Rarely does a game get a moment that perfectly sums it up like Dwyane Wade's alley-oop to LeBron James late in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Heat's 92-84 win over the Mavericks was a triumph of the Heat's Big Three, and especially James and Wade, and this was just the capper.
It's fitting, too, because this seemed like the game in which Wade got his groove back. The 2006 NBA Finals MVP had struggled against the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals while James starred, making fewer than nine field goals in each of the Heat's five games and going 32-of-79 (40.5%) from the field. Tuesday night, he improved on those numbers, making nine of 19 shots (47.4%) and hitting two three-pointers for just the second time in these playoffs.
If Wade can keep his shot and create for James, who had 24 points and made four of five threes, the Heat will be hard for Dallas to stop on offense. Miami's suffocating defense was a tough enough obstacle for the Mavs; if James and Wade are operating at peak levels, and Chris Bosh is playing well, that means the odds-on favorites to take the NBA title will have a fearsome offense to go with it.
And a pretty alley-oop up 10 in the final minute of a game — especially from a duo whose signature play was also an alley-oop — is about the perfect visual metaphor for that sort of overkill.