Dwyane Wade’s 2017-18 NBA season was an absolute roller coaster. After signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason, Wade was happy to be reunited with LeBron James and chase another ring. That did not end up being the case, as Wade ended up being traded to the Miami Heat ahead of the trade deadline.
Being back in Miami was what Wade had been wanting since early on in the season. It was a move that helped the Cavaliers overhaul their roster, but also allowed Wade to head back home and finish what he started, as SB Nation talked more about.
Now that the Heat have been eliminated from the playoffs, questions have been floating around about Wade and his possible retirement plans. He has not made it clear whether he will continue his career, but many have gotten the vibe that he is strongly thinking about retiring.
During the 21 regular season games that Wade played after being traded to Miami, he averaged 12 points per game to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He took his game to a new level in the playoffs, scoring 16.6 points per game and adding 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
Whether he retires or not, Wade returning to Miami was good for the NBA. He was obviously happy and he was able to have quite a few “turn back the clock” performances. One of those performances happened against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 of their playoffs series against the Heat.
All of that being said, let’s take a look at some highlights and the final grade for Wade’s 2017-18 season with the Heat.
Strengths and Weaknesses
It is becoming obvious that Wade’s age is beginning to catch up to him. He is no longer “The Flash” anymore, but he is still more than capable of making a positive impact on a game.
Wade can still be a consistent scorer, albeit not at the same level that he once was. He can still come through with clutch baskets in late-game situations, but cannot be asked to shoulder the offensive load each and every night. In addition to being a solid scorer, Wade is still a more than capable playmaker for his teammates.
On the downside, Wade’s age does not allow him to play the lockdown defense that many became accustomed to seeing from him. He can’t get to the rim like he once did and his ability to score off of post-up opportunities isn’t what it used to be either.
Season Highlights with Heat
Looking back at a few highlights for Wade with the Heat this season, there are a couple games that jump out.
First and foremost, Wade scored 28 points in the playoffs against the 76ers. For a moment, he looked like his old self. It was vintage D-Wade and fans loved it.
He had another game in the playoffs against Philadelphia worth noting. Wade scored 25 points on 10-for-22 shooting in the Heat’s Game 4 loss against the 76ers. It wasn’t quite as impressive as his 28-point effort in Game 2, but he still looked a lot like the old Wade.
Back in the regular season, soon after being re-acquired by the Heat, Wade had another huge game against Philly. He dropped 27 points on the 76ers and led Miami to a huge 102-101 victory. Wade also electrified the crowd by knocking down the game-winning shot.
Finally, a game that deserves to be taken notice of is his 25-point performance against the Lakers on March 1. He shot 11-for-18 from the field and scored those 25 points in just 26 minutes.
Final Dwyane Wade Season Grade
Now that we have seen a good amount of Wade highlights, it’s time to dive into the final grade for his season with Miami. It’s hard to judge and grade a season where a player is traded in the middle, but we are simply looking at the games that he played with the Heat after being traded.
Wade came back to South Beach and made a point to help take the Heat back to the playoffs. He also helped his team compete against a young and athletic 76ers team in the postseason. It may not have been his best season, but there is not much that can be taken away from him.
Age is becoming a major factor for Wade and his career could be coming to a close in the near future. If this is his final season, he certainly went out on a positive note.
Dwyane Wade 2017-18 Grade: B+