Over time, players’ bodies change and they alter their styles. Dwyane Wade is forced to use more of a mix of power and craftiness these days than the quickness that was his trademark early in his career. But for one night his alter ego “Flash” was back.
“He went back in his bag, today,” said a proud LeBron James at his post game presser. “He was flash tonight.”
Wade is human, “Flash” is the invincible superstar and two-time champion. Over the past few weeks, “Flash” has been harder to find on the floor than Edward Snowden. Flash was even better than the one we saw appear irregularly in the regular season during Miami’s 27-game winning streak.
Wade’s 32 points were his most since March 4 and only his eighth 30 point game of the season, but the second half is where he made his biggest impact. Wade averaged just 2.7 points per second half in the first three games of this series, but scored 16 more after Game 4’s intermission.
For three games, Wade looked nearly as decrepit as Manu Ginobili. Only one’s game is still decomposing. Ginobili still hasn’t scored more than seven points since Game 1, while Duncan and Parker combined for just 35 points in Game 3; but Wade isn’t dead yet. Each time San Antonio began catching pace with Miami, “Flash” deflated their hopes and reminded them it was going to be an uphill battle.
“Flash” didn’t just chip in on the offensive end. He ate up San Antonio on both ends like he’d been sniffing bath salts in the locker room.
Wade was a one-man Justice League. Not only did “Flash” make a guest appearance, but Miami’s Man of Steal imposed his will on the defensive end in San Antonio and finished with six steals. Wade’s fourth quarter dunk in transition off a steal and Euro Step was a sign that resistance would be futile and that Game 4 would be a vintage “Flash” throwback jam.
"The team needed one more from me and it was about time i showed up." Wade told Stephen A. Smith after the game.
However, once he comes back down off this one game high, “Flash” can’t rest on his laurels. After Game 3, he was seething. We’ve seen that look before after Game 6 against Indiana. He responded with 19 points to finish off the Pacers.
Wade embodies the resiliency we’ve observed from Miami throughout the postseason even though he now has to pick his spots. Miami hasn’t won consecutive games since the series against Chicago, but Game 5 is as essential as a pivotal Game 7 for Miami. If ever there was a spot for “Flash” to make a repeat appearance and bolster Miami’s aspirations for a repeat, Sunday night after a three day rest would be it.
It’s weird we even have to wonder, but Miami’s show of force by their Big Three can’t be a fluke. It has to be a return to form. For one night “Flash” was back, but this can’t be a flash in the pan.