Dwyane Wade’s game is more vintage Antique Roadshow than Flash these days, but he can still stunt on defenders when he has to on occasion. Contemporary Wade is still heavily reliant on his post-up ability.
Midway through the second quarter between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, Wade lured Lonzo Ball onto the left block, turned his back to the basket, and threw the rook into his trick bag. Draped by Ball, Wade pivoted to his left, then shook back to his right, but to no avail.
Wade lurched to his left one more time, deceiving Ball into biting on the shake, unlatching himself from the floor, and flailing into the thick Miami air while Wade swung back to his right, turned around and squared up to drop a parabolic jumper over the backboard and through the net. It was a move straight out of the Official Oldman Manual and Ball bit like a young lad in the park.
It’s not Ball’s fault if he was taken aback by Wade’s throwback special. As the game has transitioned to incorporate more perimeter shooting and driving to the cup, guards who can cook in the low-post are a dying breed.
Wade has definitely lost a few steps over the years, and he never quite extended his range into downtown territory, but when stationary, he can sit down, flip through his catalogue of special moves and manipulate defenders like few others can.
More importantly, he’s been re-energized upon his return to Miami. He dropped 25 on the Lakers Thursday. Two nights before, he honored slain Stoneman Douglas student, Joaquin Oliver, manifested 27 points and drilled a game-winner on the Philadelphia 76ers.
He won’t do that sort of thing every night anymore. His senescent body dictates which Wade we’ll see from night to night. However, as Lonzo Ball found out, his post-up game is still lethal and should be handled with caution by inexperienced defenders.