Dwyane Wade is playing hurt, and it’s killing the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
The sample size on these mind-blowing stats from Hardwood Paroxysm writer Jared Dubin is small. But the point is clear, the Heat are way, way better with Wade on the bench right now:
- Miami had an offensive efficiency of 92.0 with both LeBron and Wade on the court in Game 6.
- Miami had an offensive efficiency of 143.3 with LeBron on the court and Wade on the bench in Game 6.
- For the entire series, Miami has an offensive efficiency of 100.8 and a defensive efficiency of 112.7 with both LeBron and Wade on the court.
- For the entire series, Miami has an offensive efficiency of 131.7 and a defensive efficiency of 89.5 with LeBron on the court and Wade on the bench.
Basically, the Heat are terrible when Wade and LeBron play together, and unstoppable when Wade is on the bench.
This isn’t to say Wade is a bad player. He’s just hurt, and the Heat are much more deadly when they replace him with a 3-point shooter who can space the floor.
Spoelstra benched Wade for the majority of the fourth quarter in Game 6. During that time, the Heat turned a 10-point deficit into a 2-point lead. When Wade came back, San Antonio went on a run that nearly won them the title.
We might see Wade’s minutes cut even more in Game 7.
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