As the Pacers once again leveled the series with an impressive 91-77 victory against a frustrated Heat outfit, the focus once again was on the struggles of Dwyane Wade.
Struggling to score in what has been the least-productive playoff series of Wade’s 10-year career, game 6 was no different. At times Wade looked slow and disinterested.
Heat fans had to wait until the third quarter for Dwyane Wade to register his first field goal after several earlier misses. He finished the game with a meagre 10 points which included 3 from 11 from the field.
Although still clearly struggling with his knee, the blame cannot solely rest on Wades shoulders though. Chris Bosh also struggled in game 6 having only registered 5 points from his 31 minutes on the court.The combined 15 points from both Wade and Bosh heaped more pressure on LeBron James to once again rescue his team as he did in game 5. But on this occasion even the superstar himself was denied.
Mid-way through the third quarter James was 2/10 from the field and this included one uncontested dunk.
Wade is scoring fewer points per game and per minute and attempting fewer free throws per game and per minute than any other postseason in his career. He’s struggling to create for himself.
There’s no doubt Wade has more talent than Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen, but if he can’t produce the goods where it matters, on the court, he’s simply not the best fit with LeBron.
“Nobody is 100 percent,” Bosh said Friday before the Heat's team flight to Indianapolis.
“It's just really all mental. Just knowing you have to come in, you have to do your job better than the other guy and know that everyone is ailing a bit. But that's part of the game, especially this time of the year. Everybody has to rise to the challenge.”
Despite the Heat’s issues across the court, the Pacers were simply too good. Exploding in the third quarter having outscored their more fancied rivals 29-15.
This has been one of the more intriguing finals series and one thing is for sure, come the start of game seven, James will be hoping that both Wade and Bosh lift themselves from the mire they currently find themselves in.
After all, that’s what champions do.