Dwyane Wade - A Career Retrospective Part 8: 2011/12 - Champion again

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

In the latest chapter looking back at Wade's career thus far, we review his first with the Big 3. Despite suffering from a barrage of injuries, Wade was able to overcome adversity in the post-season and aid the Miami Heat in winning their second NBA Championship.

Dwyane Wade was an extreme force during the inaugural season of the "Big Three" era.

While ultimately falling short of the ultimate goal, there was no question that Wade's play was on par, and at times exceeded that of LeBron James. The 2011-2012 season, unfortunately went a different route for Miami's favorite son. However he still remained a force for the Heat.

Dwyane Wade starred in his lowest amount of career games in the 2012 season, starting in only 49 regular season games (keep in mind the lockout shortened this season). Regardless, when Wade did see the floor he played extremely well. During the 2012 season Wade remained an on-ball menace, his explosiveness was also a factor as he darted through the lanes with ease, and he also focused on sharing the ball by making his passing like that of a point guard.

Wade's complete play-style allowed him to attain an exceptional stat line of 22.1 points on 49% shooting 4.6 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.67 steals and 1.29 blocks. As a result, Wade once again earned All-Star honors (recording a triple-double in the All-Star game). Wade, also gained a place on the All-NBA Third Team.

Despite his accolades and stellar play for the most part, this was the first season in which Wade's injuries began to catch up with him and affected his play. To give you an idea of what he was suffering with we can analyze the games he missed. According to documentation, Wade's injuries appeared as follows. In January, he missed three games with a left foot contusion, later he missed seven with a sprained right ankle, later he missed another game with a left knee contusion, and finally he missed another with a dislocated left index finger.

Wade's decline in play became visible in Miami's post-season. Nevertheless, it was Wade's willpower that won out over his body at times as he put together flashes of brilliance, most notably his Game 6 performance over Indiana sans Chris Bosh.

Wade's 41 point performance, was something of legends. For a moment it seemed as if the injuries he initially suffered throughout the season had vanished. As made evident by the footage, in order to be the victor in the series Wade transitioned into a devastating post-scorer. His signature trickery was in full force as he sent defenders flying every which way to score as he darted through lanes with his euro step.

Wade was a one-on-one mastermind, consistently driving and dishing in order to keep Miami on top. It seemed as if everything Wade shot was going in. Wade continued his post-season play to the best of his ability as Miami eventually was victorious over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Finals.

Wade's final post-season stat line consisted of 22.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals, not too shabby. Once again Wade was an NBA champion, and LeBron had finally tasted victory. Nevertheless, a great post-season effort left Wade's body riddled and ready for surgery. Many suspected this the end of Wade's superstar status, but Wade, one never to shy away from a challenge was ready to silence the critics once again.

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