Are the 2012 NBA finals good versus evil?

LeBron JamesThe annual NBA passion play is about to start. I’m talking, of course, about the NBA Finals. This years version has Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh reprising their role as villains and Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook will step in as the basketball savior.

The story goes something like this: the Heat are the basketball equivalent of the Death Star, wreaking havoc throughout the NBA Universe. If they are allowed to win an NBA title all hell will break loose and their reign of terror will last forever. Everything that is good and holy is at stake.

The Miami Heat has assembled a team of mercenaries with a singular focus: bring a title home to the Evil Empire…I mean South Beach. They have stockpiled a team of supreme talent fragile egos that has been the scourge of the NBA. The OKC Thunder, on the other hand, has quietly built a championship-caliber the old-fashioned way, through the draft and nurturing young talent.

It’s a classic tale of good and evil, right and wrong. Read more here…

Is Dwayne Wade done in Miami?

Dwayne Wade

Dwayne WadeImagine being the Miami Heat front office who a couple of offseasons ago allocated just under $300 million for three top-tier NBA talents with the assumption that in return the franchise would be rewarded with “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, and not seven championships,” as per Lebron James.

According to James’ statement, that means his team is capable of winning eight NBA titles.  But as the 2012 regular season comes to a close and the NBA playoffs draw nearer, the heat in Miami has begun to dissipate under storms of failure.

Sure the Heat have won their last three but it was against the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, and Charlotte Bobcats; three teams that aren’t going anywhere fast.  But before those wins Miami had lost five of their last ten with two of the losses coming against the Boston Celtics; a team they could see again in the playoffs.

If Miami continues to struggle into the postseason and fail to be crowned champions for a second straight year, it could likely spell the end of the Big 3.  If that is what it comes down to then expect Dwayne Wade to draw the shortest straw and be the odd man out.

Huh?  Isn’t it Wade’s team?

At one point it was but when he invited James to come join him down in South Beach he gave Miami fans and the Heat organization permission to fall in love with LeBron; and they have.  LeBron has become NBA public enemy number one, but his charisma, athleticism, and basketball savvy is still very attractive; especially in the city that he plays in.  You don’t invite a man who you think you’re wife could fall in love with to come live in your house.   Eventually the two will end up in bed together and that’s exactly what has happened with James and the city of Miami.  Make no mistake about it, the Miami Heat is LeBron James’ team now.

But what about Chris Bosh?  Wade would surely stick around longer than him.

Well if a breakup is approached from a popularity standpoint then yes, Bosh would be the one gone.  But from a basketball perspective Wade is the better choice to leave and here’s why.

First, Wade’s departure would give the Heat a clear identity.  As previously mentioned they are LeBron’s team and with Wade out the picture, James could become the singular centerpiece which in turn, would make the team more effective.

Second and most importantly, James’ and Wade’s games aren’t complimentary.  Neither really plays effectively off the ball and both tend to take pictures while the other is going one on one.  I’m sure it’s out of mutual respect and not wanting to step on one another’s toes but there lies the problem.  Basketball is a team sport and in order for a team to be successful all five players on the floor need to work together like a well-oiled machine.  And that’s not happening for the Miami Heat.

Sure, based on talent alone, the Heat could get hot and win a championship but such a run wouldn’t be sustainable as they are currently structured.  In other words, if they get lucky and win one this year,  their chances of winning another anytime soon are slim and none.  They’re just not built that way.  Removing Dwayne Wade from the equation would definitely help.

Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth

Miami Heat should part ways with Wade

Dwayne Wade

Dwayne WadeThe Miami Heat should part with Dwyane Wade. The Heat play better without him. Wade is injury prone. And above all else, they have Lebron freaking James! The Miami Heat are currently riding an impressive six game winning streak without Wade. NBA teams say that the Heat are extremely dangerous when Wade is not on the floor because they spread the floor more. This leaves more lanes for Lebron to drive to the hoop without it being crowded, and everyone standing around. In the past three games, the Heat have been shooting 32-60, 53% from behind the arc. With Wade not playing, the Heat are spacing the floor, and it gives Lebron the chance to drive and kick to the shooters.

Wade is known for being injury prone. Out of 656 games that he could have played (not including this year), he has played in 547 of them. Looking at that percentage you’d think that’s not that bad, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Wade has always tried to play through his injuries or he has missed a long streak of games. You have to admire Wade for playing through his injuries, but does that help or hurt his longevity in the league? Wade is known for his highlight lay-ups and dunks because of how he charges to the basket but he is reckless, he plays hard, and he doesn’t care how he goes up — or how he comes down for that matter. That’s exciting for Sportscenter, but for an owner that has millions of dollars invested, that’s not something you smile from ear to ear about.

Lebron is known for his famous line “that he’s taking his talents to Miami”, and that’s exactly what he did. Since playing for the Heat, he has shot 51% from the field and averaged 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Lebron, like Wade needs the ball in his hands. He likes to set up the play and create his own shots off the dribble. He doesn’t do well with catching and shooting on the wing, but is working on moving without the ball to create shots. Lebron unlike Wade doesn’t miss games. This guy is as healthy as they come. If you hear of Lebron missing any time, it’s usually because they want to manage his minutes going into the postseason.

Now is the best time for Miami to trade Wade. Every time he gets injured, compare him to a car getting into an accident — his value simply goes down. Trading Wade would bring in depth and valuable players to build around the strong nucleus of Lebron James/Chris Bosh. Let’s face it, much like Brandon Roy, Wade is one good injury away from forced retirement. Wade has been invaluable during his career in Miami, however all good things must come to an end. I know it would upset fans, but Miami needs to trade Dwyane Wade.

Lamont Broadus is a NBA team writer for TSB. Follow him on Twitter @TheSportologist