Dwyane Wade comes up big in return to South Beach
Dwyane Wade only scored three points in his South Beach return, but his quiet shooting night didn’t define his game.
Wade didn’t start for Miami, but from the second he removed his warmups and set foot near the scorer’s table, Heat fans showered him with a standing ovation. The crowd erupted in cheers when he entered the game off the pine in the middle of the first quarter, and the genuine love surrounding the historically elite shooting guard could be felt through the television set.
Although Miami didn’t look to Wade to score points in bunches in his homecoming, when they needed him most, the 12-time All-Star came up big. D-Wade’s lost a few steps in recent years, but that didn’t stop him from turning back the clock to deliver a huge block in transition with just about 34.8 seconds left in the game.
The American Airlines Arena shook with applause when Wade came up with the game-saving block and his key defensive play in the closing seconds of the second half led Miami to a 91-85 victory. The contest was sloppy on both sides of the ball for both teams, but Wade’s return home couldn’t have been much better.
It’s unlikely the surefire Hall of Famer will be focal point of the Miami Heat’s offense for the remainder of the season. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking their deal with Cavs at the deadline was for kicks and giggles.
The Wade reunion was about much more than the sentiment of Wade walking off into the sunset in the twilight of his career as a member of the Miami Heat. He’s no longer the same player that fans dubbed The Flash, but the Heat need him now more than ever.
Just over a week ago, Miami sat in fourth place in their conference, though thanks to their poor play of late, that ship has sailed. Fast forward to a few days later, and they found themselves teetering dangerously close to the edge of playoff purgatory without a clear cut leader to direct them in late-game situations.
That’s where Wade comes in. He’s a two-time NBA champion and a proven closer. While he won’t win you a game down the stretch with his offense, his leadership is invaluable to a team that struggles to finish close contests.
Wade will probably never be an All-Star again, but at this stage in his career, he still has the capability to be the Miami Heat’s MVP.