Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade is famous for many basketball skills, but one of them is his status as the best shot-blocking guard of his generation. Whereas most shot-blockers earn their defensive reputations by patrolling the paint, Wade got his by chasing scorers around the court and elevating to swat jumpers and shots at the rim. His career mark of one block per game is pretty amazing for a 6-4 player who's only expected to challenge shots as best he can.
On Wednesday night, early in the second quarter of the Heat's game at the Los Angeles Clippers, Wade got a taste of his own medicine. Handling the ball on a two-on-one fast break with Norris Cole and only Bledsoe defending, Wade saw a lane to finish with a right-handed slam from the left side and elevated. Except Bledsoe matched him and succeeded in stuffing Wade well before he got his hand in position to finish the slam. In truth this one wasn't even that close. The game went roughly the same — the Clippers won 107-100 and controlled vast majority of the second half.
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This play also helped emphasize Bledsoe's notable night and Wade's very poor one. In 17 minutes, the dynamic Clippers guard scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. While his five turnovers were alarming, Bledsoe stood out as a potential difference maker, as well as the sort of young player who should see an uptick in his minutes soon. Wade, on the other hand, shot a measly 2 of 10 for only six points in a game where LeBron James desperately needed one of his two star teammates to step up.
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