It’s amazing how quickly things change. After game three, the world was in an uproar over Dwyane Wade, he wasn’t carrying his weight, wouldn’t mesh with LeBron James, and needed to be traded, right? Analysts and fans immediately jumped on Wade after a five-point performance in which he was disillusioned, angry and frustrated with his coach. Amongst this immediate reaction media we live in and encourage, we just had to draw grandeur conclusions.
I remember the first blog entry I saw on the bottom of ESPN’s homepage the day after game three was about the big three model and whether or not it was dead. The Heat have been together since the beginning of last year, in their only full season together they made it to the finals. Sure, they lost to a team that they were more talented than, but they made the finals! That isn’t a failure by any measure, and here they are rolling through the Eastern Conference relatively smooth, with the only small bumps in the road being blown out of proportion and publicized until we believe the coverage. We believed that the Heat weren’t working together well, we believed that the Indiana Pacers would beat Miami, we believed Dwayne Wade wasn’t going to work in his current situation. As usual, our assumptions were off base.
The Heat’s tumultuous arguments and flaring tempers seem like light years ago, and any problems with the Pacers are now a laughing matter. It will feel like an easy series in a week. Dwayne Wade proved why he’s one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever seen since his one off game. Last night, he scored 40 and got 11 rebounds. It was a truly great playoff performance, but that’s what we should’ve expected. After all these years of predicting lengthy futures after a sliver of a sampling, the only reliable analysis is that our current system of over-criticism and suffocating coverage isn’t working.