He is getting better by the game, and unless the Pacers can control him better this could be a 6 or 7 game series. I don't care if he taks threes, but he is excellent at getting to the rim and also excellent at the pull up 15 ft jumpers.
Pacers may have to treat him like the Lakers treated Parker.
Fred Jones plays him better than anyone the Pacers have, but that only works when Wade plays shooting guard
Wade's play presents 'serious problem' for Indiana
By Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
MIAMI -- The Indiana Pacers have a serious problem.
OK, maybe they don't think so, but at least one member of the Miami Heat does.
Caron Butler was as effusive in his praise of rookie Dwyane Wade as anybody inside a joyous/relieved Heat locker room. Wade was the catalyst in Miami's 94-87 victory Monday, but it was more than his 25 points, six assists and unflappable style that Butler believes has the Pacers worried.
It was his ability to pierce the Pacers' defense.
"He was penetrating, getting into the paint, that's what he does,'' Butler said. "He's a problem, he's a serious problem and I don't know what they're going to do about that problem.''
Most thought they would just knock him down, perhaps the way the Los Angeles Lakers knocked down San Antonio's Tony Parker in Game 3. But Wade kind of scoffed at that idea, saying this series is less physical than the seven-game pounding he took from the New Orleans Hornets.
So driving down the middle of the Pacers' defense was as easy for Wade as a Sunday afternoon drive down Collins Avenue.
"That's my strength, driving to the hole, so I always feel I can beat the first defender,'' Wade said. "It's all about the second and third and fourth defender. I'm very confident I can get into the lane.''
Wade scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, and was perfect in eight attempts from the free-throw line. But the final 12 minutes did not start as strong as it ended. Wade was mainly responsible for the Pacers regaining the lead midway through the quarter with two turnovers and a silly foul on Ron Artest, who was shooting an off-balanced corner jumper to beat the shot clock.
But Wade atoned for his mistakes. His jump shot from just beyond the free-throw line gave the Heat a 74-72 lead and started 7-0 run that would temporarily save the Heat's season.
Wade followed his jumper with a thunderous dunk on a feed from Odom, who spotted Wade cutting down the middle of the lane as the Pacers' defense was collapsing on the Heat forward. Wade then went to the line six times in the final minute as the Pacers hit four consecutive three-pointers to keep the pressure on Miami.
"It's crucial,'' Wade said. "They're a great three-point team. (Jamaal) Tinsley is an unbelievable three-point shooter now and Reggie Miller is always dangerous. When you get to the free-throw line, you have to put them in. Caron hit some, I hit some You got to hit them when they count.''
Wade, not Jermaine O'Neal or Artest or Odom, leads all scorers in this series, averaging 22.0 points per game. He is shooting 48 percent (24-for-50) and is putting on a post-season show not seen around these parts since Tim Hardaway single-handedly killed the Knicks.
The difference? Hardaway was a polished veteran. Wade is a rookie.
"The No. 1 thing about Dwyane Wade, besides his obvious talent, is his ability to learn and make adjustments,'' Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said.
Now, it's the Pacers turn to made some adjustments.