Every player in the NBA believes that they are, “that guy,” who deserves to be called the MVP, but becoming the most valuable player doesn’t mean just scoring a lot of points and ending the season with an above 500 record. Earning the MVP title places you in an elite class in the NBA, and it symbolizes your ability to make those around you better.
[Insert Dwayne Wade here]
Wade has proved to be “that guy,” and in the past few games, he has shown himself to be “The Man” in the NBA. Beginning with his monster game against Chicago where he scored the winning basket in double overtime to go along with his 48 points, four steals, and 12 assists, stretching to the Heat’s most recent win over the Boston Celtics where Wade had 32 points, four steals, and seven assists.
These are no ordinary statistics, and Wade has shown that he deserves the be this year’s MVP.
Flashback to last season when Wade was injured and Miami had ultimately turned themselves into the laughingstock of the NBA with a 15-67 record. Because of Wade’s absence, Miami became dead last in the league’s standings, and their games looked like train wrecks from start to finish.
Fast-forward through the summer when Wade played on the “Redeem Team” to help the USA win gold in the Olympics, and take a look at Miami now.
They look like a completely different team. Granted, they’re not going anywhere far into the Eastern Conference playoffs, but Wade has turned a horrible team into a playoff team over a single summer.
There’s no denying that LeBron James is one of the best players in the NBA today, as evident in his three straight triple-doubles, all resulting in wins for the Cavaliers. There’s also no denying that James has forced the Cavaliers to bring in better players, as evident in their roster.
James has the help of four other All-Stars, including Ben Wallace and Mo Williams, which has lessened the need for him to carry a huge burden on the court to help his team win.
Wade, on the other hand, has a shallow bench in Miami, but has still managed to get his team to become the fifth seed, ahead of Detroit, in the Eastern Conference. The lack of depth from Miami’s bench has definitely forced Wade to make more baskets, and he has stepped up to the challenge.
Wade is the league’s leader in scoring, averaging 29.4 points per game and 7.7 assists. Wade also has the ability to make others around him better, as seen in Udonis Haslem’s field goal percentage.
Haslem is now shooting 51 percent from the floor, as opposed to his 46 percent last season.
The Heat’s acquisitions of Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon have helped Miami slightly, but they are no comparison to the help that James is receiving in Cleveland or the supporting cast that surrounds Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. And still, the Heat are in the playoffs.
Bottom line: Wade has single-handily taken a team filled with amateurs and turned them into a middle-seed in the Eastern Conference. Wade should be this year's MVP based on his performance and explosive energy on the court when it matters most.
When the playoffs begin, the 2009 MVP, [Insert Wade here], will be receiving a well-deserved trophy that publicly separates him from being a basketball player, to a basketball star.