Miami Heat: 10 Reasons Dwyane Wade Is Overrated
Dwyane Wade is one of my favorite players—his killer instinct, his flashy play and his tenacity are all reasons why.
However, at times, I have noticed that many of Wade’s inadequacies are ignored because of his prior accomplishments.
As a result of this, many overrate him.
Here are 10 reasons why Dwyane Wade is overrated.
He's Not as Clutch as We Thought
Because he has hit game winner after game winner and carried his team to wins in improbable situations, Dwyane Wade is known as a cold-hearted killer in the clutch.
But, according to the clutch stats on 82games.com, Wade’s reputation as one the most clutch players in the league isn’t fully justified.
This season, Wade scored 27.9 PPG per 48 min of clutch time, which was well below league leader Kyrie Irving’s 56.4 PPG per 48 min.
During the past three seasons, in fact, Wade hasn’t been in the top 20 in points per 48 min of clutch time.
Furthermore, Wade has been relatively turnover-prone during clutch situations—he turned the ball over 2.7 times per 48 min of crunch time this season, 3.0 times per 48 min last season, and 4.3 times per 48 min in 2009-10.
In addition, during the past two postseasons, Wade is 0-for-4 from the field under 24 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime in game-tying or game-winning situations.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that Wade is one of the most feared closers in the game because of what he has accomplished, but he is slightly overrated because of his lack of production in crunch time over the past three years.
Many respect Dwyane Wade’s offensive game because he is efficient.
His career field-goal percentage is 48.6 percent, which is impressive considering his size and position.
However, field-goal percentage isn’t enough when we consider how efficient Wade is on the offensive end.
One important statistic we can use to determine offensive efficiency is points per possession (PPP).
Wade’s PPP this season was 0.96 which was 96th best in the league, behind players like Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki, and James Harden—each of these players had a lower field-goal percentage than Wade this season.
Creating for Others
In terms of assists, Dwyane Wade has been considered as adept at getting his teammates involved—he has averaged 6.2 APG in his career and about 5 per game this season.
Assists, however, aren't the best way to judge a player's ability to create good shots for others.
PPR (Pure Point Rating) is a metric developed by John Hollinger that is used to measure a player’s ability to run an offense and create good opportunities for his teammates.
Wade’s PPR this season was 1.20 per 40 min, which was well below Jose Calderon’s league-leading 11.39 rating.
Wade has never achieved a PPR higher than 3.83 during his career, and his PPR has been negative twice during his career.
Clearly, Wade isn’t as great at creating shots for others than we thought.
Dwyane Wade is known for his outstanding ability to attack opposing defenses and score at the rim.
Although Wade is often successful when penetrating, he has tendency to turn the ball over—either the defense strips it away, or Wade desperately throws the ball to a covered teammate after getting caught in traffic.
Dwyane Wade is widely considered as one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and this label can be easily justified.
Wade is a great shot-blocker, especially for his size—in fact, Wade was the only shooting guard in the league to average over 1 BPG.
In addition, Wade led all shooting guards in defensive plays—a metric that takes steals, blocks and charges into consideration—with 3.12 per game.
Although these numbers lead one to believe that Wade is an outstanding defender, they are somewhat misleading.
Wade’s defense is a bit overrated because he takes too many risks.
Many of Wade’s best defensive plays come from playing the passing lanes.
While playing the passing lanes often result in steals, it also often frees Wade’s man for an open jumper, and the stats back this up.
According to mysynergysports.com, Wade allows 0.94 PPP (points-per-possession) off of open spot-up jumpers, which ranks him 188th in the league.
Wade’s defense didn’t necessarily contribute to very many wins, either.
His defensive win share this year was 2.9, which ranked him 27th in the league—not necessarily an elite number.
Many perceive Dwyane Wade as a valuable player because he is a major reason why his team wins games.
While Wade contributes to wins, his value is somewhat overrated because he doesn’t contribute as much as one would think.
His offensive win share—a statistic that measures the number of wins a player contributes because of his offense—was 4.8, which ranked him 21st in the league.
This number was a lot lower than Chris Paul’s league leading 10.4 offensive win shares.
Wade’s value on the defensive end is somewhat overrated, too.
Wade’s defensive win share this year was 2.9, which ranked him 27th in the league.
Mistakes Are Pushed Under the Rug
Because has led a team to an NBA title, Dwyane Wade is often held in high regard.
However, this often leads many to overrate him because many of his mistakes are disregarded.
Many times this season, especially during this year’s playoffs, Wade has missed free throws down the stretch of critical games—Wade has only shot 69 percent from the free-throw line during the postseason.
For example, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics, Wade missed a free throw with 47 seconds remaining, giving the Celtics an opportunity to tie the game.
Additionally, in Game 2 of Eastern Conference Semis against the Pacers, Wade missed a driving layup that would’ve tied the game with 15 seconds remaining.
Neither of these mishaps were emphasized at all—instead, they were pushed under the rug.
Wade is a great player but he is not flawless, although many tend to perceive him that way.
Incidents of Being a Dirty Player
As I stated before, Dwyane Wade is held in high regard in the basketball community.
Not only is this because he is a winner, but he also shows a tremendous amount of class in interviews, etc.
However, many tend to overrate Wade’s reputation as a "classy" guy.
In fact, there have been many instances where Wade has displayed himself as a dirty player.
Dislocating Rajon Rondo’s elbow, breaking Kobe Bryant’s nose during the All-Star game and violently shoving Darren Collison during the playoffs are all valid examples.
Dwyane Wade is tremendous leader based on the fact that he has carried teams to victories, most notably a championship in 2006.
Nonetheless, Wade’s leadership can be seen as a bit overrated based on the verbal spat he had with Erik Spoelstra in front of his teammates during a nationally televised game.
Wade’ leadership can be questioned once again based on his performance in the 2007-08 season when the Miami Heat had an embarrassing record of 15-67.
Wade only played in 51 games that season and the Heat won only 11 of those games.
In addition, Wade’s win share per 48 minutes was 0.082, which ranked him fifth on the team.
It’s unfair to blame the team’s abysmal season on Wade, but it seems that a player of Wade’s caliber would be able to lead his team to a better record than what they had.
One thing that can never be taken away from Dwyane Wade’s legacy is that he won the NBA’s ultimate prize: a championship.
Wade was absolutely outstanding in the 2006 NBA Finals—John Hollinger ranked his finals performance as the best ever.
Because Wade won a championship, he will always be held in high regard in the basketball world.
However, because the 2006 Finals will always be remembered for its poor officiating, Wade’s performance in the Finals can be unfortunately seen as overrated.
Wade’s numbers in the 2006 Finals were transcendent—he averaged 34.7 PPG and had a PER of 33.8.
However, much of his success can be attributed to the number of calls he got from the refs—in a crucial Game 5, Wade shot as many free throws as the entire Mavericks team combined.