Something is not right with Dwyane Wade. His current scoring average of 19.8 points per game is his lowest since his rookie year in 2003-04 and six points below his career average. Also, his rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks are all down from last season.
Wade is now 30 years old, and playing in his 10th NBA season. Father Time may not be totally creeping up on him, but he’s within earshot. You can see Wade can no longer elevate like he used to and all those times he spent on the floor — drawing fouls and getting punished on drives — has taken its toll on his body.
TNT analyst Charles Barkley, who has known Wade for almost a decade and spent time with him on numerous commercials, suggested something on the air that the Miami Heat star should seriously consider.
“There are so many jumps in your knees,” Barkley said. “Just like the great Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, you have to learn to post-up more. You can’t go around people all the time.
“When you get older, you can’t fly through the air with the greatest of ease. You have to learn to play. Like I said, Michael did it and Kobe is doing it. Dwyane has to learn to post-up because you can’t be more athletic that everybody else once you start getting older.”
Wade missed 17 of 66 games last season and his left knee needed to be drained during the playoffs and eventually required surgery, forcing him to skip the Olympics. But his surgically repaired left knee isn’t the only thing that is bothering him this season. He sprained his left foot when he landed on Chris Bosh’s foot in a November game against Houston, and then he jammed his right thumb.
“When you get one thing it ends up being about three different things. You weather it. It will be all right,” Wade told Yahoo! sports writer Marc J. Spears.
You see flashes of the old Dwyane Wade this season — like his 34-point game against the Brooklyn Nets — but he has also suffered through some duds, like his 3-for-13 dismal shooting against the New York Knicks and his 3-for-15 outing against the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s obviously slowed by the injuries and he’s unable to outquick or outjump his opponents like he has done in the past.
Barkley is absolutely correct about Wade. He needs to play 15-feet or closer instead of 15-feet away from the basket. Wade can still regain his All-Star status, but his athletic ability is slowly eroding. He needs to develop a better low-post game, improve his midrange game, and make his game more economical.
If he doesn’t, then the Miami Heat’s chances of repeating as NBA champs could go out in a flash.