Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Wade's efficiency on display during streak
By Ernest Tolden, ESPN Stats & Info
While MVP front-runner LeBron James has captured most of the Miami Heat’s headlines this season, Dwyane Wade quietly is having one of the most efficient stretches of his career.
In Tuesday’s win over the Atlanta Hawks, Wade scored 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting. He has scored at least 20 points and shot at least 50 percent from the field in a career-high 10 consecutive games. The streak is tied for the third longest in the NBA this season and is the longest among guards.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wade is the first guard to score 20 points and shoot 50 percent in at least 10 straight games since Michael Jordan during the 1995-96 season (11 games).
During the Heat’s 19-game win streak, Wade has seen an overall increase in his scoring as well as his efficiency from the field. Wade, who was already shooting a career-high 50.8 percent from the field in his first 39 games of the season, is averaging 24.2 points on 55 percent shooting during Miami’s win streak. Five of his eight 30-point games this season have come during the win streak, including a season-high 39 points on Feb. 26 against the Sacramento Kings.
One of the primary reasons for Wade’s spike in his field goal percentage has been his aggressiveness in getting to the basket. Following offseason knee surgery, Wade lacked his usual explosiveness at the beginning of the season. But since the start of February, he is averaging 5.2 dunks and layups per game, including a season-high five dunks on March 4 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Wade continues to be one of the best slashers when it comes to attacking the paint, an area where he leads all guards in scoring for a fifth consecutive season. Since the start of February, Wade has been able to get even closer to the basket, averaging 11.5 points inside the restricted area (four-foot arc around the basket). He averaged just 8 points in that area in the first three months of the season.
On Wednesday, Miami starts a five-game road trip against the Philadelphia 76ers, a team the Heat have beaten 13 consecutive times during the regular season. With a win, Miami will be just the fourth team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive games in a single season, and set the mark for the longest win streak by a defending champion.