Friday, February 29, 2008

Should the Heat be in the NBDL?

The Lakers-Heat game last night was like the Lakers-Suns game right after the all-star break, only the exact opposite. That game in Phoenix, with Shaq in town playing for the first time, felt like a playoff game, and an important one at that. Extremely competitive, high-level basketball, a crowd trying to push their team to the next level. Especially with the SA-Dallas game as a warm-up, the Lakers-Heat game felt like a Summer League game where no one really cared.

Even so, there were still flashes of greatness, as the Lakers toyed with a terrible team. It's nice to have a team that is worth watching even when they are blowing out a 10-win team.

Dwyane Wade had better be hurt. Jordan thinks, and I agree, that he's just mailing it in. On defense, Wade got destroyed. Kobe blew by him multiple times with ease, but more telling was the fact that Sasha "The Machine" Vujacic crossed over on Wade and blew by him easily. On offense, Wade isn't the same player when the refs aren't coddling him. He clearly isn't as good a shooter as most of the elite players in this league, and an array of circus shots don't cut it when the whistles aren't blowing.

Mostly, Wade reminded me of Vince Carter last night. Still talented, not trying that hard, and somewhat painful to watch. For his sake, I hope he's playing hurt, because otherwise it's a shame to see what he's become.

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