LeBron James vs Dwyane Wade: Will Round 15 of This Matchup Decide the NBA's MVP?

Mike PiccoloContributor IMarch 7, 2009


Tonight's NBA showcase offers one of the best match-ups in the league. I'm talking of course about league leaders and MVP hopefuls Dwyane Wade and LeBron James going head-to-head.

I'm sorry, of course I meant the Miami Heat going head-to-head with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yet, how can anyone deny the excitement that occurs when these two warriors of the NBA face off; showcasing their respective talents? It Just Can't Be Denied!

I'd like to review a little of the history behind tonight's matchup. Bragging rights are certainly at stake, after all, and this matchup is a bit peculiar when you look at the numbers, since LeBron and Dwyane seem so evenly matched.

While their respective teams have battled each other 17 times since Dwyane Wade and LeBron James entered the NBA in 2004, Wade has not played in all of those games due to injury.

The respective team's record against each other is 9-8 in favor of the Heat. Yet, the matchup between Wade and LeBron is even more level. They have faced each other 14 times, with each coming out victorious in seven of those contests. 

Over those 14 games, LeBron James has averaged 32.2 PPG while Dwyane Wade has averaged 30.4 PPG. They've also both filled up the rest of the stat sheet with incredible numbers, both averaging more than 5 RPG and 6 APG.

Of note is the fact both LeBron and Wade have had four 40+ point games in those 14 battles.

Tonight these two champions and MVP competitors meet for their fourth and final matchup of the season. 

Could this be the last regular season preview of a huge playoff series? Could this be the matchup that decides the NBA's MVP? Could this game be one of the best ever between these two fine competitors?

I'll tell you one thing; this game has all the makings of a hardwood classic just waiting to happen!

Since this is an opinion article, I will give my opinion. I feel Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat have far more to prove tonight than do LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As some of you may already know, Miami is seemingly stuck at the five seed in the Eastern Conference. 

If the Miami Heat do emerge victorious tonight against the Cavs, and the Atlanta Hawks fall to the Detroit Pistons, not only will the Miami Heat capture the No. 4 spot in the East, but a lot of the speculation as to whether they are a playoff-caliber team will be put to rest. 

Tonight the Heat can prove themselves "worthy" as a powerhouse in the East and a serious competitor to be reckoned with in the playoffs.