LeBron James Scrutiny Fades, All Eyes on Dwyane Wade

Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterJune 14, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JUNE 12:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder posts up Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter in Game One of the 2012 NBA Finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 12, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Has Dwyane Wade's free pass finally disintegrated? Was it snuffed out by an astounding Game 6 performance from LeBron, on the heels of an MVP campaign and altogether brilliant playoffs?

It certainly feels that way, as Wade's play has slipped, as his comments get more scrutiny. As Dan LeBatard once put it during the Indiana series, Wade's "free pass has limits." The same radio host is making frequent references to how "LeBron is carrying Wade around like a bag of sand" on his popular Miami radio show. 

It's not without cause. Dwyane Wade keeps having bad halves. His jumper is off, he's shooting poorly and often from outside. In Heat playoff losses, Wade is hitting 39 percent of his shots and scoring only 19.3 points in 41 minutes of action. In last year's playoff losses, he hit half his shots and scored 24.4 points in fewer minutes. 

So, perhaps now is the time that the burden finally shifts, that the public analyzes D-Wade the way they've picked LBJ apart. It's not necessarily fair. The Heat shooting guard has a balky knee and has proven himself in the past. But in the blame game of sports analysis, it looks like the target is finally on a different Miami member.