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Dwyane Wade effect is real as TV ratings for Miami Heat rise on his return

In three games since Wade returned TV viewership increased dramatically.

Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Loyal Dwyane Wade fans turned on their TV’s to watch the return of Miami Heat’s legend come back to the team that drafted him.

#HEATTVRatings: Through three games (4.7 HH avg.), the @DwyaneWade effect is real on FOX Sports Sun. Average viewership is up +74% over the full-season average since Wade came home. #HEATCulture

Wade is in Los Angeles with his Gabrelle Union to promote his film project.

Tonight we’re on the Red Carpet with the Wade’s in LA for a private screening of @dwyanewade’s produced Shot in the Dark! #NBAAllStar

Seeing as LeBron James is in town, perhaps a sighting of a new “Banana Boat” foursome will leak out.

Ira Winderman noted Wade’s presence gives coach Erik Spoelstra more flexibility on using the roster going forward.

Spoelstra said with Dwyane Wade available to handle more of the playmaking with the second unit, it has allowed Johnson to play with more of an attack mindset, something that had been missing during the early stages of the season.

”I think Dwyane will also help him get to his strengths,” Spoelstra said, “and also he can put the ball in Dwyane’s hands to make some decisions so James can just be a force of nature. I think that’s what you saw the last couple of games.​”

Last game’s starting five of Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, and Goran Dragic returned from a team that finished 41-41. The Heat go into the All-Star game with a barely better record of 30-28.

Will bringing back the band lead to another mediocre finish this season as the previous one? Or can a most improved player emerge from the roster?

Perhaps Bam Adebayo and Wade could make a difference to get past a first-round elimination in the playoffs, as Bam fan Zach Lowe notes.

My personal case of Bam Fever is reaching dangerous levels. Look at this dude:

Adebayo’s versatility is way ahead of schedule. He looks comfortable guarding all five positions, and facilitating from the elbows. He has assisted on about 12.5 percent of Miami buckets while on the floor, a rare benchmark for a rookie big.

He isn’t shooting jumpers yet, and that is where Dwyane Wade’s introduction complicates life for the Heat. Wade is siphoning a few minutes each from Dragic, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson and Ellington -- all decent (or better) long-range shooters. With Wade, the Heat play more lineups featuring three non-shooters -- the tipping point at which some groups become ineffective. Wade is a legend, but the Heat have to be careful.