There were all sorts of whispers (and in some corners, some very loud talking) last season about how Dwyane Wade is getting old and starting to slip.
I’m not sure why — his points per game dropped three to 22.1, but he set up teammates more and turn the ball over less, and his PER went up. He missed a few games due to injury, but that happens. Let’s put it this way: Is a guy who averaged 22.8 points per game in the playoffs on a knee that needed surgery after the season really looking old and diminished?
None the less, people are whispering and Wade is being asked about it, but he told Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel he was done talking about it.
“You know what I’ve decided,” Wade said recently. “I’ve just decided not to comment on it any more.”
Well, except for the part where he told you how much that talk pissed off the 30-year-old, who missed 16 of 66 games due to a variety of injuries.
“Any time someone questions you, it’s going to bother you if you have any kind of competitive nature,” Wade said. “It fuels you. You want to see what you’re made of in a sense. You want to come back and not only answer the bell, but do a little bit more than expected.”
Wade’s style of play — few sacrifice their body like him — leads to him getting little nagging injuries over the course of the season. Which for the Heat means they are going to rest him more, they are not playing for February. But to suggest that means he is slowing down is a leap it would be a mistake to make. When healthy, or even close enough to get on the court, he can dominate games. Just because he chose to defer to LeBron James more last season doesn’t mean he’s fading. Make that call at your own risk.