LeBron James made another convincing argument for MVP consideration with an NBA season high 51 points against the Orlando Magic in one of the most efficient offensive games in recent memory. The very next night against the Charlotte Bobcats, it was Dwyane Wade's turn to show why he should be in the discussion with a rare triple-double performance of 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. (It was only his fourth ever and his first in five years.)
Solution? Just like they shared player of the month honors, the two might have to share the MVP award as well.
This is the Wade we saw absolutely dominate the competition in Team USA (playing with LeBron and Chris Bosh) who doesn't have the sole responsibility to carry his team every night to get a win. Instead we're being treated to a much looser Wade who can create freely on offense, unburdened with a shoot-first scorer's mentality who can also devote more energy to chasing rebounds, locking down his defender and the opportunity to really hone his somewhat underrated playmaking skills. This season his 4.3 assists per game, a career low since his 4.5 assists his rookie season, have taken a hit with LeBron by his side but he's averaging career highs with 6.8 rebounds and .496 field goal percentage. All the more impressive was the fact that Wade was uncertain to play beforehand after suffering a nasty fall on his back the night before because of a hard foul from Dwight Howard.
James didn't exactly take the night off after his dominating display against the Magic. He almost notched his fourth triple-double of the season with 19 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds. Bosh struggled with his outside shot, in fact he simply didn't score from there the whole game, but I really liked the fact that he made all 7 of his shots near the rim and 4 of them came in the span between 7:11 and 2:47 in the fourth quarter.
The Heat took the best of the Bobcats through three quarters and just wore them down in the fourth quarter with their depth. Miami's supporting cast did their part in a devastatingly efficient shooting performance as Eddie House (16 points, 6-8 shooting and 4-5 from beyond the arc), Mike Miller (13 points with a perfect 4-4 FGs, 3-3 in threes, 2-2 free throws) and even a resurgent Zydrunas Ilgauskas (13 points, 6-7 shooting) provided all the help the Big 3 needed to put away Charlotte. Thankfully, their was no drama or Jazz/Magic-like instant shooting clinics in clutch time, paving the way to make the ending a quick and painless affair.
The Heat's short losing spell wasn't karma biting the Heat in the ass after LeBron's infamous tweet. The team needed to be healthy and with all Big 3 contributing. Sometimes it's as simple as that. The Heat will be in great shape if Miller, House and the rest of the gang can be proactive instead of just being spectators to Wade and LeBron trying to do everything themselves.