Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
To start off, let me tell you that I am one of the biggest Dwyane Wade supporters on this planet. I defend his game tooth and nail with anyone that argues with me, and used to even argue that he was better than LeBron up until last season. While there is no doubting Dwyane Wade is a superstar, he is hurt, slow, and slumping, and for these five reasons he should be 6th man for game seven.
1. Gives LeBron more space early and often.
It is clear that the Heat have looked like a much stronger team this series with LeBron surrounded by more shooters and with Wade on the pine. The King gets more space to drive as the Spurs must sit outside on the likes of Mike Miller, Ray Allen, and Mario Chalmers and if they don’t, LeBron will find them for an open three or a high potential three.
2. Gives LeBron a chance to rest early and often.
With Wade coming off the bench fresh, it would give Spoelstra the chance to sit LeBron early in the game and early in the second half. Potentially giving LeBron more gas for what could be a decisive fourth quarter.
3. Allows Wade a chance to work with a “4-shooters” lineup
If you look back a few years to when Dwyane Wade was a top tier NBA player you will notice that he was surrounded by shooters similar to the line up LeBron has done so well with. While it was not the likes of Ray Allen and Mike Miller, Rasual Butler, Eddie Jones, and James Posey just to name a few were capable shooters that attracted defensive attention and allowed Wade to slash and dash like he does best. Having Wade come off the bench would allow for this to happen and give him the ability to spread out the floor and shake by Manu and get to the hoop or dish it out for an assist.
4. Wade could get extra knee treatment at halftime
This reason is one that can’t really be proven through numbers or visual evidence but there are instances this postseason where Wade’s ability to get re-taped has shown rejuvenation in his game down the stretch. With Wade as 6th man he would be able to take a longer halftime rest and receive a lot of treatment on his now two bad knees which will give him a freshness that will almost necessarily be needed for the second half.
5. The Element of Surprise
For Spoelstra to make a call like this, while it would need approval from Wade, would be one of the most shocking coaching moves in sports history. To bring a superstar off the bench for the first time in game seven of the NBA finals is surely unprecedented but could pay off in a big way. Even, Pop, one of the greatest coaches of this era would not expect a move like this and would be surprised. This would lead to a need for adjustments similar to game four when Mike Miller was inserted into the starting lineup. The need for these adjustments would almost certainly give the Heat an advantage overall. Also, figuring out how to deal with a fresh Dwyane Wade against the Spurs second line would be interesting to see.
In the end, it is highly unlikely, almost impossible that this would ever happen but it is interesting to speculate. This move could have high potential for scrutiny if it failed but the chances of success based on matchups, surprise, and past history show that it could be a smart move. As far as what will actually happen in game seven, I have no idea, but I do know I’m hoping for a Heat win. If it could go my way, Flash would flashback to 2006 and drop about 50. Here’s to hoping for one hell of a game either way.