Wed Dec 28 09:45am EST
Since entering the NBA in 2003, Dwyane Wade has established himself as the league's best back-court shot-blocker, rejecting more opponents' field goals than any other guard in the game by a considerable margin. His quickness and patience help him time opponents' shooting motions, and his length and leaping ability allow him to contest shots that other off-guards -- even taller, rangier ones -- can't reach.
It's a pretty great weapon for the Miami Heat to have; it kind of stinks to be on the other side of it, though. Like multiple Boston Celtics were on Tuesday night during the early match-up of TNT's prime-time double-header.
What I'm saying is: We feel for you, Marquis Daniels.
You made a nice cut off the ball, you went right up to the basket as soon as you received the pass, and you tried to use the rim to shield the attempt from the trailing Wade. More often than not, that's two points; not last night, though.
Similarly, we feel for you, Ray Allen.
You beat your man off the dribble, you curled sharply around a nice Kevin Garnett screen, and went up strong to the rim. Unfortunately, you don't jump as high as you used to, and Dwyane Wade does, and his pair of outstretched arms beats your busted flush. (Once again, we feel for Daniels, who was Johnny on the Spot to pick up for Allen, only to see Wade slap the loose ball away and start yet another Miami fast break.)
And given that, we even feel for you, Rajon Rondo.
Seeing Wade coming at you on the wing with a head of steam to meet you at the rim's enough to make any driver think twice about letting it go, and instead choose to double-pump and flip up an airball. Especially a driver with such a rich history of being chased down. (Yes, C's fans, we know: Rondo also got LeBron James that one time.)
All told, Wade finished with four blocks (getting Rondo shook doesn't show up on the stat sheet, I'm afraid) and two steals to go with 24 points (8-of-15 shooting) and eight assists in Miami's 115-107 win over the visiting Celtics on Tuesday night. Fun with small sample sizes: Through two games, Wade has blocked 6.3 percent of the two-point field-goals that opponents have attempted while he is on the court, according to Basketball-Reference, a rate that would have tied him with Darko Milicic for third-best in the NBA last year, behind only JaVale McGee and Serge Ibaka.
You know, if Wade keeps up this dominant play in the middle, Miami might not even need Eddy Curry.
International readers ("Int'l read'rs"): If the clips above aren't rocking for you, please feel free to peruse Wade's block on Daniels, his block on Allen and Rondo getting the yips courtesy of FunkyAxel11 and GDSeasonClips.