Dwyane Wade Flop: Are Heat Better Without Him?

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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.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph