People can say what they want about LeBron James, but there is no denying that he left everything he had on the floor during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. His game-high 31 points and 10 rebounds showed that he was prepared to do anything in his power to ensure the Miami Heat continued playing. Unfortunately, no one else on the Heat played the same way, specifically Dwyane Wade.
It is not as if Wade had a horrible postseason; he averaged 17.8 points per game, which was higher than last year when Miami won it all. The big issue with him was that he refused to show up in Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals when his teammates needed him most. Scoring 10 points and 11 points respectively on a combined 20.0 percent (5-for-25) from the field is simply not going to get the job done. In fact, it is downright unacceptable in games of such magnitude. On top of that, his defense was horrendous, which allowed the San Antonio Spurs to exploit Miami on consistent possessions.
The assumption for Wade’s poor performance is that he was forced to deal with a physical injury. It is no secret that his knees are going on him, which will almost certainly end his career sooner than anticipated. However, the shooting guard insisted that it was not anything physical that caused him to essentially let his team down.
“I just struggled a little bit,” Wade said, according to ESPN. “As I told you guys, I’m never going to point at anything physically. I felt fine. I just struggled a little bit offensively. You know, I wish I could have done more, but it’s the nature of the game. So [it’s] nothing physically at all.”
One has to respect how Wade refuses to take anything away from what San Antonio accomplished by blaming his dismal play on an injury. With that being said, there is no denying that something was wrong, especially since 2014 was by far the worst NBA Finals performance of his career.
When it comes down to it, Miami sports fans will forever be indebted to what Wade has done for the city. At the same time, winning only two championships in four years has to fall short of what the Big Three expected when they came together a few years ago.