Dwyane Wade, who took fewer three-pointers than he ever has this season, has been lofting more in recent games (at least before Game 2) and said he wants that “weapon in the playoffs, even more than the regular season.”
Wade made 9 of 32 three-pointers overall this season but attempted six, making one, in his first four games back from his hamstring injury, heading into Game 2 on Wednesday night.
“If I have my shot, I’m shooting,” he said. “I’ve been putting some [work] in my three-point game.”
Wade is a career 28.9 percent three-point shooter in the regular season. In the Heat’s previous three postseason runs, Wade was 14 for 53 (26.9 percent), 10 for 34 (29.4 percent) and 1 for 4 (25 percent) on threes.
“He knows what his style is: to be aggressive,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s not going to be hunting down threes anytime soon or pull-up threes in transition. He’s a rhythm player. He’s instinctual. He’s an attacker.”
Indiana University coach Tom Crean, Wade’s friend and former coach at Marquette, said last summer that three-point shooting is a part of Wade’s game that he will need to polish as he gets older.
And Spoelstra acknowledged Wednesday that “the corner three, we may need one, as the ball moves at the end of the clock.”
He compared that evolution for Wade to “the process Chris Bosh went through three years ago. Dwyane is just starting that process now.”
Wade attempted 278, 243 and 206 three-pointers over three consecutive seasons (2008-09 through 2010-11), shooting 30 percent on those attempts.
But he scaled back on threes dramatically in his second year playing alongside LeBron James, launching just 56, 66 and 32 in the past three seasons.
“When you are a great penetrator and you play with other great penetrators and guys who command double teams, it’s so important that you can make those shots,” Crean said during a conversation about Wade last summer.
Spoelstra said Wade “has been extremely diligent” about getting the midrange “part of his game back.” He shot an impressive 50 percent from 10 to 16 feet this season.
Udonis Haslem continues to show an ability to defend taller, bulkier players. In this series, he’s at a two-inch and 54-pound disadvantage against Charlotte’s 6-10, 289-pound Al Jefferson.
“He has the entire package you want from a defender,” Spoelstra said of Haslem. “He has the appropriate energy, urgency and toughness. What separates U.D., what makes him unique, is his intelligence and his savviness. He’s not just a brute force trying to meet physicality with physicality. He does it with technique. He does it with experience.
“He’s got great instincts down there. He does give up a lot of size, often times height. It shows you when you’re diligent to the details how you can be effective down there. U.D. knows how to get guys off their spots and corral them into your help, and that’s a very difficult thing to teach.”
this and that
• Michael Beasley and Justin Hamilton were the Heat’s inactives for Game 2. Mario Chalmers played well (11 first-half points) despite a shin contusion.
• The NBA this season is disclosing the ballots of media members who vote for awards. Los Angeles Clippers TV analyst and former NBA power forward Michael Smith delivered a head-scratcher when he voted Kevin Durant and James first and second for Most Improved Player. Smith apparently thought he was voting for MVP.
• Also notable: TNT’s Steve Kerr and Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney were the two people who voted for James for Defensive Player of the Year. James finished sixth. Chicago’s Joakim Noah won the award.