Imagine having the luxury of being able to tell the face — of the last 11 years – of your franchise to take the night off because you have two other stars that can handle things tonight.
That’s the blessing that the Miami Heat were granted when Chris Bosh and LeBron James decided to join Dwyane Wade in South Beach. It’s also a move that has frustrated fans of the team, since the second game of the season.
Critics and commentators both questioned what Wade’s constant absence would do to the team’s chemistry. And at times their uneven play looked affected. But there truly is no doubt that being part of Erik Spoelstra’s maintenance plan has set D-Wade up to finish the year strong.
“He’s in a great rhythm right now,” James said via ESPN. “It starts with his health. He’s not 100 percent, obviously, but he’s got his legs under him and a bounce to his step. He’s playing his game, and he’s not second-guessing it. And it’s great to see.”
However, it looks like we will not be seeing it in back-to-back games for the rest of the season. Instead, Wade will likely choose to sit out matchups against weaker opponents (tonight’s Charlotte Bobcats) in exchange to making an impact against the league’s top contenders (i.e. tomorrow’s Houston Rockets).
Again, this is a strategy that might not be pleasing to the eyes of Miami fans, but it has been crucial to Wade shooting a career-high 55 percent from the field — while pushing his post All-Star game averages up to five rebounds, six assists and 21 points, on 62 percent shooting.
But let’s be honest, if the Bobcats get the win tonight every inch of criticism will find its way back — regardless of Wade’s killer stats.