With a disappointing and swift exit out of the 2010 NBA Playoffs, it won’t take long until lament in South Florida over the Miami Heat’s most recent struggle turns to sudden realization that the face of the franchise, Dwayne Wade, may have very well played his final game in the sunshine state. The Miami Heat were impressively beaten by the Boston Celtics in 5 games in the first-round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs. Miami was only able escape to a series’ sweep, however, because of Dwayne Wade and his valiant effort in Game 4, carrying the Heat with a career-playoff-high 46 points in Game 4.
For Dwayne Wade, the 2006 Finals are a Distant Thought
Wade’s stellar Game 4, 2010 NBA Playoffs performance is certainly characteristic of much that Miami has seen since Dwayne Wade arrived 6 years ago out of Marquette. The now 28-year-old superstar did not take long to establish his dominance and presence in the league, quickly bringing an NBA Championship to the city of Miami and the Heat organization with Shaquille O’Neal by his side in 2006. It was an NBA Finals classic, one in which Dwayne Wade resolutely led the Heat out of a dire 0-2 series’ start against the surging Dallas Mavericks. Wade went on to completely stun the expectant Mavericks, propelling the Heat to four straight wins behind his remarkable play. Dwayne Wade received the 2006 NBA Finals MVP award, but the Heat’s time in the spotlight has been relatively dim since then.
As many people know, Dwayne Wade will be a restricted free-agent this summer, meaning he has the option to entertain offers from coveting teams across the league. While much of the focus leading up to this summer has rightfully been given to LeBron James and his own impending restricted free-agent status, Dwayne Wade certainly warrants similar attention. Wade is in the prime of his career.
Will Dwayne Wade Leave Miami?
The primary reason I expect Dwayne Wade to openly test the waters of free agency and ultimately jettison Miami was perfectly displayed in this most recent 2010 NBA Playoffs, first-round elimination. Though the Miami Heat surely have surrounded Wade with talent, the degree and depth of that in the Heat roster is still quite lacking. For anyone who watched the 2010 NBA Playoffs series between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, it is undeniable that the dependency of the Heat on Dwayne Wade has taken its toll. One can no longer argue that LeBron James does not have a solid supporting cast in Cleveland. I really believe that team, without LeBron James, could at least make the playoffs. Miami, on the other hand, without Dwayne Wade is easily a sub-.500 ball club. Sadly, this may be the case in the 2010-2011 NBA season. The Miami Heat will undoubtedly do everything to retain their superstar, but I personally believe that Dwayne Wade suffered a loss in his final Miami Heat game. Once the 2010 NBA Playoffs are over, we’ll see how this intriguing storyline develops and plays out.