Big time players make big time plays in big games.
For Dwyane Wade, the entire postseason has been that sentence.
During the entire series against the Toronto Raptors, we’ve all been reminded that Wade himself is still one of the most fierce competitors in the league. Wade, who’s now going by the hilarious moniker “Father Prime” looks closer to Optimus Prime. Wade’s leading the
Autobots Miami Heat and he’s doing it while looking like he’s 24 and not 34.
Wade on Saturday had yet another memorable game against the Raptors. With a knee injury to Hassan Whiteside in the second quarter and the Heat facing a nine-point deficit entering the third quarter, Wade arose. At the end of the third quarter, the Heat were tied 68-68 and Wade was the sole reason for that. Battling against Toronto’s Kyle Lowry who had 12 third quarter points, Wade finished with 18 points in the quarter and by the time the quarter ended most of the fans in the American Airlines Arena were on their feet.
“It’s just about seizing the moment. It’s different than my other years…Now I’m that guy and I have to lead these young guys” said Dwyane Wade.
Due to the fact that the Heat are down 2-1 in the series, and missing Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside, the organization will need him to play at his best if they want to win. The good news is this postseason has been a bit of a flashback for Wade. To those who looked at Wade as an afterthought, now have to eat their words because he’s been playing the best basketball of the season during the most important time, the playoffs.
This series against the Raptors we’ve seen Wade’s focus back in his 2006 (when he lead the Miami Heat to their first championship) version because he’s nailing clutch shot after clutch shot. That’s why on Saturday in front of the home crowd inside of the American Airlines Arena it was refreshing to see Wade dominate against players that looked up to him. Wade scored 38 points on 13-for-25 shooting, and it was his best scoring game in the postseason since he had 41 in the 2012 NBA playoffs to eliminate the Indiana Pacers in the second round.
With Wade locked in, this Miami Heat team won’t be given a pass because their missing their best players to injury. Don’t have any types of negative emotions. Don’t have those thoughts of “what if” because the Raptors aren’t going to get upset for the Heat.
“Injuries are a part of the game, one of the worst parts. We’re without one of the best players to ever play the game in Chris Bosh. Right now, we don’t know about Hassan, who is a big part of what we do. That doesn’t mean we still don’t have a series to play, and Toronto ain’t going to care. No one cares” said Dwyane Wade.”
However, feel encouraged because the way that Wade has been playing.
The Heat even with a depleted roster has made it miserable for the Raptors franchise and in the process, Miami looks like one of the most battle-tested and improved teams in the postseason. On Saturday, the Heat could’ve all but nearly ended the series. Toronto played their best game and they still were only just good enough to skate by and get a road victory. In all reality, this series should be 3-0 but because of mishaps, injuries, and mistakes Miami now finds itself fighting a deficit.
Wade understood going into this playoffs that this team was going to live and die based on his results and the Miami Heat are still living because of his play. Until the Heat actually defeats the Toronto Raptors, we’ll have to keep watching to see if Wade can will them to yet another round of the playoffs.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey