Tonight the Miami Heat will host the New York Knicks in Game 5 of their 1st round playoff series, and barring something catastrophic, will close it out at home. While the series should end tonight, the past two days have been anything but calm. Since Miami fell to the Knicks at MSG on Sunday, both the local and national media have been trying putting heat on the Heat, specifically about what happened at the end of Game 4. Why didn’t LeBron get the ball? Why was a play drawn up for Dwyane Wade instead of LeBron? Why did Wade settle for a contested 3 with Miami only down two? Is Wade to blame? Is coach Eric Spoelstra an idiot? Why wasn’t James even moving during the play? The answer to all the questions is the same; quit worrying about it and watch the next game. Yet the LeBron vs Wade debate just won’t go away.
Right now, the debate appears to be pretty one-sided in favor of LeBron. Last year at this time, both fans and the media appeared to be favoring Wade when it came down to who should take the final shot. Why the change of heart? For starters, James has had a great year, while DWade has had has playing time limited due to injuries throughout the season. I also think that this is reactive thing. The national media was so hard on LeBron last year that now, when guys like Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley are so supportive of him, that there has been a trickle down effect, resulting in a love-fest for James. That’s ok. As people, we love to see guys rise up and fight back, even if Bron was never really down. Yes, he had a horrible Finals against the Mavericks, and at many times last season he looked uncomfortable at the end of games, but he didn’t have a bad year. Wade, darling of the media last year for being clutch, has fallen out of favor even with guys like Barkley. Sure, that final play against New York was questionable to say the least, but the Bron over Wade sentiment has been evolving during the year, it wasn’t one play that did this. So what happens now?
The Heat shouldn’t have to worry about last second shot tonight. The Knicks will play tonight without Baron Davis or Jeremy Lin, and Miami is nearly unbeatable at home in the AAA. Miami fans can take comfort in knowing that they have two guys that would be the unquestioned #1 star any almost any other team(exceptions are OKC and LAL). Wade’s reputation for being clutch is something he earned over time and shouldn’t be discounted. James struggles have been well documented, but he is overcoming the stigma that he isn’t mentally tough. Barkley has continually said that the Heat can only go as far as LeBron takes them. While I agree with Charles that Miami can’t win the NBA Title without James, they can’t win it without Wade either. It is going to take both guys playing well for the Heat to win it all. Who takes the last shot? The debate will continue until these two do win a title together.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).