10 Greatest Playoff Performances of Dwyane Wade’s Career
Dwyane Wade: Top 10 Playoff Performances of Career
The 2013-14 NBA season has been an interesting one for Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade. Voted as a starter in the Eastern Conference for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, Wade’s production when he’s been on the floor has certainly warranted that type of recognition, especially in a down year for the conference.
However, the interesting thing about Wade this season is the fact that he hasn’t been on the floor quite as often. The Heat came into this season with the goal of saving Wade’s legs for another postseason run. After his knees somewhat betrayed him in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, Miami is trying to avoid that dilemma and keep their star guard fresh and healthy.
As a result of the Heat’s plans for Wade this year, he’s played only 32 games this season and has averaged only 33 minutes per game. He’s been playing phenomenally, averaging 18.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game while hitting 53.8 percent of his shots, but his workload has noticeably and intentionally dropped.
When on the floor, we all know that Wade can still get the job done at a high level. However, we are also increasingly becoming aware of the fact that the 32-year-old Wade may not have as many years left in this league as fans of good basketball would like for him to. Subsequently, now becomes a pretty good time to reflect on all that we’ve seen from Wade over his career.
Obviously Wade would have made a name for himself in any capacity because he’s that talented. However, one of the ways he earned the mystique that he has is due to his proficiency in the postseason. With three rings on his fingers, Wade obviously knows how to get the job done in the playoffs, but he’s also had some great moments along the way. These are Wade’s 10 best playoff performances of his career.
10. 2009 Eastern Conference First Round Game 3
In the 2009 postseason, Wade didn’t exactly have a lot of help on the Heat. That didn’t stop him from trying his mightiest to get out of the first round over the Atlanta Hawks. Though Miami ended up dropping the series in seven games, Wade’s game three was a beastly performance as he put up 29 points, eight assists, seven boards, one steal and a ridiculous four blocks on 47.6 percent shooting and going 4-8 from three. It was a masterful performance that kept the Heat fighting.
9. 2006 NBA Finals Game 5
In game five of the 2006 NBA Finals, the Heat needed a win to take control of a tied series. Wade certainly delivered on what Miami needed in that overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Playing 50 minutes, Wade put up 43 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. He shot only 11-28 from the floor, but the fact that he got to the line 25 times and knocked down 21 of those attempts is an achievement impressive in its own right.
8. 2005 Eastern Conference Finals Game 2
Back when the Detroit Pistons had their resurgence in the mid-2000s, they were clearly the kings of the East. However, Wade and the Heat gave them all that they could handle in the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals, stretching the series to seven game before ultimately falling. Game 2 was Wade’s crowning moment in the series, though, as he finished with 40 points, eight boards, six assists, one steal and two blocks on 15-28 shooting and with no three-point attempts on the way to a 92-86 victory.
7. 2011 Eastern Conference First Round Game 3
In the first year of the Big Three in Miami, the team spent much of the year trying to establish a pecking order and ultimately fell short of winning the title. In their third game of the postseason and in their series with the Philadelphia 76ers, Wade performed beautifully as he put up 32 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two blocks on 10-19 shooting and perfect 12-12 free throw shooting. The Heat went on to complete a gentleman’s sweep of the Sixers and moved all the way to a Finals loss eventually.
6. 2005 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 2
On their run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2005, Wade had plenty of ridiculous performances. None were as ridiculous as game two in their second round series with the Washington Wizards when Wade put up 31 points, 15 assists and seven rebounds along with three steals and two blocks. Sure, Wade had seven turnovers and shot just 11-19 from the charity stripe, but all of the other things he did outweighed that as the Heat moved towards a sweep of the Wizards.
5. 2013 NBA Finals Game 4
As I said before, Wade was banged up for much of the 2013 playoffs and seemed to be more of a burden than a weapon for the Heat. In game four of the Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, though, Wade dug down deep and performed like a star. Helping the Heat tie the series at two games apiece, Wade put up 32 points, six rebounds, four assists, one block and a ridiculous six steals on 14-25 shooting. He’s had better statistical nights, but the situation surrounding this game made his performance that much more impressive.
4. 2010 Eastern Conference First Round Game 4
Game four of the first round of the playoffs against the Celtics in 2010 was the lone win for the Heat and it came on the shoulders of Wade. With little-to-no help, Wade exploded for 46 points, five boards, five assists and two steals while shooting 16-24 from the floor and 5-7 from the three-point line. Wade and Miami were eliminated two nights later, but Wade saving face was beautiful at the time.
3. 2006 NBA Finals Game 3
With the Mavericks up 2-0 in the 2006 Finals, Wade and the Heat desperately needed a win. What did Wade do? The guard came out and dropped 42 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals on 14-26 shooting and 13-18 shooting from the foul line. Wade’s big game started him getting to the foul line relentlessly for the rest of the series, but it also wasn’t his best game of the Finals.
2. 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 6
In 2012 on the way to the Big Three’s first, they were met by a young, hungry Indiana Pacers team that gave them all that they could handle. Trying to put the Pacers in away in game six, Wade came up hugely with 41 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals while shooting a crazy 17-25 from the floor. Not a bad way to make a statement an move on to the Finals.
1. 2006 NBA Finals Game 6
The fact that this game sealed Wade’s first NBA Championship adds to the impressiveness of game six of the 2006 Finals, but his production itself was also quite staggering. In 45 minutes, Wade put up 36 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks while shooting 10-18 from the floor and 16-21 from the foul line. While his numbers were great, though, him holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time ices this cake.