Monday, June 16, 2008

Best NBA Finals Performer? Dwyane Wade!

At long last, a credible source to back what was deemed a regional argument. Yes, Dwyane Wade's performance in the 2006 NBA Finals was the most spectacular in Finals history, including the six from Michael Jordan.

In an ESPN exposee, John Hollinger (noted stats guru) places Wade as #1 on the list of top 50 Finals individual showings. This is why I've always maintained that no matter how ineffective Dwyane Wade was when hampered by injuries the last two seasons, the Heat would NEVER TRADE HIM under any circumstances, and certainly not for Chicago's meager offer.

Here are a couple excerpts:

"For the series, Wade averaged 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals -- and this in a slow-paced series (neither team cleared the century mark in regulation in any of the six games). His basket attacks were so deadly because the Mavs couldn't stop fouling him. Wade shot a whopping 97 free throws in the six games -- the most of any player since the merger -- including 25 in Game 5."

Perhaps Mavs fans can start attributing the FT frequency to his incredible speed and agility? There may have been a couple borderline calls, but nearly all of them were legitimate calls. People tend to forget that.

"Overall, Wade's 33.8 PER is easily the best of any Finals performer since the merger. While it seems strange to have somebody besides Michael Jordan in the top spot, the truth is Jordan never dominated a Finals to this extent. At the time, many called Wade's performance Jordanesque. It turns out they might have been selling him short."

And that makes John Hollinger a superstar on The South Florida Fan list of noteworthy sports journalists!

One additional note: As we watched King James struggle in last year's finals and Kobe Bryant sputter despite playing on the superior team (he can't blame his teammates anymore), why wouldn't you want Wade on your team most of all? When it truly counts, he's the guy. Don't ever forget those 2006 Finals. Wade is the premier player in this game when he's healthy.


E.J. said...

I sincerely consider it one of the top 10 joys in my life's history that I got to see Flash play in person in Gms. 3 and 5 of the NBA Finals. It was a veritable clinic in basketball, clutch performances, and leadership.

ASponge said...

I didn't know you went to those two games! Wow...that's really incredible.

E.J. said...

I cannot wait to have to scramble to find white shirts again!

ASponge said...

Did you think it was a foul in Game 5? What was the mood at the arena?

E.J. said...

The mood was simply of awe. We were all too paralyzed from the dazzling display of spins and maneuvers and sheer force of will to make a reasoned judgment on the question. When you were there, it was all going so fast, hearts were racing, and instead of looking up at the replay screen people were turning to their neighbors and saying to each other, "Did you see that?!?!"