Thunder vs. Heat: LeBron James Must Demand a Better Performance from D-Wade
Dwyane Wade has shot under 40 percent in two of three NBA Finals performances thus far, but that may not be the worst of it.
Missed shots can be forgiven, but a lack of effort at this point in the postseason is an unpardonable offense. ESPN's John Hollinger noted Wade's antics in Sunday night's Game 4:
Bosh was on Harden because Wade jogged back after he didn't get call. Uh-gain.— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) June 18, 2012
This isn't the first time we've seen Wade prioritize his beef with an official over getting back on defense. Nor is it the only occasion in which he's been sidetracked by confrontations that stand little chance of helping his team.
Wherever his mind is straying, it's taken more of a toll on his personal performance than his team's—at least for now.
Despite his productivity, he wasn't shooting efficiently, nor was he holding onto the ball—especially in the fourth quarter when he incurred four of his five turnovers.
By almost any measure, it's not that Wade is having a terrible series. He's still playing like an All-Star, and his team does have a 2-1 lead in the 2012 NBA Finals.
But, he's not playing like Dwyane Wade—not the one we've come to know. There's neither the dominance nor the interest in taking games over, even for a few select moments at a time. No one in his or her right mind would would expect Wade to try and overshadow James.
That's not the issue.
The problem is that even James needs some help. Miami's two victories haven't come as easily as OKC's Game 1 win. That has to be of some concern, even for a team that could claim a title by winning its next two games at home.
If Wade is truly content to let LeBron lead his team, he should also follow LeBron's example.
Whether that translates into playing better, it should at least mean playing with more focus.
These finals are too golden an opportunity to let things like officiating get in the way of effort and disrupt the poise of someone as outstanding as Dwyane Wade.
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