Tuesday, May 17, 2005

How good is Dwyane Wade?

D-Wade's stock is soaring
Everywhere you look, there's a story about Dwyane Wade, proclaiming him as the best player in the playoffs. Or the best swingman in the game. Or the best player under 25. You get the idea. Wade has taken a great second season to the next level with a string of outstanding playoff performances. But while there is no doubt that he's playing at an amazing level and that he's turned out to be better than anyone (except for me ... no seriously) thought he'd ever be, but is he really THIS good? "The real MVP of the Miami Heat" good? "Better than T-Mac and Kobe" good? "The player that should have been taken #1 instead of LeBron" good?

I say no.

*For the rest of this entry, click on the link "How good is Dwyane Wade?" on the right side of the screen.


Adam Hoff said...

For starters, to anoint Wade as King of the NBA is a bit premature. It's the ultimate example of jumping on the bandwagon, so there is more than enough reason to look into this and make sure we're not getting just a little bit too excited. Beyond that, most of the effusive praise has been based on the two games in which Shaq was out. Granted the Heat won two road games behind Wade's sensational play, but we have to remember ... they were playing the Wizards! It's not as if he went for 42 in a Game Six in Detroit or something. Beyond that obvious factor, here are four more reasons why Wade isn't ready to be "The Guy":

- Too many other stars ahead of him. I'll be the first to admit that I get carried away when someone does well. I want to call them the best and find a way to vault them to the top of one ranking or another. But the fact is that Iverson, Kobe, T-Mac, and LeBron are still ahead of D-Wade on the food chain when it comes to "players under 6'10" - one of the lists that I saw Wade top earlier this week. He shouldn't and probably won't beat out AI for a spot on the All-NBA first team and while his play in round one was good, it wasn't even close to McGrady's production. Hard to see how one series against the Wiz takes him to the top.

- Turnovers. The best players commit higher numbers of turnovers because of the sheer fact they have the ball so much, but Wade's propensity to cough it up is rather alarming. He was second in the league with a whopping 4.2 turnovers a game during the regular season and now leads all players in turning it over during the playoffs at an incredible 5.6 per game. Not only that, but despite the fact that his assists are up during postseason play, his assist-to-turnover ratio is a shoddy 1.49, better than only seven starting guards from this year's playoffs. Adding Anthony Johnson and Antonio Daniels, who have both started multiple games, and you have 26 guards with a better ratio than Wade. Not good.

- The Shaq factor. It might not be fair, but as long as O'Neal is on that roster, Wade can't get the full credit. Teams scout for Shaq, they gameplan for Shaq, and they build their rosters for Shaq. That's a huge advantage for Wade. Not only that, but Shaq's mere presence in the locker room has aided D-Wade in becoming the player that he is today. If Wade can beat the Pistons without Shaq, I'll reconsider.

- The three-point shot. Look, I give credit to Wade for knowing his limitations and not jacking up treys, but that very sentence is a strike against him. If he's supposedly better than LeBron, McGrady, and Kobe, then he shouldn't have any limitations. He was only 13-for-45 from deep for the season and is 1-for-6 during the playoffs. Not being able to consistently draw iron from 24-feet drops you from "best player" consideration. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is.

So while I'm impressed by the 28-8-6 and while I love his style of play and big game ability, I'm just going to have to take a pass on the Wade bandwagon for now. Maybe I'm the only one, but that's fine by me.

Jack Wang said...

I love Dwayne Wade's game, although I think "Flash" isn't the proper nickname. The reason he's so effective is his efficiency, and playing within his game. He's the guard version of Tim Duncan, so I suppose we should call him "Small Fundamentals." He'll throw down a dunk or dish a slick dime once in a while, but nothing that Lebron, Kobe, or T-Mac couldn't do with more flair. He just gets it done.

With all this praise surrounding Wade, I can't help thinking how Kobe and the Lakers must be feeling right about now. If Kobe let Shaq stick around, they might be talking about his brilliance while he leads a team through the playoffs with an injured Shaq. The Lakers are probably wondering if they could have traded Kobe for Wade instead and been the team that the Heat is now.

Adam Hoff said...

Good thoughts ... but is he really better than LeBron, or Kobe, or T-Mac?

Jeff Dritz said...

Dwayne Wade is sick. Much better than anyone expected. He's going to be a superstar for years to come. But is he better than Kobe, T-Mac, LeBron, or AI? Not yet. There's a chance he will be (well, I still think LeBron is gonna be incredible), but he hasn't gotten there. He needs to work on a couple of aspects of his game first. He needs to be able to shoot the three. If LeBron could pick it up in under 2 years, likely Wade can, too. He also needs to cut down on turnovers, though this will come with experience. These are adjustments that will come, and I think we're just getting a peak at how good Dwayne Wade is going to be. He's shown the ability to greatly improve his game over the past couple years, and I see no reason why he can't continue to do so.

Regarding the Lakers, I'm wondering if Phil Jackson is considering returning to the Lakers for any reason other than the fact that he could eventually end up having an ownership interest in the team. He's gonna have to endure some tough times first. Kobe may be willing to accept Phil, but Kobe's shown no evidence of changing his poisonous character that caused this problem in the first place.

Anonymous said...

When talking a great player we must first start with the fact that every one of them has or have had a weakness in their game. Thus, pointing out DWade's weaknesses is irrelevant because I could go down the line talking about any one of the players mentioned weakness as a ball player. DWade is great because...
Ranking him is fruitless because different people use different criteria. The greatness of Wade is in his humility, plain and simple. He has heart, skills, and anyother basketball trait you want to give, but the principle of humility is one that transcends sport. When Jordan decided to get some and follow the words of P. Jackson he not only won but he began to transcend the game. Meaning, how good is DWade is answered in his ability to be honest with himself, others, and allow himself to grow from that honesty.

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