FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN
So let’s see if we have this straight: In two months, Dwyane Wade has gone from Charles Barkley claiming he was lost his “athletic ability” and “talent”; to a national web site (Bleacher Report) publishing a story asking whether he’s underrated, to quietly doing something that only two Hall of Fame guards ever accomplished.
You all know how well Wade is playing. But here’s some perspective on how historically good Wade has been:
### Largely overshadowed by Miami’s 20-game winning streak is the fact Wade is the first guard to shoot at least 50 percent and score at least 20 points in 11 games in a row since Michael Jordan in 1995-96.
### Only two shooting guards in the Hall of Fame have done in a season what Wade is on pace to do – average at least 20 points and shoot better than 52 percent. Those would be Jordan, who did it six times, and George Gervin, who did it four times (twice as a starting two-guard, twice at small forward). And the 6-4 Wade, who’s averaging 21.8 points and shooting 52.3 percent, is three inches shorter than Gervin and two inches shorter than Jordan.
Among the great shooting guards of all time, Kobe Bryant never shot higher than his 46.9 this season, Pete Maravich never higher than 44.6. Clyde Drexler’s career high was 50.6, Earl Monroe 51.7, Reggie Miller and Jerry West 51.4 each.
What’s more, in the past 30 years, a Herald study shows only three shooting guards other than Jordan have done, over a full season, what Wade is doing (at least 20 points per game while shooting at least 52 percent): Monta Ellis (2007-08), Rolando Blackman and Andrew Toney (both 1983-84).
“Five years ago, he had to shoulder the entire burden and a lot of times was put in situations where he had to take bad shots,” James Jones said. “Now he doesn’t have to take bad shots. His jump shot has gotten better, his finishes have gotten better.”
A few points to consider:
### Wade is shooting a career-high 43 percent from 16 to 23 feet (he was 37 the past two years), and 43 percent from 10 to 15 feet (he was 38 two years ago). “His mid-range game is better,” Chris Bosh said.
### He’s shooting 75 percent at the rim, compared with 66 or 67 each of the past six years.
### He’s shooting at least 50 percent on post ups (51 for 100) for the first time ever. “He has reinvented himself,” Udonis Haslem said.
### Perhaps the biggest key to Wade shooting a career high: He’s on pace to take only 86 three-pointers. He shot 278 and 206 in the previous two non-lockout seasons. (Wade is shooting only 25.8 percent on threes, but because he has taken so few compared with past years, it hasn't been very damaging to his overall shooting percentage.)
He’s shooting above 54 percent during the streak, aided by the fact he’s averaging five dunks or layups per game. Overall this season, Wade ranks behind only James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul in the NBA’s efficiency rating.
This would mark the fourth time in five years that Wade has led all shooting guards in shooting percentage – he was edged out by Wilson Chandler in 2009-10 – and he’s doing it in a year he’s averaging fewer points than any time since his rookie season. And, by the way, he’s first among all shooting guards in blocks per game, second in steals (his 23-game streak ended Wednesday) and fourth in rebounds and assists.
“I just got to understand, for me, especially when I'm healthy, that I'm one of the best in this game," Wade said, noting he feels better than any time since 2010. "When you’re doubted, you want to, what’s the phrase, shove it up their? My role is just different, you know? When I’m not healthy, people can say things about me. But when I’m healthy, there’s not much you can say.”
Unfortunately for UM, former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins - the one member of the NCAA’s 18-person infractions committee who expressed strong skepticism about using Nevin Shapiro as an NCAA source - was excluded from the committee that will hear UM’s case in mid-June.
According to a person involved in the UM case, UM’s fate will be determined by Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky, Bowling Green athletic director Greg Cristopher, Notre Dame senior deputy athletic director Melissa Conboy, law professors Eleanor Myers (Temple) and James O’Fallon (Oregon), Kansas City-based attorney John Black, Washington D.C.-based attorney Roscoe Howard and Tampa-based attorney Christopher Griffin.
### Classy move by Missouri and former UM coach Frank Haith to reach out to a few of his former players on this Hurricanes team. “Pleasant surprise,” Kenny Kadji said. “Coach Haith texted me after the Duke game and during the win streak, saying good job.”
### An associate said cornerback Darrelle Revis, the subject of trade rumors, would welcome Dolphins interest if the Jets don’t keep him and if Miami decided to pursue it. There's been no indication that Miami has any interest in trading for Revis, who's coming off a major knee injury and could be a free agent next spring.
### Davone Bess hasn’t been told if he will be jettisoned if Miami beats out the Jets and Titans for receiver Brandon Gibson, who visited Dolphins camp Thursday. But Miami has told other people that its vision -- if Gibson agrees to a contract -- would be to pair Gibson, Bess and starters Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline when it uses four-receiver packages. [FRIDAY UPDATE: BRANDON GIBSON SIGNED WITH MIAMI THIS AFTERNOON.]
That said, the Dolphins sometimes say one thing and end up changing their mind, and Miami also likes Rishard Matthews and Armon Binns. Marlon Moore wasn’t tendered a contract offer.
### Despite the Dolphins saying publicly how much they valued them, they never made a formal offer to Sean Smith and their offer to Anthony Fasano was well below Kansas City’s, sources said.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins never made an offer to Reggie Bush but told him he could let them know when he got an offer elsewhere. Bush -- perplexed by Miami's approach -- didn't bother, and who could blame him at that point? He took Detroit's offer without going back to the Dolphins, who presumably wouldn't have matched.
### Please see The Herald's story on the home page on the Dolphins signing Dustin Keller.
### A dozen Nevada casinos, including the MGM Grand, set the Marlins' over/under for wins at 63, which would mean 99 losses. Only the Astros have a lower over/under for wins (59). Both teams have 250-to-1 odds to win the World Series.