MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat know that they’ll get everything that LeBron James has in him in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics Saturday night. But it’s the player who has defined Heat basketball recently who will also need to step up to get the Heat back to the NBA Finals.
Heat superstar guard Dwyane Wade has been somewhat quiet for much of the series against the Celtics. Through the series, Wade is averaging 21.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. While those numbers are solid, the Heat need Wade to once again rule the court at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
It was just one series ago when Wade had his worst playoff game, possibly ever, against the Indiana Pacers. He scored just five points in that game and looked like father time was catching up with him. But then, as he’s done so many times before, Wade hit the gas.
He scored 30 points and pulled down 9 rebounds and dished out 9 assists in the series clinching game against the Pacers. That came after Wade went for 41 points and 10 rebounds as he answered all of the critics saying he was nearing the end of the line.
The 2012 season for Wade has been one of transition as he’s let LeBron James take over the franchise and Wade has backed away from some of the spotlight. But his presence is needed Saturday night to once again prove to the world the Heat are the team to beat in the NBA.
Wade, and most of the Celtics, watched in awe as LeBron scored 45 points in Game 6 while also pulling down 15 rebounds and 5 assists. Where Miami needs Wade to improve the most is starting the game.
Boston has spent much of the beginning of the playoff games double-teaming Wade, making it difficult for him to get into a steady flow of the game. This was made easier without Chris Bosh in the lineup, but Bosh is back and could be starting Saturday night.
Ever since he joined the Miami Heat and led them to the franchise’s only NBA Championship, Wade has been the face and heart of the team. Saturday night, they will need one more epic performance from him, LeBron, and the rest of the team to overcome the mighty Celtics.
The game tips off just after 8:30 p.m. at the AmericanAirlines Arena Saturday night.