Wade topping off amazing season

April, 13, 2009
Dwyane Wade put a perfect cherry on top of his season for the ages, scoring a career-high 55 points on 19-for-30 shooting and six 3-pointers Sunday night. He's now averaging 30.2 points per game, and this season he set career highs in points, assists, steals, blocks and 3s. It's looking like he'll enter next season's fantasy draft as the No. 3 pick overall, although I'm sure there will be some leagues in which he's actually drafted first.

He's a true seven-category player with the ability to be an eight-category one (his free-throw percentage declined for the second straight year, the only negative in his season), although the last time he played 75 games in a season he followed it up by playing in just 51. There's no way around it: Wade is a risk, as he has missed significant time in three of his six seasons in the league. Still, his insane blocks/steals numbers and incredible 49.1 percent shooting on 22 attempts per game make him worth the gamble, and statistically he, LeBron James and Chris Paul are in their own league.

Under the boards

• Dwyane Wade, Heat: 55 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 3-pointers, 1 block against the Knicks.
• Michael Beasley, Heat: 28 points, 16 rebounds, 3 3s, 2 blocks versus the Knicks.
Chris Paul, Hornets: 31 points, 17 assists, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 3s against Dallas.
Chris Duhon, Knicks: Five points, 2 assists, 1 3-pointer at Miami.
Ray Allen, Celtics: Six points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 3s in Cleveland.
Jermaine O'Neal, Heat: Four points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks versus the Knicks.

In his third game back, Andrew Bynum scored 18 points with five rebounds and a block. He's averaging 16.3 points and eight rebounds since returning, and perhaps more importantly for the Lakers, his knee was able to handle three games in four days. He'll play a factor in the Lakers' final game Tuesday, and should definitely be back in your starting lineup or added if he was dropped during his extended absence, even if he won't play huge minutes as they prep him for the playoffs. … Overshadowed by Wade's 55, Michael Beasley scored 28 points with a whopping 16 rebounds, three 3s and two blocks, giving him 51 points and 29 rebounds in his past two contests. In April, Beasley is averaging 20 points, 8.5 rebounds, 0.8 3-pointers, 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks per game, numbers that fantasy players will drool over next fall when determining exactly where to draft him. He'll still undergo growing pains, but his combination of 3s, steals and blocks will soon put him among the best in the game. … David West scored 31 points on 14-for-21 shooting and has been fantastic in April, averaging 24.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game on 51.7 percent shooting from the floor and 83.3 percent from the stripe. This late-season push has brought his points-per-game average over last season's , which will improve his draft stock next season and give potential owners the inkling he hasn't hit his ceiling. … Wilson Chandler scored 21 points, his fourth consecutive 20-plus-point effort. Chandler seems to have planted himself into the Knicks' lineup for the foreseeable future (if that's possible), and his 1.3 3s, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks per game has left an indelible mark upon the hearts of those who were lucky enough to grab him off waivers this season. Those numbers will make him a hot commodity next fall. … A quick glance at his line and you'd think Andre Iguodala almost dropped a triple-double. You'd see 21 points, 8 assists, then realize that big "10" is in the turnover category. That comes with the territory when averaging 5.3 assists per game from the small forward slot, and he has cut down on his flubs from two seasons ago, when he averaged 3.4 per game. His overall stats have taken a slight dip this season, although they have been relatively steady over the past three seasons, leading me to believe we have a firm grasp of Iguodala's ceiling, and we should expect more of the same next season. … Spencer Hawes' 24 points, eight boards, two 3s and three blocks Sunday provide even more reason for fantasy owners to be obsessed with his potential, and he will be at the top of my list of guys to target in next fall's draft. He has the points, boards and blocks you need from a center, but his potential in the 3-point, steal and assist categories makes him a statistical marvel, and he's primed for a third-year surge.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?