I was reading a ranking of the top 40 free agents over at CBS Sports and I got down to Wade at #10 and saw these lines describing him:

  • “Everything has eroded”
  • “At this point you have to wonder about how much hunger he’s got left in him.”
  • “There are just too many [games] when he doesn’t look like he can play at all.”

Here’s a screenshot of the writeup by CBS’ Matt Moore.


Moore’s last sentence is what provoked this post.  It’s harsh.  It also reeked of BS.  It smelled fishy.  My Spidey-sense was going off like a mofo.

You see, Wade put up a very solid 22.0 PER, which was 18th in the league, 5th among all guards, and 2nd among shooting guards.  He also set a career high in FG percentage this year reaching an insane .545 percent. The last time a shooting guard over the age of 30 shot such a high percentage in the three point era was never.  The last time a shooting guard of any age shot such a high percentage while attempting more than 700 shots was in 1984 by Rolando Blackman.  Wade is also the first starting shooting guard in history over the age of 30 to put up a PER over 20.0 and also shoot over 50 percent in a season.

What I probably appreciate the most was his jumper accuracy of .449 percent – it’s also a career high  (his previous high was .404 set in 2009), and the fact that he was making more mid-range jumpers this year was noticeable during the season.  Wade actually shot over .500 in every zone from 0 to 16 feet.  For Wade to shoot .500 from 10-16 feet – that’s fantastic for him (and – stop me if you heard this before – it’s also a career high).  In the Big 3 era he’s only been shooting 38% from that distance, and in 2014 he was able to reach 50% while taking a career high in percentage of shots from that region.

So in my opinion Wade didn’t look anywhere near as limited as popular sentiment is claiming now, so I found Moore’s final statement to be sensational.

Of course, I do understand why people have taken such a bleak stance on Wade – the last thing they saw him doing was severely struggling on both ends in the final two games of the season.  But it goes without saying that it’s unfair to judge Wade’s ability based on that.

In any case, after reading Moore’s appraisal I thought, “So this guy is saying that there are too many games where Wade ‘doesn’t look like he can play at all’ – but I bet he had a better playoff season than Tony Parker.”

I did a quick search and, lo and behold… yeah, I was right.  And there aren’t many people out there talking about Tony Parker being “done” or that the Spurs are in trouble because Parker is slowing down.

So let me show you what I’ve found.


First, let’s see about this idea that Wade had “too many games where he doesn’t look like he can play at all” and compare it to Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.

Now, I figured that the quickest way for me to determine the overall quality of play in a single game was to use Game Score, which is basically like PER for individual games. Here is Basketball-Reference’s description of this metric:

“Game Score was created by John Hollinger to give a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, (40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance, etc.)”

Roughly speaking, if you put up a single-digit Game Score you probably didn’t have a great night. So we’ll consider any game with a Game Score below 10.0 as “below average” or for space’s sake just “bad.”

So one would assume that if Wade did indeed have “too many” games where it looked like he was completely inept, surely he would have more single-digit Game Score games than Parker and Duncan, and certainly a higher percentage of Wade’s games would be “bad” compared to the two Spurs because Wade is done and the other two aren’t, right?


Complete Game Logs For Parker, Duncan & Wade

Tony-Parker-Game-LogTim-Duncan-Game-Log Dwyane-Wade-Game-Log


Regular Season Summary

Games “Bad” Games “Bad Game” %
Parker 68 24 35.20%
Duncan 74 21 28.30%
Wade 54 11 20.30%

Postseason Summary

Games “Bad” Games “Bad Game” %
Parker 23 11 47.80%
Duncan 23 5 21.70%
Wade 20 6 30.00%

Overall Summary

Games “Bad” Games “Bad Game” %
Parker 91 35 38.40%
Duncan 97 26 26.80%
Wade 74 17 22.90% «««

Read Matt Moore’s conclusion again:

“There are just too many [games] when [Wade] doesn’t look like he can play at all.”

Too many? Well if 22.9% of his games are “too many” then what does that say about Duncan and Parker!?


So let’s look at Wade’s regular season stats next to Parker’s and Duncan’s, then look at Wade’s playoff stats next to Parker’s. The results are interesting, if not surprising.




The most important things to take from this:

  • Wade severely outplayed Parker in the regular season and the playoffs.
  • Wade either outplayed or matched Tim Duncan in the regular season on a per game basis.
  • Tim Duncan led the Spurs in PER, so Wade actually posted a higher regular season PER than any Spurs player this year.
  • Dwyane Wade had a damn good year in 2013-14.

I know what you’re thinking…

If Wade was such a mess, then how in the world did he end up playing better in the regular season than the two best players on the World Champion San Antonio Spurs?

If Wade’s knees are shot, then how in the world did he end up playing better in the playoffs than the best offensive player on the World Champion San Antonio Spurs?

Maybe it’s time for people to realize that all of Miami’s guards struggled in the Finals – not just Wade. The entire backcourt performed poorly and Chalmers, Cole and Allen do not have bad knees. So perhaps we should have taken Wade at his word when he said his knees felt fine, and perhaps it’s time to recognize that the primary cause of Wade’s limited production in the Finals was San Antonio’s scheme and not his lack of ability.


Join the conversation! 10 Comments

    • Sorry, but there is no objective way to say that Tony Parker had a better season than D.Wade. It’s a little different with Duncan. But on a game to game basis in the regular season, when Wade was playing, he was more impactful than Duncan at least on the offensive end.

      • I don’t say so. Their production says so.

      • You’re never really going to understand Basketball better than you do until you learn not to rely so heavily on the numbers, or to only tout the ones that skew in favor of your argument.

        pardon me for saying this, but until you stop doing that, your blog will continue to look like the maniacal ramblings of a LeBron apologist.

        There is so much more to the game than PER’s and win shares, kiddo.

      • This is a typical reply from someone who cannot refute what is being shown to them. I’ve been seeing it for a decade.

        About 8 years ago when me and seemingly only one other fan online were using advanced metrics to make cases, we were getting laughed out of forums. But in 2014 nobody is laughing. On the contrary, unlike a decade ago, today nearly 100% of NBA franchises have analytics departments.

        All of the advanced statisticians who used to run their own sites independently 8 years ago have been swooped up by either NBA franchises or sports networks.

        In any case, as a person who used to play the game at a fairly high level I think I know about intangibles more than most. I’m very aware of what cannot be quantified – like the quality of individual defense, for example. Like Tony Parker’s defense, more specifically, which is even worse than a hobbled Dwyane Wade’s. There aren’t any numbers that will tell you this directly – but you can figure that out by watching him play. Let’s just say that Parker is fortunate to have Tim Duncan behind him.

        But when it comes to “Gut vs Data” I subscribe to the philosophy of R.C. Buford, Pop and Spo. R.C. Buford said that he shies away from gut decisions “because it makes it harder to take a step back and analyze those decisions after the fact. If you get the decision wrong, you don’t know why, but maybe more importantly, if you get it correct, you don’t know how to duplicate it.”

        There is always a balance of the incoming data from on court statistics and the incoming data from the light entering your eyeballs. But the only things that can get close to being in stone are the numbers that we track. Everything else is an opinion. Players and teams don’t negotiate contracts based on opinions – they use statistics – they use PPG, RPG, APG, PER, Win Share, TS% and eFG%, etc.

        So… since you’re so adamant that I’m missing the boat on something when it comes to Tony Parker, go ahead and make the case of where Parker made up the statistical difference with intangibles or unquantifiables.

      • I would work if you knew what you were talking about. Your using the numbers of a guy who was sat and rested for a third of the season, then fell apart in the finals to prove, what, exactly? That he had a better season?

        First of all, given the results of the playoffs, does it even matter that Wade performed well in less than 60 games of a season in which he was coddled, nurtured and rested to play as well as he possibly could? I would say it doesn’t.

        Like I said. Bless you for attempting to write and spending so much time attempting to prove these points of your, hollow though they may be.

        truth is, you still don’t really know what you are talking about, and your strong biases make it impossible to take you seriously.

        keep on plugging away though. Hopefully, with some time, experience and wisdom, you might actually start to figure it out a little better.

      • Wade played 54 games, Parker played 68 games – both were “coddled.” Did you forget about Pop being the master coddler? And contrary to the idea that all the rest was helping Wade… the chemistry of the team was so spotty that it didn’t benefit Wade or the team for him to sit that often. It was a failed experiment.

        The point is clear in my post – popular opinion is wrong about Wade – he actually had a good year and a good run in the playoffs. He was a better player during the season than Tony Parker was. He was still better than Parker in the playoffs. There isn’t anything to indicate otherwise except opinions, which aren’t nearly as compelling.

        I’ll keep writing and you’ll keep reading what I write. At least we both know that much.

  1. I agree Parker had a bad year…will be very interested to see how the numbers pan out next year when wade does not have James taking so much heat off him and has the other team’s best defender on him. Not only that but he will have to sustain for more games unless they plan on giving home 1/3 of the season off again. Not sure if they have that luxury any longer.

    • Parker’s down year has gone completely unnoticed. But no one is going to complain too much about players on a championship team. We’ll see if it starts to come up next year if he has a slow start.

      I’m excited to see what Wade does. I think he’s going to have a big year, though it might be his last big year. He’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder and renewed fire in his belly. I’m not too worried about his knee – he said it wasn’t bothering him in the Finals and I believe him. But I think he has at least one more “I’m not dead yet, suckers” season in him.


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