Dwyane Wade rests, he looks rusty, then he has the type of game that reminds you why the Miami Heat’s championship hopes rely on the health of his aging knees, regardless of what the other two-thirds of the Big Three do.
Monday night’s six-point victory was a prime example of that.
Chris Bosh abused the Detroit Pistons; big men with the pick and roll while LeBron James skied for highlight alley-oops on his way to another near triple-double, but most of the postgame talk was about Wade looking like he actually deserves his Feb. 16, All-Star starting spot.
Although his defense wasn’t entirely there, Wade’s offensive touches mirrored what he told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel a day after his victory against the New York Knicks:
“Like I said, coach did a great job putting me in different positions that I haven’t been in since I’ve been back. I’m back in my comfort zone with the offensive package so it was good.”
This is big, because he was able to show a range that Heat fans haven’t, consistently, seen since the 2012-13 season. The type of range that can carry a team despite Ray Allen and Norris Cole doing their best to throw things away.
Wade had his patented pump fake — and get fouled — play going. His cut to the basket game was flowing and his turnaround jumper looked as pure as Allen’s shot should. It was exactly what people envisioned when the Big Three came together, especially the way Wade moved with and without controlling the ball.
He even frustrated Pistons guards by living in the post so much that Heat commentator Eric Reid joked that he “might have to pay rent there.” But regardless of how good he looked in the past three games, Wade still preached caution:
“I can’t ever get too high, and I don’t want to get too low,” he said via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “because this thing (knee) has a mind of its own.”
In other words, we (onlookers) need to not be as critical and try to keep perspective. Wade will probably never be fully healthy, but him at 90 percent is still better than more than half of the two-guards in the NBA. Just look at last night’s 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.