What exactly does Dwyane Wade do for Miami?

After Chris Bosh went down, we had the gall to say the Heat don’t need him. And yet, they’ve been on a two game skid and face keeping Bron from his ring yet again. We will hold firm that the lack of Bosh doesn’t matter. The Heat are missing a key player and that is Dwyane Wade. Let’s use some of our tools to do a run down.

I’ll be using Win Score (the simplified version of Wins Produced), The NBA Geek, and Points over Par(PoP) to explain what makes Wade great and why it hurts that he’s missing. PoP explains the points a player gains their team. E.G. A PoP per game of +3.0 means that your team gains a 3.0 point edge against an opponent. This is done by comparing a player to an average player at their position and then giving a point value to each stat. I use the NBA Geek’s comparison engine to do just that. Enjoy! Small warning: Win Score is an approximation of Wins Produced so it won’t add up exactly.

Dwyane Wade vs. Average shooting guard for 2011-2012

Stat Dwyane Wade Average SG Difference PoP/48 PoP/G
Net PTS 3.5 1.0 2.5 2.6 1.7
Assists 6.6 4.2 2.4 1.2 0.8
Offensive Rebounds 2.2 1.1 1.1 1.1 0.7
Blocks 1.9 0.4 1.5 0.9 0.6
Steals 2.4 1.5 0.9 0.9 0.6
Defensive Rebounds 4.8 4.5 0.3 0.2 0.1
Personal Fouls 3.2 3.1 0.1 -0.1 -0.0
Turnovers 3.8 2.7 1.1 -1.1 -0.7
Total 5.8 3.8

During the regular season Wade was earning his team around +3.0 and we can see the primary driver was his offense. His scoring was the key driver +1.7 Points a game, followed by his assists +0.8 points a game and finally his offensive rebounds netted another +0.7 points a game. Not only that the only real “weakness” for Wade were his turnovers, which did hurt but not enough to offset the rest of his greatness. Now what’s happened in round two of the playoffs?

Dwyane Wade vs. Average SG in round two of the 2012 Playoffs

 Stat Wade Average SG ToTal Pop/48 Pop/G
 Blocks 1.7 0.4 1.3 0.8 0.6
 Personal Fouls 2.7 3.1 -0.4 0.2 0.2
 Offensive Rebounds 1.3 1.1 0.2 0.2 0.2
 Steals 1.0 1.5 -0.5 -0.5 -0.4
 Assists 3.0 4.2 -1.2 -0.6 -0.5
 Turnovers 3.3 2.7 0.6 -0.6 -0.5
 Defensive Rebounds 2.3 4.5 -2.2 -1.1 -0.9
 Net Points -3.8 1.0 -4.8 -4.9 -3.9
 Total -6.6  -5.2 

In a weird turn, Wade’s once great scoring is now killing both his production and the Heat. Instead of gaining an edge of +2.0 points a game, he is not costing the Heat almost -4.0 points a game. Additionally, instead of being great at everything except turnovers, Wade is now only above average at Blocks, Personal Fouls and Offensive Rebounds.

Summing up

Not only has Wade gone missing, he’s actually turned destructive. Last night, for instance, he cost the Heat -12.0 points! Replacing one of your best players with a terrible player is not a viable strategy for the playoffs. Now it is possible that the loss of Bosh is causing Wade’s bad performance. I can’t really buy that but regardless, the Heat need Wade to come back if they want any hope of advancing, let alone a title.


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