Both players excel at what they do, and both players have experienced success in the playoffs. However, Dwyane Wade has elevated his game to a different level in the playoffs.
LeBron has had several great moments in his playoff career, but has never been able to get his team over the hump. Some people might say that he is a choke artist, while other people would say that he never had a talented enough supporting cast to take the Cavaliers to championship glory.
Regardless of the case, LeBron has no ring on his finger. Wade won a title in just his third year in the NBA and with minimal previous postseason experience.
He made the Heat just the third team in NBA history to come back from an 0-2 deficit in the NBA Finals due to his outstanding performance. His all-around game, tenacity and never-say-die attitude is unique.
Wade offers all the intangibles that are necessary for a team that is planning on a deep playoff run.
While LeBron has better playoff numbers in almost every statistical category besides field goal percentage, he simply hasn't got it done the way Wade has off paper.
And the way that the Heat have been running their offense lately would suggest Wade will be the man in the postseason.
Since the Heat have finally changed their offensive sets, so there is less isolation and more off-the-ball movement, the team has become significantly more efficient on offense.
While it was mainly James handling the ball and having plays drawn up for him in late-game situations earlier in the year, it has shifted to Wade seeing the ball in decisive moments.
LeBron now sets down screens and pick and rolls in order to free up his superstar counterpart to create offense. Since LeBron has started moving without the ball in his hands, Miami's offense rarely becomes dull like it did in the beginning of the year.
James and Wade are used to being the focal points of their team's offenses and dominating the ball at all times. Now that they have paired up, they have to share the ball and be effective even without being the primary threat on every possession.
Since Wade has taken a bigger role as the late-game guy, the Heat have dramatically improved.
In addition to that, it's Wade defense that really makes him the likely choice to be the most valuable in the playoffs.
This is not to say that King James isn't a great defender, because he clearly is. However, Wade's defensive prowess has outshined LeBron's this season.
Wade has shown an excellent ability to shut down the league's top scorers. A prime example is Wade's defense on Kobe Bryant in Miami's two victories over the Lakers this year. But, Wade has made so many additional plays on defense this year that solidify this stance.
Even when Wade struggles on offense (which is rare), he makes his presence felt on defense like nobody else. On Sunday against Boston, Wade only had 14 points, but had a crucial block on Ray Allen that could have brought the Celtics within seven points, and ultimately preserved the game for Miami.
Wade is simply relentless on defense. He pursues his opponent all the way down the court and has great timing when it comes to blocks and steals.
Wade will be impressive on both sides of the ball in the playoffs, but his defense will bring him over the top. LeBron will also be stellar on both sides of the ball, but it will be Wade's late-game clutchness and experience with adversity that will separate him from James.
With a solid team finally around him, Wade will take all of that passion and hunger from previous playoff disappointment and unleash it over the next couple of months.
Wade has proven he can be the best player on the floor in the playoffs, and showcased his ability to take over a series single-handedly. LeBron will have his moments, but will ultimately take a back seat to Wade in the 2011 playoffs.
At the end of the day, Wade is the one with the Finals MVP award.