Dwyane Wade Starting to Heat Up for Miami Heat
After a simply awful month of November in which he posted career lows and had people questioning his standing in the league, Dwyane Wade is finally starting to get back on track for the Miami Heat and looks like the player we're all accustomed to seeing.
Wade averaged a woeful 17.1 points per game, while getting to the free-throw line just 4.6 times per game in the first month of the season, as he appeared to be a shell of his former self.
However, Wade was able to answer his naysayers and turn up the heat over the past month-and-a-half as he found his rhythm in December.
Since that vast improvement in December, when he shot a stellar 54 percent from the field, he has continued his rise at a torrid pace.
Hopefully you weren't too comfortable calling Wade past his prime, because the former Finals MVP is looking scary better as the season progresses.
Need proof that he's heating up?
Wade was averaging 22.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game to go along with 51 percent shooting from the field in his previous 10 games entering play Thursday night.
All statistics are as of January 9, 2013.
Wade's Offensive Game Is Back in Shape
One of the primary criticisms regarding Wade this season has been his scoring, or lack thereof.
Wade's 17.1 points per game on 46 percent shooting were concerning, but his shot selection and inability to get to the rim were even more troublesome in November.
Wade endured by far his worst game of the 2012-2013 season in November against the L.A. Clippers, posting six points on 20 percent shooting, to go along with five turnovers. He also turned in an eight-point performance on 3-of-15 shooting against the Memphis Grizzlies two games earlier.
But, how the tide turned in December.
Wade exploded on the very first day of December, scoring 34 points against Brooklyn, for his best offensive performance of the season.
In total, Wade averaged 22.1 points per game in December on a ridiculous 55 percent shooting from the field, while also getting to the line much more at 6.8 trips per game.
With seven games of 24 points or more in December, it's evident Wade's scoring abilities are back to normal rates.
Wade Looks More Explosive
Another knock on Wade this season was his lack of explosion.
Over the past decade, we've seen Wade showcase a unique athletic ability that included highlight reel after highlight reel of dunks and acrobatics.
However, since last season's playoffs, Wade appeared to lose that wicked first step and jumping ability that made him so dangerous.
Now that he has moved past his offseason knee surgery and appears to be fully recovered, Wade has been much more explosive in the past month-and-a-half.
From a nasty baseline dunk against Brooklyn recently to the speed and explosion he showed in the highlight above, Wade seems to have most of his freak athleticism back.
Wade's Confidence Is Back
Not that he really ever had a reason to lose it, but Wade's confidence looks to have returned in full force.
Regardless of what he says, you know Wade was bothered by all the chatter surrounding his "demise."
When just about everyone, including Hall of Famers, are starting to talk about a decline in your game, it has to affect Wade's mentality in some manner.
But, Wade has responded to that doubt with huge numbers and a rapid improvement in his all-around game in the last six weeks.
He bumped up his scoring by five points in December and did it at a way more efficient clip.
Fueled by the doubt and a never-waning confidence in himself, Wade regained his swagger.
Dwyane Wade Is Especially Heating Up from Beyond the Arc
Wade has never been a great three-point shooter, but he's stepped up his perimeter shooting big-time in December and January.
Wade shot a pitiful 17 percent from deep in November, but began working with a shooting coach to help his stroke.
It certainly worked.
In December, Wade improved his distance shooting to a healthier 33 percent mark.
However, it's been the current month of January that's been really kind to Wade in terms of the long ball.
Wade went off against the Indiana Pacers Tuesday, pouring in a season-high four shots from beyond the arc. All in all, he's shooting 6-of-11 (55 percent) from three-point land in January and has a greatly improved shooting touch.
Wade Has Looked Even Hotter in January
Wade has certainly carried the momentum from December right into January.
After stabilizing his numbers in December, he looks to have completely regained his form in the new year.
Through four games, Wade is averaging 23.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block per game.
He's also continued his career-best shooting season with a 51.6 mark from the field and 55 percent from beyond the arc, while upping his free-throw trips to a season-best 7.3 attempts per game.
Wade's accomplished those numbers while playing 35.5 minutes a game, his most playing time this season.
In the wake of the Heat's rebounding troubles, Wade has stepped up his effort on the glass as well, evident by his 27-point, 10-rebound performance against the Mavericks to begin the month.
He also posted his second 30-point game in Miami's loss to the Pacers.
Wade finally appears to be healed from offseason knee issues and to have regained his dynamic skill set. Wade's increase in scoring, returned explosiveness and efficient shooting should shut the naysayers up for now.