Dwyane Wade

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The Return Of Flash

That wasn’t WOW or WHOA or HOW or whatever baggy gloss he gave himself.

April 17, 2018 - 1:33 pm

I said it yesterday and I meant it yesterday: the Philadelphia 76ers are coming. I also said yesterday and I meant it yesterday that last night was going to be a battle. Philly wasn’t going to blast their way through this series, hitting 64% from beyond the arc on the way to sweeping four games by double digits. 

You knew Miami was going to bounce back and they were going to bounce back hard. That they were going to make life very tough for Philly. Try to slow the game down. Control the pace, keep the scoring down, and be physical. Essentially, play 90s basketball. What I didn’t expect was Dwyane Wade to play 2006 basketball.

But he did. That wasn’t WOW or WHOA or HOW or whatever baggy gloss he gave himself. That was Flash in the building last night. 26 minutes, 28 points, 7 boards, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

What the hell was that? And it wasn’t like he was out there gunning. He was 11 of 16 from the field. Pretty much everything he did, worked. He outscored Philly all by himself in the final 15 minutes of the first half 21-20. And essentially iced the game with a 23-footer with less than 48 seconds to go.

What magic potion did he drink before last night’s game? Because that looked more like the freak who put up 35 and 8 in the 06 Finals than the guy who put up 11 points in Game 1 on jacked up knees. Seriously, how the hell does a guy that old, get that nice, in that spot. How do you explain that?

Well, according to Wade, it was all Kevin Hart. Seriously. And yes, I know this sounds like the plot of a paint-by-numbers comedy: the aging dude on the verge of retirement, icing down his knees after work each day, in short, he’s getting too old for this bleep. But suddenly he’s partnered with a wise-cracking sidekick and he finds a fountain of youth. 

Except that’s not what this is. This is less buddy cop and more Reggie Miller v. Spike Lee. Apparently, Hart was talking junk to Wade all game, and Wade was talking back and staring him down as he walked off the court at halftime. And then kept on going at him in the second half, too. 

And they kept going at it on Twitter, too, with Hart tweeting: ‘See you in Miami Dwyane Wade .....It’s not over’

And Wade responding you can’t come to Miami.

Look, Kevin. I respect the hustle and the fact that you’re repping the Sixers. And there’s no way that you’re sitting courtside in a playoff game and you aren’t going to be talking. But there’s a very good chance that you’re not helpin’ ‘em, you’re hurtin’ ‘em, man, and you shouldn’t be talking to Dwyane Wade.

Because if that’s what happens when you talk to Wade, I’d go full A Quiet Place on him in Game 3 and just use sign language.  

As for the Sixers, they just got a taste of their own blood. Their first loss in over a month and I don’t get the sense that they liked it at all. And I get the sense that they are going to bounce back. This is playoff basketball. There is a level of physicality that is allowed in playoff ball that doesn’t go during the regular season. Philly knows that now and they’ll adjust. 

And yes, I’m aware of Joel Embiid’s instagram post, the one where he said that he was “bleeping sick and tired of being babied.” And no, I am not remotely bothered by it. The guy wants to be on the floor in the team’s biggest games of the season. That’s not controversial. Maybe you don’t go f-bomb on instagram, but that’s not a thing at all. The guy wants to rejoin the fight, be out there with his brothers and it’s killing him that he’s not. 

If anything, it’s the magic of Jo. This is who he is on social media – a guy who gives it to you straight. And the straight truth is that he wants to be out there, with his guys, in the moments that matter, not on the bench. But the team also has to protect him from himself at times. They want him out there too, but you can’t run him out there and run the risk of him re-injuring himself, even if it is the playoffs. They want him out there, he wants to be out there, he’ll be out there as soon as they can get him out there. You just have to trust Sixers head coach Brett Brown, because he knows exactly what the hell he’s doing.  Trust Brett Brown. And most of all, Trust the Process.