Dwyane Wade returns in 99-89 win for Miami over New York

by Andrew Kennedy

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Miami Heat got 10 dunks from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in their win Friday night over the New York Knicks. The game was close for awhile due to good long range shooting by the Knicks who went 18-for-43 from three in the game.

The Heat pulled away in the end and looked at their best with LeBron and Wade working together and making highlights. LeBron had 31-7-8 in the game and Wade 28 points and five steals.

I wrote earlier this week how the Heat looked better overall with Wade out of the lineup and LeBron running the show. I still feel like that is true to some extent but when they both get going like they did Friday night it can be pretty impressive and demoralizing for an opponent.

Here is a look at the first bucket by Wade in the game. It begins with Norris Cole advancing the ball up court and then passing to Chris Bosh at the top of the key.

Wade then sets a backscreen for Cole and Cole’s man, Toney Douglas, switches and stays with Wade as Cole clears to the opposite corner. Meanwhile, Joel Anthony sets a screen for LeBron on the opposite wing.

Douglas is up close on Wade on the other side denying the potential pass to him. Bosh feeds LeBron who curls off the screen. When LeBron receives the pass, Douglas takes his eyes off Wade and Wade immediately goes backdoor.

LeBron finds Wade with the easy pass and Wade does the rest finishing with a slam. There is no help because Cole cleared his man to the other side of the floor and both bigs for Miami are near the perimeter.

The next play comes after a commercial break, side out of bounds play. LeBron gets the inbound on the left wing. Wade is in the left corner and Bosh at the top of the key.

LeBron passes to Bosh at the top of the key then goes to the wing as Wade comes up looking like he’s about to set a back pick.

Wade’s man, Landry Fields, sees this and helps off Wade on to LeBron toward the three-point line. The play is designed for Wade to slip back to the basket before setting a screen.

Fields stays with LeBron on the wing leaving Bill Walker in a switch to chase Wade to the rim. Bosh finds Wade expecting the slip and Wade throws down the dunk. The help is late because the help was Amare Stoudemire who doesn’t even realize what’s happening until Wade already has the ball.

Both of these plays are from essentially the same set with Bosh playing a facilitating role at the top of the key and LeBron and Wade moving off the ball off screens.

It was a smart move to use Bosh at the top of the key like this early in the game because Tyson Chandler was covering him. Keeping Bosh on the perimeter kept Chandler from being the defensive force he normally is.

I especially love when the Heat do this because one of the biggest problems I have with LeBron and Wade is how they don’t do much when they don’t have the ball. But designing plays like this to have them moving off the ball is a great way to offset that.

It works the best for the Heat when LeBron and Wade move off each other’s movements. The defense always pays super attention to either when they have the ball so it makes for a good opportunity to catch the defense sleeping with a backdoor cut.

The Knicks were obviously not at full strength tonight with no Carmelo Anthony but it was still a good win for the Heat, especially because LeBron and Wade played well together and not just individually.

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