Dwyane Wade has been a starter 907 times in his 938-game career, but the veteran is most comfortable coming off the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Wade said he prefers the reserve role because it allows him to take enough shots to find a rhythm. Rather than creating an All-Star-filled lineup when Isaiah Thomas returns, Wade wants to keep his spot.
“I’m good where I’m at. The problem would only be worse when Isaiah comes back, because he’s going to need his shots. Where I am now, it’s working for me and for this team.”
During the first three games of the campaign, Wade connected on just seven of his 25 attempts from the floor. He managed a total of 17 points and 10 assists while committing eight turnovers.
Since then, however, the Marquette product has come off the bench. Wade is shooting 48.1 percent with averages of 12.9 points and 3.9 assists while guiding the second unit. He’s reached double figures in 13 of 20 appearances.
As a starter, Wade mustered a 93.8 offensive rating with a 102.3 defensive clip, per NBA.com. Otherwise, he’s recorded 114.6 and 103.5 marks — meaning Cleveland is 19.6 points better per 100 possessions when he watches from the sideline initially.
Since the Cavs began their 12-game winning streak, the Wade-led group has notched the fourth-best offensive rating among NBA benches.
Every aging superstar must eventually confront the reality his role needs to change, and Wade’s sacrifice has clearly paid off for both sides.