And people act like they forgot about Dwyane.
How good was Dwyane Wade's 46 point-performance today, the one that rescued the Heat's season from the guillotine? That's more points than he had in any playoff game during the Heat's run to the NBA title in 2006. His 16-of-24 shooting is his best performance from the floor in a playoff game since Shaquille O'Neal left town. His five threes were the second-most in his playoff career. And he left points at the line, missing five free throws.
All that, and it still took some inspired ineptitude by the Celtics for the Heat to send the series back to Boston. Wade scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and erased a six-point C's lead heading into the quarter, but Boston cut Miami's advantage to 96-92 with 2:35 left. In that last 2:35, the Celtics went 0-of-5 from the field and 0-of-5 from the free throw line, with Ray Allen missing three consecutive charity stripe contributions. It was bad, bad basketball.
And Wade was every bit as good throughout the game as the Celts were awful during that stretch, scoring and shooting and slashing as well as he ever has. LeBron James is an unearthly athlete with preternatural skills on a basketball court, and he's still the prize of the Summer of 2010. But Wade is awesome in his own right, and has suffered with a desiccated roster for the better part of three years. He seems more likely to move, but Miami also has the cap room to add pieces around him.
Either way, it would be almost criminal for Wade to have to endure a team this limited again. He deserves chances to play basketball as well as he did today in a situation that is better than Miami's current one.â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.