For those of you who don't know, or don't live in the greater Miami area, Jonathan Zaslow is radio talk-show host on South Florida's #1 sports talk station, WAXY 790 ‘The Ticket'. While he roots for all the local sports teams, ‘Zas' is a die-hard Miami Heat fan and has been since their inaugural season. Every few weeks Zaslow takes the time to put a blog together for us at PIM, and here is his latest entry:
I know everyone was all jacked up over the Los Angeles and Atlanta wins. It makes you feel like this team is on the verge of "turning the corner", or "breaking out", or that those were "statement games". You were looking at a situation (for like the 10th time this season) where you'd like to believe this team is better than that paultry record and that they will head into the playoffs as a scary team. But to me, it was hard to get excited about this team, and we saw exactly why when they lost to the Bobcats for the 3rd time this year.
Nothing about that game surprises you in the least. How many games have we witnessed like that this year??? 100? This team has a game where you feel like they can get something going (big picture wise) and they lay a "Precious" sized egg. I've seen that movie before. (Not Precious, the one where the Heat suck in the 4th quarter) All in all, it means nothing. But it's still deflating because you'd like to head into the postseason streaking.
Even with a subpar supporting cast last year, the Heat managed to win tight games in the 4th quarter because Dwyane Wade is that good. But........
Let's be honest for a second......you ready? Shhhhhhhh.....come over here........Dwyane Wade has not been good in the 4th quarter this year. You can actually say that he has been bad, if you'd like. And that right there is the main difference between this season and last.
Did a little research (Thanks to our friends at 82games.com) and found these numbers to back this claim up:
In the 4th quarter or OT this year, with under 5 minutes remaining and less than a 5-point difference, per 48 minutes:
Dwyane Wade is averaging 30.0 points, and shooting .344% from the field.
No one needs to tell you that that is a pretty horrible percentage "in the clutch". Let's look at a few of the other big shot takers:
Carmelo Anthony, 40.3 points and .385% from the field.
Kobe Bryant, 48.1 points and .432% from the field.
LeBron James, 65.1 points and .485% from the field (That's insane!)
Last year, Dwyane's clutch stats were 49.2 points and .470%. It's jarring how different the two seasons actually are. So, when you're left wondering how the Heat aren't winning these games (or putting up a 12 spot in the 4th quarter in Charlotte), just look at the difference between last year and this year from number 3.
You can hear Zaslow every weeknight from 7-10pm (unless there is a Panthers or Marlins game) on 790 The Ticket. If you have questions for Zaslow you can e-mail him at Zaslow@790theticket.com, or you can leave it in the comments section and I will get it answered for you.