Miami Heat: Which Wade-James Alley-Oop Was Better in Win over Portland?
The Miami Heat are putting on a show at the moment and if you've been missing it, then you've been missing out.
Behind the play of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat offense is high-flying and almost impossible to stop.
Just ask the Portland Trail Blazers, who became the Heat's latest victim and the latest to receive the Wade-to-James alley-oop punishment.
If you missed it, the game featured two incredible alley-oop passes from Wade and two brilliant finishes from James.
And whilst the talk is sure to flow thick and fast and SportsCenter is sure to show the highlights, we've got to break down which of the alley-oops was the most impressive out of the Portland game.
To do that, we're going to use three categories: preparation for the oop, pass, and finish.
With that, let's take a look at the plays.
Alley-oop #1 — Dwyane Wade to LeBron James
For all those who haven't seen it, watch the incredible play here. Yup. It's pretty good.
In terms of preparation, it's a very nice play by Wade. The read and steal is a great play alone, and the quickness he shows to get down the court and turn it into a three-on-one makes the play excellent.
The pass—well, it's a no-look alley-oop, which I can't even do on NBA 2K12, let alone in real life. He's in a nice position knowing that James can go up and get it no matter how high it is—even still, the pass is really the feature of the play.
And the finish comes in the only fashion that LeBron knows how and that's with a hard finish. He doesn't miss those, and especially not when the build up play is so solid.
Overall, it's a 9/10 for preparation, 9/10 for pass, and 8/10 for finish, giving our first alley-oop a very respectable final score of 26/30.
Alley-oop #2 — Dwyane Wade to Lebron James (again)
The second play can be viewed here via the NBA website and again, we'll go through our three categories to rate another incredible Wade-James combination.
The preparation sees James tip up the rebound and then find Wade open in the corner. It's not as great a play as the first dunk, but still solid enough. He did have three other guys heading down the court with him, and made the right pass to Wade.
Then comes the pass, which, in my book, is a better pass then the first alley-oop.
The finesse and deft touch shown by Wade that features in the second play doesn't exist in the first—he simply just throws it up there in that one. In this one, it's an inch-perfect pass that floats perfectly above two Portland defenders.
Which alley-oop was the better play?
And the finish as well is first-class from LeBron and doesn't feature his dominant slam for a change. Instead, King James plucks the ball out of the defender's reach, and the uses his momentum to take him past the man. Following that comes a lovely little bank in off the backboard, and once again, the home fans are silenced.
Overall, I give it a 7/10 for preparation, 9/10 for the pass and 10/10 for the finish, giving our second alley-oop also a final score of 26/30.
Overall, which is the better play?
Both alley-oops are incredible plays and it's moves like these that continue to make the Miami Heat an unstoppable force and the Wade-James combination one of the most deadly duos in the league.
As for the better dunk, I'm leaning towards the second one, simply because it features skills that Wade and James don't often feature in their alley-oops like finesse and deft touch.
I guess I'll leave it up to you to make the final call.
Read more articles by Dan here or follow him on Twitter: @dantalintyre
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