Does Miami Heat Success Without Dwyane Wade Prove He’s Expendable?

November 20th, 2012 by Ethan Sherwood Strauss Leave a reply »
Let me be clear: The Heat are not better off without Dwyane Wade as we know him. The fear is that some day, possibly soon, the Heat will be better off without Dwyane Wade as we HAVE known him. 

This fear was amplified when a gimpy Dwyane Wade struggled as the Heat got blown out by the Clippers, followed by Miami surprisingly besting Denver off the Mile High back-to-back last week. Teams that fly west to Colorado on the B-to-B usually disintegrate upon arrival.

Though Miami is good, and Denver is mildly disappointing this season, the win was quite unexpected. 

The Heat have a great backup plan in Wade's absence, as the spread pick-and-roll runs beautifully when orchestrated by LeBron James. With Wade out, Miami surrounds LeBron with shooters and lets him run a better version of what he did in Cleveland.

This fits with the "space and pace" philosophy that animates the Heat. The offense is predicated on slashing and shooting. Wade does the former splendidly, but he's the rare Heat player who falters at the latter skill. 

It works better than what the Cavs did, in part, because James plays power forward here, further ...

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