Dwyane Wade A Career Retrospective Part 7 (2010-2011): The Big Three Era

Marc Serota

With LeBron James and Chris Bosh inaugurating the big three era, Wade found himself in an unfamiliar situation yet still remained an unstoppable force.

After an electrifying off-season, Dwyane Wade found himself in an extremely unfamiliar situation at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season. Arguably a number two player to LeBron James. Of course, this wasn't easy for Wade to accept and can be thought of as the reason for Miami's downfalls to some, although I believe that unfair.

After carrying a franchise for four straight years, Wade's play-style has been altered. While still a play-maker, Wade wasn't used to not having the ball in his hands for 30+ minutes a night and at the debut of the season it showed. This Miami team wasn't ready to play with each other right off the bat, and because of this suffered numerous season lows. Who can forget the crying incident after dropping four games in March, specifically a close one to the Bulls. At this point in the season fans were actually hoping Spoelstra would be fired.

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Eventually however, Miami was able to pull things together and make a playoff run that remains one of the most spectacular I've ever witnessed. LeBron and DWade were both stars and it showed on the biggest stage as they vanquished their common enemy the Boston Celtics. Miami had steam moving into the finals in the team elimination of the Derrick Rose led Chicago Bulls on an 18-3 comeback (which in my opinion previews Wade's and LeBron's team chemistry that was evident in the 2011-2012 season)

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The fact of the matter is however, is that this season although ultimately disappointing after losing in the NBA Finals can be considered Dwyane Wade's final "elite" scoring season. Wade is not a selfish player by any means, and his willingness in the subsequent season to take a "back-seat" to LeBron demonstrates this. Nevertheless, Wade's 2010-2011 numbers were spectacular. In 76 games played (A lot for the injury prone shooting guard) Wade averaged 25.5 points, 4.6 assists, and 6.4 rebounds per contest. It was without question that Wade was the best shooting guard in the league, but on the biggest stage it all fell apart.

Out of nowhere LeBron vanished, the unstoppable force had finally shut down courtesy of Dallas' impeccable defense. Regardless, Wade put his best foot forward to take control of the series, but ultimately fell short. In the Dallas series Wade was one of few players to average a PER above 30, and averaged 26.5 points. 7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. It's worth noting that had he not suffered a hip injury in game five there is a possibility that Wade could have carried Miami to their second championship. Despite ultimately failing at the ultimate goal Wade was able to have the 20th best NBA Finals performance of all time, and have a great season. While the next seasons would result in a more LeBron-centric Heat team, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that Wade didn't do all he could to win that chip.

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