When a game is on the line you have to make high percentage plays. Dwyane Wade prides himself on making the right decisions when it matters most. He’s come through for the Heat in the clutch countless times. “I pride myself in certain moments of games,” Wade lamented after he was unable to close Monday’s disappointing one-point loss to the Cavs.
But even the greats make mistakes. Hit with a double team in the final seconds of the game, Wade went with a behind-the-back pass to forward Udonis Haslem. LeBron got a hand on the ball, made out with the steal, drew the foul and hit two free throws to take the game 92-91
When faced with the double team Wade had a few options: he could split the defense, pass out, or circle back towards half-court to set up again.
Trying to dribble through a double team comprised of LeBron and Jawad would have been too risky given the Heat’s one-point lead with under ten seconds remaining in the game. Passing to newly freed-up Haslem was a sound strategy that would have allowed the Heat’s offense to exploit a four-to-three advantage in the paint.
But the behind-the-back pass is difficult to execute because you’re not squared-up to your target. Instead your body is turned sideways with your shoulder towards the target and you must rely on your peripheral vision. Though it’s certainly in Wade’s arsenal, perhaps he should have been more patient with his pass selection.
Better to retreat from the double team if necessary rather than force a bad pass. And if you pick up your dribble and get trapped your teammates should come to your rescue – as D-Wade will no doubt come through for Miami the next chance he gets.