It’s not the Pacers. It’s not the Bulls. It’s not the Bucks.
At this point, it’s Dwyane Wade.
Wade is struggling to score in these playoffs, and his knee seems like a logical explanation. He’s not moving particularly well, and that hasn’t changed regardless of opponent.
Three of Wade’s four lowest-scoring playoff series have occurred in 2013.
Wade is scoring fewer points per game and per minute and attempting fewer free throws per game and per minute than any other postseason in his career. He’s struggling to create for himself, though LeBron James is keeping the Heat afloat.
LeBron has become an absolute offensive terror inside. He’s shooting 69-for-
Part of the reason LeBron has been so successful near the rim is Miami’s outside shooting spaces the floor for him. The Heat have attempted 3-pointers on a higher percentage of their playoff shots than any other conference finalist.
But Wade doesn’t help there. He’s taken only one 3-pointer in the entire post season.
That partially explains why the Heat have a better offensive rating when LeBron plays with Shane Battier (111.3), Mario Chalmers (111.3) or Ray Allen (115.9) than with Wade (110.0).
There’s no doubt Wade is more talented than Battier, Chalmers and Allen, but if Wade can’t show it, he’s not the best fit with LeBron.
This puts even more pressure on Chris Bosh. When Wade shoots 5-for-15 in Game 4, Bosh scoring a playoff-low seven points on 1-of-6 shooting won’t cut it.
Bosh and LeBron are good enough to carry an ailing Wade into the NBA Finals if they’re firing on all cylinders, and that might be what they need to do.
The Knicks did well to part ways with Phil Jackson, but where does New York go from here?
Masai Ujiri? David Griffin? Someone else?
Kurt Helin breaks down Jim Dolan’s options – and the approach the Knicks owner should take.
Soon, Sacramento will add a highly paid young player to the group: Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose rights the Kings acquired when trading down from No. 8 with the Suns in last year’s draft.
Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:
Because Bogdanovic was drafted three years ago (No. 27 by Phoenix in 2014), the Kings can exceed the rookie scale to sign him.
Bogdanovic is a talented 24-year-old, but this deal removes much of the value usually tied to rookies on cost-controlled scale contracts. It’s hard to see Bogdanovic’s production exceeding his salary over the next four years.
Still, what else was Sacramento supposed to do with its cap space? Just getting Bogdanovic to jump from Europe might be worth it. The Kings already have more cap flexibility than they know what to do with – especially after letting Ben McLemore become an unrestricted free agent.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
Sacramento took McLemore No. 7 in the 2013 draft then spent the next four years watching his value depreciate.
Teams will line up to take a flier on him. Will someone pay him as if he’ll pan out even a little? That question will drive his unrestricted free agency.
Now what for the Clippers?
They have two options: One, tear it all the way down and rebuild.
The other: Re-sign Blake Griffin, run the offense through him and put his underrated passing skills to the test while surrounded by shooters.
The Clippers are opting for door No. 2, at least for now, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
The fundamental question is: Does Griffin want to stay? The Clippers can offer more money and a larger contract, five -years starting just shy of $30 million a year. However, he will have good teams from the East calling. Miami is interested, and they have a strong point guard in Goran Dragic, a good wing defender in Justise Winslow, and a guy inside who can defend, rebound, and finish dunks in Hassan Whiteside. Plus, no state taxes on all that new money. Also, Boston (if they strike out with Gordon Hayward) and other teams will come calling. Griffin will have options.
If Griffin does stay, this could be interesting if the team is built right. Griffin is an underrated passer and playmaker — he averaged more than five assists per game last season, and that was with Chris Paul on the team. The Clippers would need to use him sort of like Denver uses Nikola Jokic, running the offense through him out high where he is a threat to score from with a midrange jumper, put the ball on the floor, or make a pass. Griffin would need to be surrounded by shooters and guys willing to work off the ball, such as J.J. Redick. Who is almost certainly gone.
If Griffin leaves, the Clippers don’t have much a choice and will have to start shopping DeAndre Jordan around and rebuilding the team (they got a fairly good haul for CP3 for that, considering the situation, Sam Decker and Montrezl Harrell are good young players who can be part of a rotation). Then Los Angeles will have two rebuilding teams, and that always makes for a great rivalry.