This email comes to us from Bert L., who is more than a little frustrated with Dwyane Wade's shot selection at the end of Game 4. Bert writes:
WHAT WAS THAT AT THE END OF THE HEAT LOSS TO THE KNICKS? Wade is not even a good 3-point shooter. Never mind that Lebron, the best player in the planet was just standing around by design being a decoy so that an erratic 3 point shooter fires a 3 point fade away while being well defended as time runs out.
A couple of more play designs like this at the end of games, with Lebron told to stand to the side as decoy, and you will have another disengaged Lebron like the one that showed up after the 3rd Quarter of the second game in last years finals vs. Dallas. He needs to take over games or you will have a disengaged Lebron.
This team will lose its biggest games on a last shot the same way again and again as it lost the less important ones during the season trying to satisfy Dwayne Wade's ego and Wade's love affair with off balance fade away jumpers when the situation calls for attacking the basket and at least get a foul, particularly against less athletic players as it was vs The Knicks.
If this was a one time occurrence, OK, but... I saw Wade do the same thing in 3 or 4 other games during the regular season, time after time, and he did not make good in any of those last shot fade always which the Heat loss those games in the last shot. In one game, against a tired and reeling Orlando, Wade was given the whole floor, everyone to the sides, isolated against J.J. Reddick, one of the worst defenders in the league, and he had the whole lane on either side to just drive to the basket and instead Wade did his dribble-dribble-dribble that every dime a dozen player would do and when the whole World was expecting a drive past Reddick he turns and shoots that same off balance fade away from the left side of the key, a difficult and long shot at any point in the game. HE MISSED, HEAT LOSS AS THE CLOCK RAN OUT. He did it again twice during the next week or two when I was watching the end of games.
Wade's ego is immense but it is a very dumb ego. He does not recognize the situation at hand and selects playground fade away glory shots instead of what can tie or win the game. He has great potential to be a closer but he lacks the smarts as his dumb ego won't let him go with the right play.
Thanks for the email, Bert. It did seem like a puzzling call to leave LeBron out of the final play considering LeBron pretty much took over the final two minutes of the game. But Wade did have 11 points in the fourth quarter, so he was pretty hot as well. Why not incorporate both players on the last play, say...with a pick and roll.
Wade's shot selection at the buzzer was another head scratcher. He was driving to the lane but hesitated after losing his dribble. In a panic, Wade retreated backwards to create some space and lofted up a prayer. With Tyson Chandler out of the game (he had fouled out at that point), I understand the call to send Wade inside. He just needed to finish the play.