As Dwayne Wade’s career has progressed, the Miami Heat have become more dependent on his scoring and—this season—a little less tolerant of sloppy play.
Wade and the Heat look to bounce back from one of their worst performances of the season as they host the struggling Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.
Miami (16-14) got 16 points from Wade, who averages 26.3, in a 108-78 loss to San Antonio on Thursday night. It was the Heat’s most lopsided defeat of the season and their second road loss in as many nights.
Wade was one point better than his lowest-scoring game of the season, Nov. 18 in a 105-90 loss to Atlanta. The star guard shot 6 for 18 against the Spurs and committed a season-high seven turnovers after giving the ball up six times in a 95-91 loss to New Orleans the previous evening.
“Come back and play on Saturday. That’s all you can do in this league,” Wade said. “We’ll leave it up to our coaches to stress over it. It’s one of those games that we learn from and we move on.”
After going 23-18 when Wade scored fewer than 17 in his first two seasons, the Heat are 4-17 since the start of 2005-06. Miami has also had a difficult time overcoming sloppy performances from Wade, losing all three games in which he has turned the ball over six times or more this season after going 7-3 in such contests in 2008-09.
The Heat now open 2010 with three straight games at home, where Wade is averaging 27.3 points and 2.6 turnovers in his last three.
Charlotte has been hurt by careless play, turning the ball over 24 times in a 107-103 loss at Toronto on Wednesday night. It was the sixth time in 10 games that the Bobcats have committed 20 or more turnovers.
“When you give up 30 points on turnovers on the road, it’s too big a hill to climb,” coach Larry Brown said.
Center DeSagana Diop(notes) said Brown has been persistent in his message about taking better care of the ball “after every game, at halftime and after every quarter.” Still, the message doesn’t seem to be getting through.
“It’s right in front of our face. It’s something we’ve got to do a better job of as a team,” forward Gerald Wallace(notes) told the Bobcats’ official Web site. “Take care of the ball on the road. I think we do a pretty good job at home, but we do a lousy job on the road.”
Charlotte is 1-14 on the road, averaging 87.8 points and 18.2 turnovers. Only New Jersey (1-16) has a worse road record.
The Heat went 3-1 against the Bobcats in 2008-09.