Dwyane Wade’s struggles putting extra pressure on LeBron James and Chris Bosh
It’s not the Pacers. It’s not the Bulls. It’s not the Bucks.
At this point, it’s Dwyane Wade.
Wade is struggling to score in these playoffs, and his knee seems like a logical explanation. He’s not moving particularly well, and that hasn’t changed regardless of opponent.
Three of Wade’s four lowest-scoring playoff series have occurred in 2013.
Wade is scoring fewer points per game and per minute and attempting fewer free throws per game and per minute than any other postseason in his career. He’s struggling to create for himself, though LeBron James is keeping the Heat afloat.
LeBron has become an absolute offensive terror inside. He’s shooting 69-for-97 (71.1 percent) in the restricted area during the playoffs. Nobody else in the top 50 of shooting percentage in the restricted area has attempted as many shots there as LeBron has made.
Part of the reason LeBron has been so successful near the rim is Miami’s outside shooting spaces the floor for him. The Heat have attempted 3-pointers on a higher percentage of their playoff shots than any other conference finalist.
But Wade doesn’t help there. He’s taken only one 3-pointer in the entire post season.
That partially explains why the Heat have a better offensive rating when LeBron plays with Shane Battier (111.3), Mario Chalmers (111.3) or Ray Allen (115.9) than with Wade (110.0).
There’s no doubt Wade is more talented than Battier, Chalmers and Allen, but if Wade can’t show it, he’s not the best fit with LeBron.
This puts even more pressure on Chris Bosh. When Wade shoots 5-for-15 in Game 4, Bosh scoring a playoff-low seven points on 1-of-6 shooting won’t cut it.
Bosh and LeBron are good enough to carry an ailing Wade into the NBA Finals if they’re firing on all cylinders, and that might be what they need to do.