Ric Bucher's post on Basketball | Latest updates on Sulia
LeBron James was oddly passive down the stretch vs. the Bulls Friday night, and while we've seen that before, I'm
going to blame his bruised right knee, not a retrogression, for the lapse. That Dwyane Wade did not fill the void is an indication of what has been observed about Wade all season long (much to his objection) that he's simply not the same player he once was. The old Wade would've recognized immediately that LeBron wasn't going to close and taken over. Wade was overall efficient but took only two shots in his eight fourth-quarter minutes, the one make coming with 22 seconds left after the outcome had been decided. That Spoelstra rested him the first four minutes of the final period suggests he hoped Wade could be his closer with LeBron ailing. As one GM said: "Wade is a second option all the way now. He's not a top 5 player anymore. He's top 10 or 15. The Bulls' game was a perfect example. LeBron wasn't feeling right. It was a perfect opportunity for Dwyane to step up and take over."