11.10.2005

Plain old Wade



This article does not reflect the views of our resident Heat booster, El Huracan Andreo.

It's been a truly historic week for FreeDarko, so I thought I'd close it out by doing what I do best: saying something vague, brash, and inflammatory that will likely send our credibility into a tailspin.

I'm lukewarm on Wade. There, I said it. Actually, I've mentioned it in passing a bunch of times, but never with enough snap or conviction to make it stick. After smurfing my way through last night's Heat/Pacers tilt, though, I am ready to come forth and hope that ledge don't break.



For starters, I'll admit this is a totally subjective position. I'm not trying to say that Wade is in the same odious class as Jason Richardson, whose bloodless aerial act is both the best evidence of video games' influence on the real thing and a fearful glance at what might've been if Vince had locked down Jordan 2 status. Wade, I'm just not feeling. The weird thing is, there's really no reason I shouldn't spend my days with nights quivering with thanks that Dwyane Wade exists: uncontrollably athletic, game-turning presence, highlight machine, gutsy without forfeiting his pride, hits the media with style, glorious trashcan of pop culture crossover, he would seem like everything I've ever wanted in a basketball star. But however endearing, iconic, and New Breed FBP I may find Wade, I just don't care about watching him. Sure, I'll jock any one of his certified magic moments—after all, dude was responsible for The Single Most Jaw-Dropping Play in Recorded NBA History, which I'm omitting out of respect for the fallen (I defy you to prove me otherwise!). But he doesn't meet my number one criteria for absolute superstardom: that I'll stay tuned in to a game just because he happens to be in it. In the playoffs, a late game situation, or any other time there's something on the line, he's as compelling as anyone in the Association: if you want to talk Jordan, no guard since MJ has been as money, as consistently unstoppable when he gets the ball. But that, my friends, is exactly where the trouble begins.

The problem is that Wade is just too fucking good. He's so impossibly quick, strong, explosive, intelligent, and determined that he makes it look easy. The cosmos shifts not, for the simple reason that the natural order of things is for him to score at will. Wade speeding straight-line to the hoop. . . Wade rising up out of traffic for the dunk. . . Wade with the abrupt jumper. . . Wade deftly flipping it over his back while getting bodied up mid-flight. . . he might as well be guarded by my dead aunt (the shorter one). Creativity in the NBA isn't just a matter of self-expression—it also had the strategic purpose losing or evading defenders. Wade, god bless his soul, just doesn't have to worry about this on any regular basis. Don't get me wrong: when he does, truly unreal things take place. And even if he's not must-watch, it's still amazing to see him do his thing, provided I'm watching anyway or have nothing else to do. But I just can't get excited about Dwyane Wade: Face of Basketball when he's so sorely predictable in both approach and outcome.



The closest thing there is to him in league was Amare, probably my favorite of them all (not named Gilbert Arenas, who is like Wade either bored with himself or unable to figure out how simple it could all be). The difference is, though, with Amare you get the physical spectacle of him destroying hapless defenders and inflicting raw power upon the ether. Wade is a bullet from a sniper; Amare's a depth charge assaulting a colony of beached whales. I'd tried to convince THC and The Recluse earlier that Wade is a dynamic big man in a two-guard's body; they insisted that this only held if the big man were Amare. Point taken, but, if big men suffer in the dunk contest, I think Wade proves that an Amare-style game ain't nearly as exciting when a smaller particle commits its sins.



But if you want me to stop trying to pretend that I know the first thing about what it's like to play the game, or would ever be let within 1400 meters of a telestrator, let me break it down like this: Wade plays like a finisher but doesn't finish his finishes. I'm saying, if you're a beast of seventh seal proportions, you almost got to have some swagger, or play with a chip on your shoulder, to make up for the style points that you forfeit by viture of your rudimentary game. I know some people admire Wade exactly because he can tear down the heavens and then carry himself like a prince, but damn, show something. This isn't Timmy and his prim and proper low-post clinics, this is basketball at its most murdrous and dynamic. Quiet assassin, maybe, but that's not all he is. Dwyane Wade's got the whole Association severely shook; why can't he strut every once in a while, and be the intimidator he's earned every right to be?

39 Comments:

At 11/11/2005 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

amen!

 
At 11/11/2005 1:28 AM, Blogger panoptican said...

Your entitled to your opinion. But you're also wrong. Sort of. The thing is, Wade isn't the face of the NBA. There really isn't a face. There's a couple faces. I will concede though that Wade was most compelling his rookie season when he almost carried them out of the first round. And more compelling last year when it was him and Shaq. Riley has made such a mess out of that team. It's not quite right this year. Something is off.

 
At 11/11/2005 9:12 AM, Blogger emynd said...

I agree with you on Wade. I was half-watching the Heat-Rockets game last night and I was kinda just like "OK, I recognize that Wade is great and he's doing some pretty amazing stuff here, but I'm not feeling it. I just don't like watching him play." I think your explanation why is as good a reason as any. So, instead, I watched "Making the Band 3" and saw some random little girl belt her little heart out in a truly jaw-dropping singing performance. Her little acapella "I'ma show you somethin'" song had everything Wade doesn't.

-e

 
At 11/11/2005 9:31 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

p-

it's not just this season, i was yelling it last year, too. check the archives right around the time the games start to matter.

his rookie campaign was aight, since he was an unexpected sideshow who was hurt all the time and deferred to odom in the offense.

and if you don't think wade is on the verge of eclipsing bron (melo's damn near ghettoized himself) in terms of marketability, popularity, and sheer nba teeth-chatter-ability, you're crazy.

bron=magic
wade=MJ

 
At 11/11/2005 10:40 AM, Blogger El Huracan Andreo said...

I think you make some good points, and if you remember the post I made about him following his time on the Budweiser hot seat - I also want less humility and more anger.

It's the last paragraph that reveals your beef. He looks so in control, so all-american, that you need to see the chinks in the armor. Like the red dashes in his new shoes.

Believe me - there are flashes there. I'm not kidding. He's complaining to the refs more, trying to singlehandedly take five guys on at once - see 10 turnovers versus Pacers. Aside from the constant bickering between White Chocolate and Walker, Wade's little tantrums have been the most interesting thing of the Heat season to date. The dysfunctional fan in me is waiting for the ticking time bomb when he starts clamoring for the basket more.

There is more swagger in his step. It's comin. Let's remember this guy is in year three. The best is yet to come.

 
At 11/11/2005 10:48 AM, Anonymous The Ghost of Len Bias said...

Have you ever seen him play live? I was kind of blase on Wade having seen him on TV a bunch, but I hit the Nets/Heat game in Jersey last year and... wow. I mean, his speed just does not translate on TV. He is the quickest man I've ever seen -- we're talking Barry Sanders level excitement. I'll be more excited about him when he starts to go left, but he's something else to watch.

Arenas, on the other hand... notice his stats yet this year? He's raised his assists -and- dropped his AST:TO ratio for the 2nd year in a row. It's pretty unbelievable.

 
At 11/11/2005 12:29 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i meant to say something about the only going right thing but got sick of typing. in a way, it's not that big a deal; he can always step to the left and stick a jumper, which keeps em guessing. this would count as variety if you're looking at a big man's game. but he's a guard who has two options off the dribble, while most have four. there's no reason that should be anything but a major liability.

i personally find it easier to be awed by players on television than live. live, esp. if you're up in the first few rows, the game suddenly becomes so real and immediate that it's almost too accessible. i have been trying for the last hour to figure out how to explain this, other than just saying that i'm too used to tv, don't understand basketball at all, don't play enough myself, and am easily distracted.

i think it has something to do with the action suddenly becoming so real and accessible. i don't watch games on television thinking that these are humans, and that their exploits take place in human time and space. something about being forced to admit that--measuring not only relative to each other, but also relative to myself--is a major letdown.

 
At 11/11/2005 12:31 PM, Blogger ForEvers Burns said...

Admittedly, I haven’t seen much of him this year, but I think it’s Wade’s otherworldly countenance that makes him so compelling to watch. Psychologically, he just doesn’t make sense. Arenas, who I think is sometimes equally mind blowing in his play, seems motivated by a combination of an obsession with being perceived as inadequate and a substantial quantity neurosis (illustrated by wearing number 0, his rationale for signing with the Wizards, his insanse workout schedule, etc.). Jordan seemed driven by insatiable competitiveness, but also by a desire to inflict pain on those who he perceived to have slighted him (illustrated by screaming “Thunder Dan, my fucking ass!” after winning title #3, and the absolute and usually unnecessary beat down he put on Drexler, after the Blazers passed on Jordan on draft day, every time they played even during Dream Team practices).

I think it’s too easy to say that Wade’s lack of swagger is his swagger, an argument you could make with Dr. J. He exudes a kind of calm and focus that’s almost zen-like; he’s everything Phil Jackson would want to be but Phil is too egomaniacal to attain it.

I love watching Jordan and Amare because they’re so good and their humanity is so transparent. We all dream about dunking on people and basking in adulation and as kids, those are the players we pretend to be; they do in real life everything we want to do. While everybody also wants to huff Wade’s basketball dill, Wade seems more or less indifferent. The sniper analogy was certainly adept, but I think of him more like Snake Eyes from G. I. Joe. While the other morons like Beach Head and Blow Torch were preening and strutting, be their motivation insecurity or wanting to impress Cover Girl, Snake Eyes was simply content doing his job to the best of his ability and letting that be the only reward he sought. For Wade, it’s like basketball is the means to its own ends. He plays basketball, not for money or fame or even victories, but to play basketball.

The NBA is unique because its stars have such accessible personalities that are extensions of their playing styles (and or vice versa). As a Wizards fan and psychiatrist-in-progress, no one draws me more than Arenas, but I’ll always tune in to see Wade, not just to see a great player make astounding plays, but also in hopes that I can catch a glimpse at what on earth is going through his head. And like Snake Eyes, he’s the coolest kid in school.

 
At 11/11/2005 12:32 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

by the end of the year, arenas will be a major factor in the "best PG in the league" conversation. his assists numbers may never match those of the "pure" guys, or even someone like marbury or baron, but i'd rather have him running my offense than either of them.

not like i even remember what baron davis's play is like, though

 
At 11/11/2005 12:52 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

burns--

that comment was amazing. i would rather read a blog of that stuff than write my own.

to completely groundlessly extend the snake eyes analogy, if memory serves, dude was seriously fucked-up. wasn't he deformed and mute? he was kind of a more dashing kane (the wrestler, not the emcee).

i'm not implying that wade is like this. more that, if i felt he were, i would probably like him a hell of a lot more. wade strikes me more as what would happen if present-day dr. j could suddenly take to the court with the same ability he had in his hey.

 
At 11/11/2005 1:07 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

show of hands: who DOESNT want to see wade yell at one of his teammates (preferrably of the toine, j-will, glove, zo variety)

 
At 11/11/2005 1:35 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Yeah, I like Wade and Shaq, but the Heat have the most annoying cast since Elizabethtown.

 
At 11/11/2005 2:20 PM, Anonymous The Ghost of Len Bias said...

Oh, I love this argument. I've been having the best-PG-in-the-league argument with a friend of mine off-and-on for the last few months, with my statement that Arenas is arguably the best out there driving him to distraction.

Let's look at the competitors:

a> Gilbert Arenas
b> Steve Nash
c> Baron Davis
d> Stephon Marbury
e> Jason Kidd
f> Allen Iverson

I think Kidd (injuries, age), Davis (same), and Marbury (jackass, can't win , bad teammate) can be eliminated out of hand.

The case honestly comes down to Nash, Arenas, and Iverson. Iverson for the past few years has played primarily off the ball, but last year he was the primary ballhandler. He's a transcendant player in his own right, perhaps the best small player ever, able to force his will upon the game even when playing amongst the tall trees. If we're choosing the best PG for right now, would it be difficult to choose against him? Perhaps. However, he doesn't have anywhere near the post game that Arenas does, and he's a far poorer shooter.

Nash is a fantastic distributor, good penetrator, and excellent shooter. He's also an injury risk, and before last year was nowhere near the distributor that he was once he started playing with Amare -- who admittedly makes getting a dime a bit easier. But a 3APG jump in one year? Unheard of. For Nash, you're looking at the same demerits as Iverson -- age, no post game, lack of history as a distributor.

Now, we come to Gilbert. He's the largest of the three by far, with a fantastic post game. His assist to turnover numbers have gone up every year he's played, and he's become a much finer outside shooter and passer in general. One of the biggest knocks on Gilbert when he came to the Wizards was his wildness with the ball, which he's managed to tame over the last couple of seasons. He's also probably the hardest working player in the league now, with his over-night shooting sessions near legendary.

Do his assist numbers come anywhere near Nash's? Obviously not -- Nash is averaging over 11apg this year. However, if you're looking for perhaps the finest PG in the league now, and a true competitor to Dwyane Wade as the most exciting and unstoppable penetrator... well, he's your guy.

...and he's 23.

Pardon my dissertation ;)

 
At 11/11/2005 3:36 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i couldn't agree more, and was still even more than i was already. i think that, if you're looking for a complete point guard, it's hard to argue with arenas at this point. not sure that he's got it on lock, since nash's quaterbacking is that amazing, but as far as total package is concerned. . .

another thing: nash physically cannot play a lick of defense, while iverson (mostly due to size constraints) relies solely on going for the steal and swatting at people. arenas is both quick and canny enough to lead the league in steals but still strong enough that's he's a force for anyone to reckon with.

 
At 11/11/2005 3:51 PM, Blogger elandfried said...

If you're considering Iverson a point guard (which I think you should), there is no argument. He's the best out there. Does Arenas have anything on him except size and strength? I think Iverson has proven that those elements are overrated. Watching Nash in the playoffs last year was a joy though - he may not be a good defender, but that man can manage a game much better than Iverson or Arenas. I'd put Iverson on top, Nash next, and Arenas third. This isn't a Bill Simmons value column, age doesn't mean a thing.

I personally think Billups should be part of the argument - in fact, I might put him 4th...

 
At 11/11/2005 4:27 PM, Blogger emynd said...

i personally find it easier to be awed by players on television than live. live, esp. if you're up in the first few rows, the game suddenly becomes so real and immediate that it's almost too accessible. i have been trying for the last hour to figure out how to explain this, other than just saying that i'm too used to tv, don't understand basketball at all, don't play enough myself, and am easily distracted.

i think it has something to do with the action suddenly becoming so real and accessible. i don't watch games on television thinking that these are humans, and that their exploits take place in human time and space. something about being forced to admit that--measuring not only relative to each other, but also relative to myself--is a major letdown.


Again, I'm in complete agreement with Shoals. When I watched the Sixers and Cavs pre-season game courtside, I (a) was wowed by how thin AI's chicken-legs are and (b) found myself thinking "Dude, I can totally play with these guys."

Honestly, I think I'm a legitamtely better basketball player than John Salmons.

-e

 
At 11/11/2005 5:14 PM, Blogger panoptican said...

bron=magic
wade=MJ


Bron is certainly Magic but Wade isn't MJ. Wade is Kobe. And therein lies my interest in him. I refuse to believe that someone as good as Wade doesn't have some secret. Something that drives him. Basketball might be close to an end for him, but there's something else. Seriously, what do we know about him? Beyond Marquette, I don't know anything except for what the Converse commercial tells me. And speaking of Marquette, what the hell? He took Marquette to the Final Four? I think Snake Eyes is a good analogy. Another analogy that I immediately think of is Wolverine from the X-Men. Maybe more so than Snake Eyes. It just seems like there has to be something significant that has made him the monster that he is today. Something he's trying to forget because he doesn't want it to define him. The problem, of course, is that the past does define us and when we try to squelch it, we're ultimately hurting ourselves. And though I really dislike the team that Riley put together, I think it might eventually pull something from him that we haven't seen yet. And it will be great. That's why I'll keep watching.

Also, don't give up on Melo yet. He's going to be in this discussion before the end of the year. Before, he was just some punk kid who thought he could do anything (I mean, wouldn't you think that too if you were him?) and now that he's fallen, I see him rising up beyond what everyone thought he would be.

Also, I'm incredibly optimistic and I love mystery novels.

 
At 11/11/2005 6:17 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

this is probably too simplistic, but i think wade had to sit behind some other players on his AAU and high school teams and wasn't that highly recruited by colleges. he also had to sit out his freshman year at marquette as a prop 48 player. and he went to a smaller school and didn't get the pub of some other college players.

then, his rookie year, it was all about bron and melo. he has never gotten the accolades he deserved until now, so i think that's motivated him to show and prove on the court, but also be humble about his success.

 
At 11/12/2005 5:36 PM, Anonymous Uzair said...

panoptician's Wade-is-Kobe thing is interesting. I'd like to propose the following:

(Wade's ability) + (Kobe's attitude) = MJ

The dude who said Wade is a modern-day Dr. J hit the nail on the head. Just like Dr. J, Wade has the purest, most unadulterated talent in the NBA today (other than Lebron, more on him later). The simple fact that he's demoted Shaq to beta-male speaks volumes.

HOWEVER, for all his wonderful-ness, Dr. J never had the pure nastiness that MJ brought to the NBA. The killer instinct, the megalomania, the big-man-who-owns-the-block mentality.

That, my friends, is what Kobe gives us. Of all the MJ clones we've seen over the years, he's the one who's most closely emulated MJ's desire to rip the opponent's heart out. What Kobe lacks, however, is the pure-playa ability. He's nice and all, but he just doesn't have that uber-mortal ability to jump into another dimension when a double-team tries to trap him in the standard three. MJ had it, Iverson has it, Vince flashes it sometimes (see the dunk over Weis and last week's Mourning poster), and Wade has it too: the smoothness, the ingenuity, the sheer twist-up-under-around-and-back-ness that leaves defenders open-mouthed. Kobe's got a nice fadeaway, great athletic ability and a couple decent drives to the basket, but he's a mortal trapped in the same dimensions as the rest of us.

Importantly, I don't think kill-a-brotha attitude can be taught. Wade may flap his wings and croak some more this year, but he's never going to be innately *bad*. Bad-to-the-bone. Lebron neither -- he's going to be a treat to watch for years, but might end up being the new-age KG. 'nuff said.

 
At 11/12/2005 11:03 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i was going to hold off on this till the end for politeness's sake. . .but did you really say that KG wasn't a bad man?

as for kobe's mortality, fine, he's not as athletic as wade. no one is. and as of now, that's how wade beats people. kobe is, though, at least the athlete mj was, and, more importantly, has the potential to be an even smarter player. wade as of now does not have to bother with playing smart.

to muddle the waters even further, jordan was light years ahead of everyone he played against as far as physical tools were concerned.

kobe may be forced to rely on strategy, positions, and brains more than wade, but at the end of the day, if he can figure out how to do that in a responsible, non-diabolical way, i'd take him over wade.

 
At 11/12/2005 11:44 PM, Anonymous The Ghost of Len Bias said...

Just curious, but did anyone happen to watch the fine basketball contest between the Spurs of San Antonio and yon Wizards of Washington?

A Mr. Arenas would like people to reconsider his status as the best PG in the NBA.

Ya heard?

 
At 11/13/2005 12:06 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

you will never, ever find a bigger arenas supporter than yours truly. i'm never surprised when he blows up like this, since i can see it in his game even if he has an off-night.

part of the challenge of this blog is keeping myself from turning it into a non-stop arenas fansite

but to be fair, dropping forty isn't exactly classic pg play.

 
At 11/13/2005 11:44 AM, Anonymous aug said...

It's not as simple as one PG being better than the other. Point Guards like Iverson/Arenas and Nash/Kidd thrive is certain offenses. It's hard to compare them since they're almost playing different positions out there. That being said, you can still compare them but when you're talking about the cream of point guard crop, they're more different than better/worse. I know it sounds wishy washy, but it's not like playing the other positions. That being said, the wizard's last two games have been very impressive. However, i think we all know the spurs are just coasting till the playoffs. Them, like the pistons and lakers of the early 21st just turn it on and off

 
At 11/14/2005 9:31 AM, Anonymous Count Chocula said...

If Wade put some shine in his game like the real truth, ricky davis, instead of his trademark professionalism, no one would be lukewarm on him. He's accesible by the masses and no one is scared of his blackness because like Timmy, color isn't an issue with him. His being boring (predictable greatness makes him boring) supercedes his color or his game. As a knicks fan, I'd like to have a terminator style robot like Wade because it gives you chances to win, but having Marbury or Crawford, all talent and shoddy craftsmanship makes it more fun because when they put it together you awell with pride. And when they don't and claim to be the best point guard in the league you laugh your ass off and tear the paper in half.

For real, Ricky Davis for FBP, just to keep it gully in the facial hair department.

 
At 11/14/2005 2:03 PM, Blogger c-los said...

To whoever said Kobe isnt as athletic as Wade...are u serious man...Kobe is as athletic as they get....he cant get up like Vince but noone can...he is just as quick and strong as Wade but the only difference is that he is scrutinized more...if Kobe takes 30 shots than its "ahhh man Kobe is gunnin"....Im a huge Wiz fan and Arenas's game is mind-boggling when he's on but Ive seen him play Wade 7 games last year and Wade ate him up. If you dont think so then check the stats and the Heat's perfect 7-0 record against the Wiz...2 of them coming in the playoffs without Shaq...Arenas is still young and looks more focused this yr on D so we'll have to wait n see...

 
At 11/14/2005 2:34 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i said it about kobe and i'll say it again. otherwise, he wouldn't have to play "smart" basketball to get results that are statistically and situationally similar to those of wade. saying that he's no vince or wade isn't the same thing as underestimating his athleticism. it's like, vince obliterates the laws of nature on a regular basis, t-mac merely abuses them. but that's not a bad consolation prize, and is probably better for a player in the long run.

 
At 11/14/2005 5:16 PM, Anonymous Uzair said...

KG's bad? You must think Ewing was a monster...

You're right, MJ was *way* ahead of the league, athletically, and that's a definite factor in as far as separating Kobe from the rest of the league goes -- he doesn't enjoy the same order-of-magnitude athletic advantage MJ did. But I'm reminded of MJ averaging 22ppg on one leg in 2001/2...that speaks volumes about his 'intelligence'. Kobe, on the other hand, has both legs but hasn't cracked .475 shooting in his career and has only led the league in scoring once. The NBA's changed, but Kobe simply isn't as transcendent as I wish he was.

For the dude who thinks Kobe's an athletic bomb, I offer you T-Mac, LeBron, Andre Iguodala, VC, Ricky Davis, Desmond Mason, Jason Richardson, Richard Jefferson, Darius Miles and Mickael Pietrus. Oh, and those are just the shooting guards.

I think part of Kobe's problem is that 'Jordan-esque' jumper: he's in love with it, and he's a bloody genius using it. He won't take the ball in unless there's an opening. That lets the opposing coach give him that look (for the jumper) again and again, to keep him from abusing in the post. Compare that to MJ's attitude, which was basically "You're giving me a 10-footer? Muhahahaha...watch me dunk!"

I have a feeling I'm ranting here, so I'm not going to try to make too much sense. In absolute terms, Kobe may be MJ's equal, but relative to the rest of the league, he doesn't shine as brightly. Wade's much less predictable, partly because (as you say), he doesn't think about his game as much.

 
At 11/14/2005 5:19 PM, Anonymous Uzair said...

Oh, Mr. Shoals I've been meaning to ask: what was 'The Single Most Jaw-Dropping Play in Recorded NBA History'?

Many thanks..

 
At 11/14/2005 6:12 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

let's not confuse the limits of KG's game with what he brings to the many things he can do.

kobe is the stupidest smart player in the world, or the smartest stupid player. take your pick.

that play from mars i have so many times alluded to: blocking amare and then heaving it in from beyond half court.

 
At 11/15/2005 9:02 AM, Blogger c-los said...

So you can't be athletic and play "Smart Basketball"? Dwayne still has flaws in his game(Jump shot)and still makes his share of mistakes. It's still early in his career but we will see if Wade can win a title with Shaq the way Kobe did. And if you remember it was Kobe taking all of the big shots down the stretch and carrying the Lakers in crucial moments for years.

 
At 11/15/2005 10:08 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

no, but it's possible (see wade or amare) to be so athletic that you only have to be concerned with so much of the nit-picky, strategic aspect of the game. i realize that this sounds like a borderline racist claim, but i do think it's true that a surplus of athleticism can elide the need for the all-important "decision-making." if it ain't no thang, no need to figure out the most efficient way to work the situation. most efficient way is the obvious one when no one can stop you.

but, lest i contradict sunday's post, i am not saying that wade or amare have no intelligence to their game. if amare were still that player, he would be fouling out of every game. just that their respective solutions to any give basketball problem is more likely to be based on being able to beat the other guy. you've seen arenas turn into an all-star as he figured out that, as quick as he is, he's had to think a little in order to make the most use of his natural abilities. kobe's genius lies in being both very, very athletic and knowing how to outthink his opponents, including those more athletic than him

can we find another word for "athletic?"

 
At 11/15/2005 11:34 AM, Blogger c-los said...

I will agree with that. Some players just rely on their god given ability and when things break down they just use that to beat their man but I think there are more instances where you have to think before you make a move. Good teams like the Spurs and Pistons who know how to play D and use their scouting reports will limit those opportunities. All in all though Wade is incredible because he is only about 6'4 and he gets alot of dunks in the half court game. To me thats one of the truest measures of how nice a guy is 1on1. Guys like Tmac, Bron, Kobe, Wade, and Amare are always dunking on people in the half court game.

 
At 12/31/2005 2:16 AM, Blogger BucksFaN said...

I think too many people are looking for the next Jordan- someone whose shoes and jersey they can buy.

The NBA doesn't need a dominant player- people forget this is a team sport.

Wade is a great player, so is LeBron. There are a lot of stars in the NBA right now.

Saying you can't get excited watching wade? It must take a lot to excite you. Maybe you should watch streetball on the ESPN2 instead.

I saw Wade, with time running out in the third 1/4, block a shot from Amare, heave it from waayyy behind half-court and hit it at the buzzer. That was last season.

Remember the glory days of Jordan? I remember going into a Target (I live in Wisconsin) and seeing loads of bulls stuff. I couldn't find any bucks merchandise. (granted they sucked, but they're the friggin home team).

They were so dominant that it bored people. They even got so sick of giving MVP to Jordan they gave it to flippin KARL MALONE (Sir Chokes-A-Lot).

No one wants that crap again except shoe companies.

 
At 1/31/2006 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i happen to disagree with you on this one. In today's NBA, i feel that the lack of effort givin by defenses, offense is pure natural, atheletic ability. In these conditions, Dwyane Wade is the best you're going to see. He has all the abilities of a star: preternatural ability for the big play near the basket, leadership on and off the court, what more could you ask for? His nickname truly sums it up: FLASH

 
At 5/24/2006 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you're considering Iverson a point guard (which I think you should), there is no argument. He's the best out there. Does Arenas have anything on him except size and strength? "

How bout shooting range.
Game 6 vs Cleaveland. 3 at the buzzer over Flip from about halfway between the three point line and half court. Still AI was more consistent with 3's, but if hes not heavily guarded, Arenas seems like he can make it from anywhere on the floor.

As for the free throws he missed, he had been in the whole game playing his ass of and was tired as hell, Lebron messed up his concnetration when he would ussually adjust his shot by telling him "You know if you miss this its all over", and theres probably 50 more excuses as to why he missed them. But the bottom line is with the type of obsessive practicing to improve player he is, Id imagine hes going to spend the summer shooting 5 billion free throws imagining pressure so something like that never happens again. His rate of improvement is incredible and at this rate he will become a flawles point guard and possibly surpass Wade for the best.

Id love to see a playoff rematch next year between the Heat and Wizards. I cant see it ending in a sweep, unlike last year.

 
At 11/19/2006 3:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Wade and Shaq play the Celts last year. Yes the main reason I bought the tix was for this guy, D-Wade. And I was hoping for something spectacular. The best I got was 1 quick dunk on the other end, and the majority of his points coming from the free throw line. I think at times he shows major "Flashes" of brilliance, like he did in the NBA finals. And other times its like he's back in college and anonymous to the world. Maybe thats just his game, but right now he appears in more promo ads for products than any other NBA'er. Possibly he's more a poster child than Lebron.

Love & Basketball

 
At 3/27/2007 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we all know that gilbert arenas is the best out of all point gaurds in the NBA rite now!!you have to admit that he has the best stroke and he does take wild and crazi shots but he know when he needs to buckle down and win games. he is a very dependable guy when u are behind by numerous points. you can count on him to bring you back and u feel good that hes in the game. he is bringing up his assist percentage and also his ppg % as well. when it comes to scoring im gonna have to say he does that too..... to me he does everything just rite and he knows what to do with the ball

 
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