Pop quiz: Who took more three-pointers for the Miami Heat this regular season, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh?
Bosh—and it wasn’t even close. The 6’11″ center’s 2.8 attempts per game nearly quintupled the rate of his 6’4″ teammate. Dwyane Wade is a “shooting” guard in name only. People say Rajon Rondo doesn’t shoot, but, next to Wade, Rondo looks like a gunner (3.0 per game vs. 0.6 per game in 2013-14).
Wade is 32. For 11 years he’s let freakishly large men take shots at his body. You’d think, like the way your grandma took up green tea to ease her arthritis, Wade might pick up shooting—if only to be less of a target.
But no. Wade is defiantly reckless, seeking out the basket with seemingly little concern for the consequences, immediate or future. So while his scoring has slipped with age, his style remains. Here’s a look at how he does it.
Here, Wade catches the ball on the perimeter and makes a halfhearted effort at an upfake. OK, halfhearted may be generous—at best he takes a glance at the rim. Either way, it’s clear to everyone in the arena that Wade, as soon as he catches the ball, has one destination in mind: the basket. Paul Pierce either missed the memo or doesn’t much care for help defense, and Wade finishes with a layup.
Floater in the Lane
When help does arrive, though, Wade has a weapon at the ready: his floater. Wade is capable of both driving baseline and nailing the runner or, as we see here, cutting down the center of the lane, stopping on a dime and lofting a short jumper.
In the Post
Wade is not the strongest player to set up in the low post, but he holds his own. Thanks to his patience and his wily footwork, Wade can find ways around his defender—or, in this case, both of them.
Sometimes it helps to have the best player in the world on your team. Notice here how all five Indiana players turn their attention to LeBron once he starts to attack the basket. Credit goes to Wade, though, for recognizing when his defender’s attention is elsewhere. As soon as his defender steps toward LeBron, Wade breaks to the basket for an easy bucket.
No other team runs the fastbreak quite like the Miami Heat. That’s true, in part, because of James, who keeps the poster business thriving. It’s true, too, because of the chemistry between Wade and James—the two play hot potato until one has an easy dunk. But Wade can also do it all by himself, finding crafty ways to finish at the hoop in transition.