It happened early in the first quarter. An errant pass by Quentin Richardson was picked up midcourt by Cleveland Cavaliers power forward J.J. Hickson. Dwyane Wade rushed down the court in an attempt to contest Hickson's layup (because who the hell else is gonna do it? Rafer Alston? Pfft!). The result of this hustle play by D-Wade: the 6-9 Hickson flushing the basketball with Dominique-like authority in his face.
TNT color analyst Reggie Miller yells, "Dwyane Wade! Welcome to your Kodak moment!" TNT cuts to a commercial of that guy talking to himself in an office window reflection about asking his doctor if he should take erectile dysfunction pills. You ditch the Miller Light for some Jäger. It was going to be a long night. And a long night it was, for the Heat dropped its season-high fourth straight, losing to the red-hot Cavs 102-86.
It's the second loss D-Wade has had to suffer at the hands of his good
friend LeBron James in the past ten days. And the two superstars could
not be farther from each other on the NBA-title-contender spectrum.
LeBron poured in 36 while going to the stripe 21 times (more than the
entire Heat combined). At one point, James even played point guard.
meanwhile, keeps struggling to achieve some sort of consistency. Mainly
because after Michael Beasley, he has a Globe Trotter-like,
obscenity-inducing supporting cast. And Wade knows it all too well. "You've got to be realistic,'' he told the press afterward. "[James's] team has NBA Championship aspirations. We don't. We don't
have that. We're focusing on trying to get to the playoffs. They're
trying to get to the championship. That's totally different.''
Translation: Get my agent on the damn phone!
maybe not. Not yet. But if James's Cavs continue to resemble the 1980's
L.A. Lakers night after night, while D-Wade's Heat continue to resemble
the Key Stone Cops night after night, bad things could happen--things
that'll kick Heat fans' ulcers into overdrive, like Dwyane Wade in
another uniform next season.
Watching Alston go 1-for-5 and
Quentin Richardson adding to The Suck with a 0-for-7 performance is not
inducing any confidence around town that No. 3 will stick around. Here
are a couple of ideas: Let's get back to Carlos Arroyo at point and end
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the "Let's See How Bad Rafer Alston Sucks Tonight!" experiment already.
Let's also not sit Michael Beasley late in games for no reason
And while we're at it, let's all join in prayer that all this crap doesn't force D-Wade to fly the coop when the season ends.