In 2006, he shone on the NBA’s brightest stage and led the Heat to their first championship. Eight years later, that light has considerably dimmed and it may have cost Miami more than just their third consecutive title.
The San Antonio Spurs made short work of the Heat, knocking them out in just five games. Dwyane Wade’s obvious deficiencies, both offensively and defensively, were a key factor in Miami’s demise. Before the Finals began, Wade claimed to be healthier than he had been at this same point last season, the result of a year-long “maintenance program” that allowed Wade to miss a game of most back-to-back sets and led to playing in just 54 regular season games.
But Wade’s production contradicts his self-assessment, as he scored just over 15 points per game against the Spurs, shooting a woeful 44%. He was also terrible defensively, less the result of his aching knees and what seemed more like plain lethargy or laziness. This video of Wade’s defensive lowlights has made the rounds but really show how far the former superstar has slipped:
As teammate LeBron James was forced to carry the load as he had all season, and with Chris Bosh struggling and role players not, well, playing their role, it became evident that Wade’s presence was more of a problem than a solution.
Here’s a look at what Wade can do to help Miami next season and beyond.