooting team in the league improve their team 3 pt shooting percentage.

        The GREAT Kobe would hurt or bring DOWN the 3 pt shooting % for the other 29 teams in the league.

        Kobe IS a great player, but he CANNOT shoot 3’s… clink, clank, clunk…

        Oh, in the 2004 NBA Finals, the 3 time world champion Kobe shot (if you can call it that) .174% from 3 pt range in the Finals. SEVENTEEN percent.

        He only made 4 out of 23 three point attempts in that series…

        Dude CANNOT shoot the 3…

        Sadly, it doesn’t stop him from taking a LOT of 3’s… and his stats show he usually misses a LOT of them…

        When Kobe was 20 and 23 yrs old, he only shot .267% and .250% from 3 pt range…

        Ouch.

        Oh, Anti’s 54% in an empty gym… as far as regular field goal percentage is concerned, Kobe has NEVER had even one season where he shot a true 47%.

        He’s had some seasons where his FG% rounded to 47%…

        Lebron has shot ABOVE 47% from the field EVERY season except for his rookie season.

        LBJ has shot above 50% for the past 5 seasons and the past 2 of them were above 55%.

        Kobe is NOT an efficient scorer.

        NEVER shot 47% from the field, can’t shoot 3’s…

        Kobe is a volume shooter who scores a lot because he shoots a lot…

        People like KD, LBJ and many others score much more efficiently than Kobe does…

        Due to Kobe MISSING so many shots, he has to take a lot of shots or he wouldn’t score so much.

        Others, with as many shots as he’s taken would score a LOT more than Kobe has…

        Give LBJ the number of shots Kobe’s taken and the amount of points LBJ would have scored on those shots would be staggering…

      • moneyz2 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:53 AM

        If Kobe played in the East, would’ve shot 54% in one leg this year…fool

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:12 AM

        Nope. Still 45%.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        The whole point of his first post was to say that Wade never adapted his game and always relied on his athleticism. Kobe and Duncan are two of the best fundamental players, so even when they are broken down, they can contribute on the floor. You guys are not only dumb to think Wade is even in the discussion with Kobe, but you can’t even understand the point of his post, which was about Wade.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        But that isn’t true. Wade doesn’t rely on his athleticism now. He relies on his wisdom and craftiness. He can barely beat anybody off the dribble these days, and yet he is a more accurate scorer than he’s ever been.

      • musician0785 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        and he doesn’t see double teams now with LBJ on the floor*

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        aboogy

        D Wade has the 8th highest PER of all time.

        Kobe has the 20th highest PER of all time.

        D Wade shoots better than Kobe too.

        D Wade IS in the conversation with Kobe.

        Oh, I can’t stand D Wade and the Heat (or Kobe either, or LBJ as MJ is the GOAT…)

        Yeah, D Wade made a mistake all those years ago with his knee… and he’s paying for it now.

        But, to this point in his career, his overall game is better than Kobe’s and that’s reflected in his higher career PER than Kobe.

        D Wade is better than folks think he is…

      • rpmcc116 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        Every time I read your comments I’m taken back, you get more and more delusional. He doesn’t shoot 54 percent cause he’s a jump shooter, he shoots 54 percent based on layups and using his athleticism to get to the basket. Which is not increasing his fundamentals. He’s fallen off lately cause he’s tired and can’t take advantage of it anymore. More to ball than stats.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        He absolutely has increased his fundamentals. And Wade has never been a jump shooter – when he was at his most athletic he was always shooting under 50 percent. He shoots over 54 percent now because he’s become more fundamentally sound with his shot selection and decision making.

  3. 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    LBJ needs some help. This whole team is like a copy of his old Cavs days. Just James and a few people who are supposed to help (Wade/Mo Will, Bosh/ an old Shaq or Jamison) and a bunch of scrubs everyone was hyped on until reality set in.

    Yeah Wade’s aging fast, but what’s Bosh’s excuse for putting up Roy Hibbert #s every other game?

    I’m sure the Heat plan on resigning all 3 in the upcoming offseason, but maybe they should think about cutting bait on everyone not named LeBron.

    I know that wouldn’t happen (especially with their “family” theme) and LBJ wouldn’t go for it, but they are most likely not getting anymore rings with those guys as your main cash cows in the fold. I dunno, you really don’t want to count LeBron out, but it’s not looking good.

    • teabone413 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:06 AM

      i think bosh can only put up numbers when he plays against big who cant handle his quickness. put an agile 4-5 on him, a la diaw, and he cant do crap.

      i use to be a spurs hater but as a bball fan, you cant hate on team play and excellent coaching. big ups to the spurs. they deserve it.

    • heat256 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      No doubt they need to tweak the roster. There will have to be hard decisions on the players, especially Wade and Bosh. I know it’s easy for us guys down in the peanut gallery to talk financial sacrifice, but it’s really the best bet for the team (any team, really) to stay relevant. I think Riley can figure something out with the player’s help, and while no titles are guaranteed, they can stay competitive and hopefully get young legs in.

    • 1historian - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Judging from the look of disgust on Riley’s face last night (I loved it!) I kind of doubt that the Heat plan on resigning all 3 of the big 3.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    **sidenote: I, 00maltliquor, owe ALL you Spurs fans a sincere apology. I counted y’all out before it even began and I even used the term “frauds” when describing all the Spurs teams from THIS decade. I am sorry. Win one more and I’ll be sitting at the head of the table ready to eat your pie of choice, Humble or Crow. I’ll bring the homemade salsa.

    • kavika6 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      Props. I don’t think anyone that really watch the Spurs can find any reason to hate them.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Huge Lakers fan here that can’t stand the Spurs, but you can only respect them. They are the best coached team in the league, the deepest and the smartest team. They are what every other team in the NBA wants to be.

  5. elcaminobilly - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Even the best players occasionally have bad nights on the court. Wade has had these nights before- if I were the Heat. I would not be too worried about one player having a bad night- I would worry though about the entire team having a bad night for the second game in a row.

    • teabone413 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:09 AM

      everyone is entitled to a bad night including wade… but this is just age OR… they jsut know in their mind they cant beat the spurs so theyve just mentally given up.

      at the end of the day, the heat need to play PERFECTLY to beat the spurs and at this point, it shows that they cant.

  6. campcouch - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:19 AM

    Wade and James look heavy out there. Might be time to shed a few pounds for next season…oh and paying Oden to sit on the bench instead of using fouls or perhaps even playing D and grabbing rebounds is nonsense. He may be inspired if he got some meaningful PT.

  7. kb2408 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:27 AM

    I’ve always ranked Pop behind Phil on the Mt. Rushmore of coaches. Not anymore. Pop is the best NBA coach I’ve ever seen. He is better than Phil and Riley, and as you all know, I’m a LAKER fan. I am not old enough to have seen Red, so I can’t speak on him. Yes, a lot of his success is tied to Timmy but tonight Timmy and Manu combined for less than 20 pts, yet the Spurs won in a route. Pop has turned Kawhi into a Pippen clone and Boris Diaw into a poor mans Magic. The job he’s done with the Spurs this season has been nothing short of remarkable. The Spurs are one team I’ve always respected because their excellence demands respect. They don’t make proclamations about winning multiple titles before winning one. And they are the most entertaining team to watch in the league, simply because they are the perfect example of a “team.” I think we all know the Spurs were the best team last year and probably should be one game from back to back titles.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:59 AM

      Prisoner Of The Moment

      But I feel you. Somewhat.

      • spthegr8 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        ^^ All the respect in the world too Pop but, give me Phil. PERIOD!!!! ^^

    • teabone413 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:11 AM

      im on the fence on this one b/c phil did it with 2 teams. dont get me wrong, it’s like pop is 1b to phil’s 1a. they are both right there. i personally tip it towards philjax.

    • aboogy123456 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      I take Phil but the argument I would make in favor of Pop is that he was able to create elite teams with two completely different styles. First, the slow game centered around Duncan in the post. And in the last few years they have played very fast with the offense centered around the point guard and pick and rolls.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      i’m still more towards Phil. He was able to handle extremely emotional players…Pop has all these international players trained very well to follow his schemes. its like PJ is taming a wild stallion (ha. bill n ted) while Pop is riding Seattle Slew…but no diss on Pop in any way. he is the best out there now.

      • spursareold - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        Phil is more like the “player whisperer”. He also has one trick: the triangle. Granted, it’s a pretty damn good trick if you have two All NBA players on your team. I think his biggest shortfall is that none of his coaches ever migrate away and keep a HC job. The Tree of Pop is flourishing.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        Wild Stallions…Bill and Ted…!! LOL that’s a blast from the past!

  8. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:43 AM

    If your coach gives you as many games off as wade gets, just so he’ll be fresh for the playoffs, you damn well better produce every night. Even if your shot’s off, you can do something to help.

  9. cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:03 AM

    He’s done! Only a flopper & whiner now!

  10. nokoolaidcowboy - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    He should have waited until he was older before getting married.

  11. theebadguy - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    Lol at the folks claiming Wade was better than Kobe

    • spthegr8 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      ^^^ It’s F’N Laughable!!! ^^^

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        I don’t find it funny at all. That shows no real knowledge at all. That or it’s just pure Kobe hate and/or Wade fanboydom (did I just make up a word?). That’s like saying Justin Timberlake is better then Michael Jackson.

  12. soopreme - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    At this point Wade needs to become our Ginobili and come off the bench to boost the second unit.

    • redbaronx - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:13 AM

      @soopreme – I’m not sure that’s even possible. I get the feeling from looking at Wade that his NBA days are numbered. He’s a fighter and he must be dealing with an awful lot of mental and physical pain just to be playing. The Heat rested him a good portion of the season and even that wasn’t enough.

      Only Wade could address this issue with the knees, but for his own sake it might be time to retire before he does some really bad damage. If its true that he doesn’t have any cartilage in his knees like Brandon Roy, I really hope Wade thinks long and hard about retiring.

  13. aboogy123456 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Wade gets $20 million to sit out 30 games of the season so he can be ready for the playoffs, and then plays like this in the finals? Everyone loves to hate on Kobe’s contract, but I would rather pay $24 million for a guy who just came off an MVP-caliber season, even if he was injured.

    • spursareold - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      He has a knee that’s essentially bone on bone, so there is that. If he doesn’t get a replacement after he’s done p[laying, he won’t be able to walk without a cane by the time he’s 50.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      aboogy

      we don’t always have to agree, but when you just make numbers up… well I gotta point it out.

      you’re obviously online to post this so LOOK D Wade’s contract up…

      Here is what D Wade made these past 4 seasons since LBJ moved into town…

      Year 1 $14.2 million
      Year 2 $15.691 million
      Year 3 $17.182 million
      Year 4 $18.673 million (this past season)

      He’s closer to $18.5 million than to $19 million… let alone $20 million.

      Oh, D Wade took LESS to bring LBJ and Bosh on board and it got him/them 2 titles…

      Kobe, while still being paid HUGE bucks has whined about not wanting the team to take a step back, wanting to still compete for a championship… yet he didn’t lower his money like LBJ, Bosh and D Wade did to facilitate bringing better players to the team.

      Duncan took a LOT less money when he resigned years ago with the Spurs, $10 million per season average.

      Dirk will be closer to a Duncan like number than to Kobe’s number.

      I don’t want to hear Kobe complain about the team not being competitive when he he could have “only” taken $12 million a season instead of $24 million per.

      $12 million goes a long way to help fill out a roster…

      We hear about benches not being good enough for many teams…

      Well Kobe made the Lakers bench worse… guess the roughly $300 million in on court salary and mostly likely around $200 million more from endorsements in his career wasn’t enough for him.

      Half a BILLION wasn’t enough. He could have said I don’t have to worry about my next meal so let’s take care of the team and go get some better players… I’ll only take $12 million per season.

      Nope, he wasn’t a lot and then he still gripes about them having to be competitive…

      Kobe is gonna be grouchy and cranky this coming season… and that will be on his good days…

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM

        You’re gonna nitpick 1.5 million dollars from 20 million!?? I bet you as deep as they’ve gone in the playoffs he’s already made that extra 1.5 to lift him into that 20 million echelon. You kill me lol!

  14. davidly - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    If it weren’t for Wade, they wouldn’t be in the finals. So there’s that.

    • kavika6 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Doesn’t take much to be the best in the eastern conference.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Uhh..no.

      LBJ would have taken the BOBCATS to the Finals. Guaranteed.

      • davidly - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Go peddle that crap where would count: with anti

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        lol!

  15. turkbox420 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    So are you Heat fans going to be Cavs fans again when Lebron bolts back there to play with the #1 pick and Kyrie? LMAO

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