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NBA Miami Heat

2014 NBA Playoffs: Dwyane Wade’s Defense Is Becoming A Liability For Miami Heat

Shaun Livingston

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to LeBron James, the Miami Heat have an opportunity to be the first team to advance to round three. More importantly, in some people’s minds, this is a chance for the champs to finally throw dirt on the hole that they pushed Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett into in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.

But none of that may happen if Dwyane Wade cannot find a way to get his rhythm back. As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman said, he “has not been able to blow by even older Nets.” However, his offense has not really been the issue. Besides a few turnovers here and a couple sloppy plays there, he has been pretty good, averaging 16 points, four rebounds and five assists on 49 percent shooting.

The problem has been Wade’s defense. Those older Brooklyn Nets players that he’s having trouble blowing by are somehow using their slow-footed shuffles and rudimentary dribbles to go pass him with ease. And it really doesn’t help that Shaun Livingston, who is listed as three inches taller than him but 45 pounds lighter, has been abusing him in the paint.

He needs to focus on working to prevent the lanky Livingston from getting the ball, and not by using his signature gamble plays that he doesn’t seem explosive enough to pull off and take the other way. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Wade spends a majority of the game laid out on the floor complaining, while Brooklyn breaks their necks to get down the court and swing the ball to open 3-point shooters.

It’s a serious liability that could grow from a concern to a problem if he refuses to get his head in the game — or if his body doesn’t allow him.

Richard Nurse is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.