Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/11/12

Dwyane Wade has been facing some constant criticism for his play this season, but has turned in two strong performances in a row in wins over Atlanta and New Orleans. LeBron James seems to have noticed his teammate’s improved play, and the star didn’t hold back when asked what Wade’s recent hot streak means for the team. “It means Charles Barkley needs to shut up,” James said. “I mean, [Wade] is shooting 80 percent from the floor the last couple of games. That’s like, crazy, right? That’s why he is who he is. Unbelievable.” Wade scored 26 points with 4 rebounds and 4 assists against the Hawks, after dropping 26 points on the Hornets on Saturday. That comes after the guard struggled against the Knicks and Wizards, leading Barkley to surmise that the 30-year-old Wade is no longer the elite player he once was. “The toughest thing when you’re a great player or very athletic, when you can’t jump over a building anymore, you have to learn how to play,” Barkley said during a TNT broadcast of Miami’s game against the Spurs. “He’s starting to lose his athletic ability,” Barkley continued. “He’s not the same guy. I got a look at him in person. He doesn’t explode anymore and he’s shooting a lot of fadeaway jumpers.” While Barkley might end up having a valid point about Wade aging, it didn’t show on Monday night. Still, if there’s anything we’ve learned about Barkley as a analyst, it’s that “shutting up” is definitely not in his repertoire.

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