Dwyane Wade: 3 Skill Advantages He Has on LeBron James
Well, while we basketball junkies wait for a Major League Baseball solution to the National Basketball Association grudge match, the hype fades ever so slightly.
On the bright side, a plethora of interesting topics can still cause nothing less than colorful discussion when it comes to the Miami Heat and its top two options.
To that end, have you guys seen the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers? One word describes him well over the last two seasons, unbelievable.
Well, if Aaron Rodgers is the best out there, that would mean he is better than Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, right? I know it is hard to voice without a sliver of doubt, but it could be possible.
With that in mind most believe that LeBron James is the most complete player in the game. His numbers certainly back up that argument.
Let us just say that Dwyane Wade fits into a similar category with all of his well-documented abilities. For comparison sakes, what exactly does he do better than James?
Wade Is a Better One-on-One Player
Wade and James effectively do the same types of things when not paired on less skilled units.
Both guys make things easier for their respective teammates, setting the table like ball-dominating point guards do.
On a side note, let me clear one thing up for the loyal readers of Bleacher Report. It is impossible for a player to make another player better. I know you have heard this cliché that has been floating around since Oscar Robertson was averaging a triple-double through the course of a season.
All one player can do for another player is set things up for him in the most opportune manner possible. If a player wants to be better, he has to do his own consistent work for his own skill development.
But I digress.
Wade has a rare form of quickness and jumping ability that makes him a nightmare to defend individually. While he is very good on the high screen-and-roll, Wade is equally as dangerous when one defender is tasked to guard him exclusively.
While LeBron is a very good offensive weapon in one-on-one match ups, he does not have the creativity that Wade has. Further, when James’ jump shot is off, he cannot go to a multitude of other options sans pick-and-roll.
Wade Responds to Adversity Better Than LeBron
We all understand that judging what a player has upstairs is hard to do. Still, there are examples.
While I am not in the group of critics that thinks James quit or threw Game 5 against the Boston Celtics in 2009, it was memorable superstar flop.
For some reason, James took just 14 shots, only connecting on three and never looked all that interested as the team took a 32-point drubbing.
To his credit, he did come back with a triple-double effort in Game 6, but that effort did include sub-40 percent connect percentage from the floor and nine turnovers. That series and that one mysterious game has been like a black cloud over his head band.
Add to his outstanding career, two poor NBA Finals outings, and you have the making of a player who some say is more Manning than Brady. Without the lone ring, of course.
In the opposing corner, it is hard to find many games where it appeared Wade was not packing his best stuff when things really mattered.
If you remember, after Wade carried the Heat to NBA supremacy in 2006, his following two seasons were marred by injuries that caused him to miss 62 games. Some were questioning if Wade had peaked and was starting an early slide downward.
We now that was not to be the case. The Chicago born guard bounced back in a major way in 2009, posting an average of 30 points per game in the regular season, and 29 points per game in the Heat’s first round playoff exit.
Wade Is Better Than James in the Finals
Of all the things that these two guys do well, I give the edge to James on most of the major categories. James is a slightly better on ball defender, a slightly better rebounder, a better passer and can certainly do more with less.
Wade does all of those things well, just not as well as James does.
However, Wade is vastly superior in the Finals. We probably do not need to go to the historical numbers for this category, but just to bolster the point, a reminder is in order.
Wade has a Finals average of 30 points per game in two appearances. The championship season represents a feat that no player before him was able to achieve in terms of points per game average, 34.7.
On the other hand, James averaged 19 points per game in an equal amount of appearances.
The discussion about why James is so passive or so average in the Finals is simply an opinionated exercise in futility. What we do know is that Wade is more clutch when it comes the final round of contests.
Heat fans can rest assured. Both guys will look to better themselves in the Finals the next time the Spalding is tossed at half court.