Dwyane Wade Flop: Are Heat Better Without Him?

Dwyane Wade has been fined $5,000 for his Game 2 flop against the San Antonio Spurs. And deservedly so. The NBA says flopping is illegal and has tried to curb the act by fining players when they do.

And Wade's Game 2 flop was a doozy.

Although it came against Manu Ginobili, a man who has used flopping as the seeds to a Hall of Fame career. So, karma and all that.

Some have suggested that players who flop should be suspended a game.

If that were the case, would Wade's flop deserve a game suspension? And if so, would that be such a bad thing for the Heat?


The question of the Heat being better off without Wade has been floating around since last year's Finals, when the Heat were statistically atrocious with him on the floor, as opposed to without.

We even suggested Wade should play fewer minutes in last year's Game 7. He didn't. He played great. The Heat won. And the Heat Fan Cops came at me hard with their proverbial batons and tasers.

But it was clear in the overall picture of the 2013 Finals.

The Heat was much better off without Wade against the Spurs last year.

With both LeBron James and D-Wade on the floor, the Spurs blew a hole in the Heat to the tune of 57 total points.

Oddly, when Wade was on the bench and LeBron was operating without him, the Heat blew out the Spurs by the same margin -- 57 points.

The conclusion: The Heat were -57 with Wade but +57 without him.

But that was last year. Is the same happening this year?

It's hard to tell after just two games.

In Game 1, Wade dropped 19 points on 8-for-18 shooting. Not great, but not bad either.

He was also able to display his usual spectacular athleticism, like this:

But most of the damage came in the first half, when he was able to get to the line and slash into the paint, like we've been used to seeing. This was helpful when LeBron was on the bench resting.

But as much as the lack of A/C took LeBron out of the game with cramps, it also seemed to sap all of Wade's energy as well. With LeBron out, it was Wade's time to step up and take charge.

He did not.

Moreover, the Spurs went on an insane 39-1 run, mostly due to Wade's lack of closing in on guys like Danny Green, who hit three after three, breaking Miami's back. As a result, Wade's offense also suffered.

Wade's performance in Game 2 was even more troubling.

Take away his game-sealing layup from a brilliant Chris Bosh pass in the fourth and all we'd remember from Wade in that game was his flop. Some reported on Twitter that Wade had tweaked his bad knee before halftime. And maybe that played a role.

But it was clear that the Heat was running much smoother on both sides of the floor when he was on the bench.

Part of this is that the Heat has always had much better spacing whenever it was just LeBron, Bosh, and three-point shooters on the floor. Wade tends to get caught in isolation plays on offense and is notorious for staying back and arguing calls with refs while the rest of his team is playing four-on-five defense on the other side.

Couple that with his often seeming out of place on defense and losing his man and the Heat has struggled. And against a well-oiled machine like the Spurs' offense, those little things make for huge wounds.

Should Wade be suspended for his flop? No. The Heat flop, sure. But like everything else, they're unfairly targeted as the worst offenders when the Spurs have two of the all-time floppers in Ginobili and Tony Parker (as well as The Man Who Has Never Fouled Anyone In His Life Tim Duncan), while a team like the Indiana Pacers led the league in flopping fines this season.

But should Wade play fewer minutes?

Two games into the Finals -- and much like last year's Finals -- all signs seem to be pointing to YES.

Now watch him drop 25 points on our asses tonight.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph