The prevailing wisdom in the NBA a couple months ago was that the MVP trophy was either going to Lebron James or Kobe Bryant. Dwyane Wade must not have gotten that memo, because over the last few months, he has gone utterly insane. Wade now leads the NBA in scoring and has the Heat firmly in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Further, he’s been doing so while putting up some memorable performances, the most recent of which was his performance against Chicago, ripping out the Bulls’ heart and making it burst into flames.
Well, most recent until today, anyway, as Wade and the Heat took on a Jazz team that led its division and was one loss removed from an 11-game win streak. The Jazz led by 7 with under a minute to play in regulation, and the fact that we need the “in regulation” tells you how well that lead held up. Then the Jazz scored the first 8 points in the first overtime–that, too, failed. And when the dust settled, Miami had a 140-127, triple-overtime win. Wade was the hero of the day, with 50 points, 10 boards, and… oh, just 9 assists? Oh, too bad, no triple-double for Wade. And yes, Wade wanted it.
As THE SPORTING BLOG notes, the Heat began to run up a big lead as the final overtime waned, and they had a final huddle with about 30 seconds to go and Wade sitting at that 50-10-9. We’ll let Ziller take it from there…
Off a Jazz miss, Wade took the ball down to the left elbow and fired a wild alley-oop attempt to a teammate. Play-by-play dude Eric Reid noted (accurately) that Wade wanted that triple double. As the Jazz ran down with the ball, color analyst Tom Fiorentino exclaimed that Wade doesn’t care about anything but winning.
Fiorentino’s proclamation is a bit of a false dichotomy; Wade can care about both at the same time, after all, especially when his team’s up by double digits with under a minute to play. Further, in the MVP race, Wade doesn’t quite have a game like Lebron’s dubious 50-point triple-double at the Garden last month. Selfish? Yeah, kinda, but Wade’s earned it, no?
And besides, it could have been worse. Imagine if he’d only needed one rebound. Ricky Davis, might you have a suggestion?
Oh, that’s the stuff.