Photo: Wikipedia/Keith Allison
Though LeBron James takes most of the headlines surrounding the Miami Heat, the poor play of Dwyane Wade throughout the 2012 playoffs is proving to be a huge problem for Miami.Wade struggled again in game 1 of the NBA Finals — and whether he is feeling the effect of long minutes, or still recovering from a knee injury — Wade simply wasn’t himself last night against the Thunder.
Wade didn’t shoot the ball well all night, but it was where he was taking shots from in the third quarter that killed the Heat offence and allowed Oklahoma City back in the game.
After shooting 3-for-8 in the first half, Wade’s shooting percentage plummeted to 28% after the third quarter. He took four jump shots outside of 18 feet away, two of which came with over half the shot clock remaining.
Take a loot at Wade’s shot chart for the third period:
The Heat should be alarmed that this has been a trend all summer for Wade. According to ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh, Wade took 44% of his regular season shots outside of 10 feet, but that number has ballooned to 52% in the playoffs.
That Game 6 in Indy was the only time in last 33 games that Dwyane Wade scored more than 30 points.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 13, 2012
Though the efforts of the ferocious Oklahoma City defence should be recognised, Wade made it easy for the Thunder by settling for long jumpers, rather than slashing to the rim — or giving the ball up LeBron James or Chris Bosh more often.
James was 4-for-6 in the quarter, while Chris Bosh missed the only two shots he took, one of which was an attempted buzzer-beater 3-pointer.
With the Heat misfiring from the field, the Thunder exploded in the third quarter for 27 points, erasing the seven-point Miami lead and turning it into a 1-point Oklahoma City advantage.
With a raucous crowd behind them, that’s all the Thunder would need in the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook caught fire, and Oklahoma City snatched game 1.
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