Dwyane Wade won a 2006 NBA title driving, getting fouled, and dishing out to hot shooters on the perimeter. Oh, and there was that Shaq guy and some interesting officiating, but Wade’s relentless attacking and smart playmaking were what got the Heat their first title.
The 2012-13 Heat are not going back to that — this is LeBron James’ team now — but at moments it could look a little more like it. This summer the Heat went out and got sharpshooters Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis (who hasn’t been quite as sharp lately) to go with Shane Batter, the somehow healthy Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers and three-point contest champion James Jones.
The Heat have shooters to space the floor and Wade told Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel he is excited about the possibilities. Last year he started to develop some chemistry with Shane Battier during the playoffs.
“I think I did a little bit in the Finals,” Wade said. “With the matchup problems, sometimes I drove just to get guys shots. So I knew that once I drove, that bigger guys who were guarding Shane were going to come to the rim and protect the rim. Shane had a lot of open shots…”
“My mind frame a lot would be when I get to the paint, when I attack, sometimes I’m going just to draw the defense, knowing I’ve got the shooters and I need to get my shooters shots,” he said. “I can always get my own shot. But when I’m in the game, my mindset is, ‘OK, I need to get these guys going,’ because they’re going to get things open for everyone.”
I don’t need to remind you what happened in Game 5 of the finals when Millers mind overcame his body and he started draining threes. If the Heat get consistent scoring threats from outside their big three they become nearly impossible to defend.
We will see how much of drive-and-dish Wade we really see during the season, it’s not going to be 2006 redux, but it’s another potential way for Miami to take advantage of matchup problems. And they create a lot of matchup problems.