Friday, August 15, 2008

Wade-ing Through Beijing

What Dwyane Wade is doing is impressive – maybe not as ridiculously captivating as Michael Phelps, but surely worth watching. In fact, Wade personally reports the swimmer’s success.

Two players stuck out to me in the game against Greece: the high-flying, energetic, versatile Lebron James and the energizer, slasher, defensive guru, D-Wade. The word is he isn’t known for defense in Miami, but don’t tell him that (actually, Craig Sager did, and Wade seemed surprised). His perimeter aggressiveness and execution has been phenomenal, especially against the Greeks who constantly run pick and rolls, back cuts, and ball reversals. Coach Musselman agrees.

Wade is motivated and focused and plays with something to prove. He didn’t like playing third wheel to King James and NCAA champion Carmelo Anthony when they all entered the league. Now, he is coming back from injury and has his sights set on returning to the status that earned him an NBA Finals MVP. I’ve always loved his game and have much respect for him as a player, leader, and teammate. He accepts his role and then performs admirably. (He did miss a free throw box out of the shooter when he first entered the game but then made up for it with a spectacular steal and no-look lob pass to Kobe Bryant for a dunk).

The USA team showed that if it can share the ball (23 assists on 36 field goals) and force turnovers (25 attributed to the opponent) to enable transition scoring, then it may not need to convert free throws (albeit 23 attempts), shoot over 40% from the three (7-20), or out-rebound the other team (38 each).


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