Looking at the box score from the Miami Heat‘s 92-84 Game 2 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Dwyane Wade overall had a very balanced stat sheet. Wade ended the game with 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and one block, which on paper looks like the veteran shooting guard had an overall dominating game. Numbers can be deceiving, though, especially in the NBA.
Through the first half of Game 2, Wade had missed six of his seven shot attempts, only scoring two points and really struggling to get his offensive game going. Wade was also allowing his defense to slip as well, letting Shaun Livingston score 15 points with ease through the first half. Although Wade was doing plenty of positive things in the first half, the numbers just didn’t dictate any success.
It wasn’t until the beginning of the fourth quarter that the Heat finally saw the dominant version of Wade they had all been waiting for. It started with a post-up against Mirza Teletovic, which resulted in Wade getting an easy floater in the lane. Shortly after this occurred, Wade stole the ball from Kevin Garnett and made an easy 20-foot jumper over the outstretched hands of Joe Johnson. This stretched what was a measly two-point lead into a six-point jump at the eight-minute mark.
One of Wade’s biggest contributions on the night, however, came in the last minutes of the fourth quarter when he tipped out a jump shot LeBron James had missed, grabbed the rebound and dished a no-look pass back to James for an easy layup. This was part of the one minute, 40 second long possession the Heat had down the stretch of the fourth quarter that all but sealed the fate of the game.
What makes Wade so vital for this Heat team is his flexibility. When his offensive game isn’t going, Wade makes up for it by becoming a stealthier defender, more avid passer and more aggressive rebounder. Wade decided to put his stamp on the game primarily throughout the fourth quarter, and it is one of the major reasons the Heat are heading to Brooklyn up 2-0 in this second round series.