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Swade By the Sublime - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Swade By the Sublime
Dwyane Wade is really, really good. And he's getting better. He's scoring like MJ did in the playoffs, but with a higher shooting percentage. More importantly, he makes baskets when his team needs them most.

I know, as the statheads out there will surely point out, that every basket is equally important. Nor would I want to dispute that. But basketball is a game where the willingness to shoot when the pressure is on -- dare I say "in the clutch"? -- is important in ways that can't really be quantified in a box score.

I've watched countless basketball games where, as the game winds down, players freeze up. Someone has to be willing to take shots in those situations. Even if they aren't high-percentage ones, there's always the chance of getting fouled, especially in traffic. This is one reason why basketball doesn't work the way baseball does from a statistical standpoint. Jordan was famous for taking and frequently making those sorts of shots. Of the NBA's younger stars, Wade, Lebron James, and Carmelo Anthony have already developed reputations for doing the same.

Because Wade is on the best team of those three by far, he gets an unfair advantage in comparisons between them. James is probably a better all-around player, though not by a huge margin. And Anthony, who trails the other two in most respects, may be better than he seems. Having said that, though, it's hard not to sit back and marvel at how well Wade is playing right now.

Tonight's circus shot, which happened, not because of an ill-advised desire to show off, but because Wade was nearly upended by a hard foul on his drive to the hoop, was so spectacular that the network television cameras missed it the first time. The lead cameraman clearly didn't anticipate anyone making that shot. Luckily, though, it was captured from other angles. This still-camera shot missed the hoop as well, but it does a great job of showing how remarkable the play was:

I've seen some amazing shots over the years, but this one has to rank near the top of the list. The body control Wade displayed was phenomenal. It's one thing to do what MJ did on the famous switching-hands-in-midair drive against Magic's Lakers. It's another to make a similarly acrobatic play after a collison that seems destined to send you tumbling down onto your head. Besides, I like this shot because it's a superhuman version of my signature move, when I cut across the lane and spin the ball off the backboard with table-tennis English while floating over the baseline.

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Comments
frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: May 31st, 2006 12:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
yeah, wade is amazing. as a former basketball stat junky, though, i'd like to point out that his current playoff fg% isn't much higher than jordan's career average, and is lower than some of kordan's individual season playoff percentages. lot's of folks operate under the assumption that jordan shot like a typical 'scoring' guard does these days -- about 40-45%... but in fact he typically hit half his shots:

http://www.databasebasketball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=JORDAMI01

i regularly read steve kerr's yahoo! column and he recently gave a statistic on lebron james that was incredibly telling. i can't remember the exact stat, but in the last two minutes of one-possession games, he shot something like 60-70% from the field and no other player in the game shot even 50%.

that's fucking clutch.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 31st, 2006 01:30 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Maybe I misread Wade's stat lines, but it seemed to me that he was way over 50% from the floor of late. But, yes, Lebron is clutch.
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: May 31st, 2006 11:20 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
D Wade is shooting close to 70% right now. That's more than a little amazing!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 31st, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's what I thought. It was just the first round where his percentage was down. He's so fun to watch!
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: May 31st, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I hope D Wade has a monster game tonight. He really wants to get back at Detroit for last year.
frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: May 31st, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
he's shooting huge against the pistons, but over the course of the first 3 rounds, combined, he's shooting 51% (which is still fantastic for a guard)

you can't just pick out 4 games where he's hot and say he's outperforming jordan... jordan, of course, went on similar streaks over the course of his playoff runs. all great players have ups and downs.

that said, wade is fucking awesome, no doubts. and he's going to get better.
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: June 1st, 2006 03:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Comparing Jordan to Wade is silly because they are/were different players. I never compared Jordan to Dr. J even though we heard a lot of it. Every man is unique. Stats might be compared but, I think Kobe is more like Jordan, the player on the court.
frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: June 1st, 2006 07:15 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Like it or not, Jordan has become the barometer other players are measured by -- a consequence of being the best. Lot's of people compare Bryant's athleticism and shot creation skills to Jordan, but the most impressive thing about Jordan's game, to me, was his basketball IQ and his court awareness. Bryant seems to lack this (and he's not half the defender Jordan was)

I think Charlie was mostly comparing Wade to Jordan in terms of playoff efficiency/impact (and acrobatic shot-making). It is a fair comparison, I think. But in terms of future Jordanesque DOMINANCE (not style), I think we have to look to King James. His court awareness and basketball IQ are so fucking impressive at his age.

He just needs to learn how to D up.



cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 1st, 2006 10:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Every comparison of different people is based on a lie because everyone is different. Nevertheless, we're analogy-making animals. It seems a little silly too me to say that we shouldn't invoke Michael Jordan in discussions of these sort because no one was like him.

Having said that, I'll supplement my initial thoughts by saying that I was referring to playoff performance, particularly at the end of games, as <lj user="frostedfuckhead> rightly presumes. One thing about Wade that has impressed me a lot this year is the marked improvement in his defense. He's playing <em>a lot</em> better on that end. I'm a little baffled by Lebron James's defense liabilities. Defense is mostly about a willingness to do the dirty work of following people around. Speed and size are factors, but will will get you a long way. Since James seems to have plenty of will, speed <em>and</em> size, he shouldn't have any trouble defending. Maybe that's where the lack of time in college makes itself most powerfully felt.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 1st, 2006 10:20 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, like I said below, "Yes, but. . ." I mean, of course Wade isn't Jordan. But he's actually closer in size to Jordan than you might think. If we weren't comparing, life would be boring!
schencka From: schencka Date: May 31st, 2006 01:02 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

off-topic

Charlie, I've been watching Frontline's (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/) documentary on HIV/AIDS. My wife now works at TIHAN. San Francisco was the center of the pandemic politically. Do you have any stories on the issue?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 31st, 2006 01:28 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: off-topic

I remember walking around in the Bay Area in the late 80s and early 90s, when so many men were visibly sick, especially on Polk Street and in the Castro. I had a friend who became HIV+. And I knew some of the people in Act Up and Queer Nation. But that's about the extent of my experience.
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