I watched “The Fault in Our Stars,” a movie based on John Green’s novel, the same day as I watched Game 4 of the NBA finals. My brain put the two together; I like sports – that’s just how it works.
First let’s throw this out: I expected a decent chick-flick, but the movie was good. I almost cried. I didn’t, but almost. Moving on. There were three quotes that made Dwyane Wade come to my mind.
The first was describing how Hazel Grace, the main character, fell in love with Gus, the male lead. She says she “Fell in love with him the way you fall asleep. First, slowly, then all at once.” I’m changing it to D-Wade’s jump shot. He started to lose it slowly, and then all at once.
Dwyane has never been a three-point shooter; his career average is just below 29%. That being said, he usually gets a few up – at least he’s a threat holding the ball out there. Additionally, he knocked down mid-range and deep two’s for a living. His shot chart for this Finals is one big blob around the paint.
Apart from Game 1, Wade has only attempted one shot from beyond the arc this series. His efficiency in general hasn’t been bad, 24-52 on the series, but with the matchups he has – he should be dominating. Which brings us to quote number two.
Keeping in mind it is still a sappy chick movie, the second quote goes something like this: “You don’t have a say weather you get hurt in this world or not, but you do have a choice who hurts you.” Miami is too talented to not score.
LeBron James, Chris Bosh, D-Wade, Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Chalmers/Cole (one of them can usually get something going), you have to pick your poison is my point (mainly, the key is just to turn the “big three” into a “large two”) - and the Spurs have chosen to let Dwyane Wade hurt them.
I’m convinced every team in the NBA shows film, but the Spurs are one of the few teams to actually watch it.
Gregg Popovich’s defensive strategy on Wade has really just been this: don’t guard him. You can sugarcoat that however you want, but watch the game – that’s what is going on. If he is at the three point line, BORIS DIAW guards him standing in the paint. When he gets in the paint, the bigs just put their hands up. If he sets a screen for Ray Allen, both Spurs go with Allen. This gives up 4-6 points a game on slips, but those are points Pop is willing to part with, not letting Allen get going from deep.
You can tell my disappointment in Wade’s winning of his matchup by the way I capitalized Diaw’s name.
Out of the two, I didn’t think that Wade would be the one to look old, out of shape and slow. Hell, I watched a few possessions in Game 4 where Tiago Splitter guarded Wade. The only thing he should find more insulting is the fact for a few minutes the Spurs put Marco Belinelli on him.
His PER (player efficiency rating, if you just clicked on this article because you thought it had to do with “Fault in Our Stars”) is -44. That’s astonishing. He assist to turnover ratio is currently at negative three as well, and he is being put under a magnifying glass defensively because of how well Diaw, Ginobilli and Green have been playing.
So, what’s the rub? Zach Harper from CBS Sports made a point that spoke volumes. He asked the question: “When’s the last time anybody cared about what Dwyane Wade has done?” You laugh, but it’s true. Typically, if Wade plays bad the response is: “Eh, no problem. He’s aging, that happens, Lebron will pick up the slack” or something along those lines. If he plays great: “Well sure D-Wade went off, it’s easy when you are that talented and everyone is focusing on Lebron.”
Those are obviously exaggerations, but you see the point; he matters now – and as Harper said, for all the wrong reasons. Bringing us to the last quote.
“What a slut that time is, she ends up screwing everyone.”
I, you, we, the world, thought that if anything the Spurs would be the team playing old man ball, the team that needed to rest their legs, the team that time would and was wearing down. And while it seemed towards the end of the season, Dwyane had adjusted to his knees, body, and figured out how to be very effective for this Heat team, that was apparently a facade.
Old man Tim Duncan looks rested – and why not, they didn’t even need him last game. He pitched in ten points in a blowout victory. Parker and Ginobilli are playing some of the best ball they have played in a while. You see where this is going, No. 3 appears to be the only one looking his age.
So, maybe time does screw everyone, and it will get to the Spurs sooner or later, but right now she has her hands full with Dwyane Wade.