Take a wild guess at how many three-pointers Dwyane Wade made in the regular season. Need a hint? How about I tell you what some other notable shooting guards did: Ray Allen led the NBA by connecting on 269 treys, while Kobe Bryant placed eighth with 180. Vince Carter nailed 125, Manu Ginobili hit 83 and Rip Hamilton converted 55.
So where does Wade fit in? You might be shocked. Wade, the media's favorite son for his acrobatic drives and killer crossovers, hit just 13 three-pointers in the regular season. In fact, in his three years in the league, Wade has combined for just 42. Maybe he's just young, maybe he'll get better with time, right? Perhaps, but so far in his career, his three-point shooting percentage has declined from .302 as a rookie and .289 last year to .171 this season. BootlegSports discusses Wade's poor production from long-range:
Sure, he can dunk, dribble and occasionally pop the mid range jumper while racking up plenty of rebounds and assists on his way to playoff lore at the ripe old age of 24. He’ll even garner some MVP votes along the way, get patted on the back for his defense. Heck, I saw a commercial that congratulated him for standing up after falling down. Pin a blue ribbon or purple heart on the boy.
Just don’t ask him to shoot the three-pointer with any intent.
Of the 30 starting shooting guards in the league, 29 of them have made more triples than this guy. And that list includes Larry Hughes (27 triples despite being limited to 33 games due to injury), Kareem Rush (who was cut last week after hitting 57 triples) and Kurt Snyder (44 triples to his credit while averaging only 8 ppg).
In 78 games this year, Wade has made 13 triples.
Last year, he made 13. The year before that, he made 16. In 211 games over his career, this two-time all star has a total of 42 three-pointers.
Raja Bell of the Phoenix Suns has 186. This year. Gilbert Arenas had 38. Last month. Ray Allen made 11. Last week.
So what, right? Wade is still one of the best players in the game, and even without the ability to hit a three-point shot he still ranked fifth in the league by averaging 27.2 points per game. And if the opposition wises up and plays back a bit to defend against his penetration, well, I still think Wade's devestating crossover will enable him to continue getting to the hole like no other, since he very well may have the best handle and moves in the league. That should keep him among the league's top five scorers . . . when he's on the court.
See, the thing is, I can't help but watch Wade's acrobatic highlights and think that he's going to be the next Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill or Tracy McGrady -- great players who broke down in the midst of their prime due to injury. There aren't many players in the league that take as much abuse driving the lane as Wade does, and marketing schtick aside, his "fall seven times, stand up eight" commerical is completely misleading: he's averaged 11 missed regular-season games in his three years in the league, including seven this year. And during the Eastern Conference Finals last year, he was forced to watch Game 6 from the sidelines, watching his less-talented teammates lose perhaps the most important game in Miami Heat history.
Why am I bringing this up? Because I'm fairly confident that the Pistons will face the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals once again, and it still bugs me to no end when I hear people say the Heat would have advanced to the Finals last year had Wade not missed Game 6. Look, Wade misses games, it's just what he does. Saying otherwise is like suggesting Oliver Miller could have been Ben Wallace had he not eaten a bucket of KFC for lunch every day.
If/when Wade limps into a re-match with the Pistons this year, I hope the national media doesn't once again act surprised that he couldn't make it through a seven-game series. I don't want to sound delusional (I'll be the first to admit that Wade is a scary-good player when healthy), but it just seems that the public at large has developed a glaring blindspot to an obvious deficiency in his game, which is rare for a player with as much exposure as his.
Ratting Out Dwyane Wade [BootlegSports]