Wade says HEAT done with “hero ball”
From Dwyane Wade’s perspective, “hero ball” is a thing of the past. No longer is he trying to do it on his own or standing idly by as teammate LeBron James tries to do it on his own.
Instead, Wade said the Heat perimeter stars have found a balance in their games, which has made the team’s offense more fluid.
“We’re not playing as much hero ball that we played last year. We’re getting off the ball. We’re penetrating,” Wade said Wednesday, when the Heat defeated the Celtics 115-111 in overtime Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena to take a 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals series, which continues Friday at TD Garden in Boston. “We’re trusting each other a lot more. It comes with time.”
After two seasons of playing together, Wade said there is a more natural chemistry.
“I think we’re doing a good job of playing off each other,” he said, “both being aggressive at the same time, also understanding when another guy has certain matchups that he can expose, whether it’s to get his own shot or whether it’s to get a double team.”
With power forward Chris Bosh listed as out indefinitely with a lower abdominal strain, it has allowed for the two to play more often in tandem.
“We’re playing a lot of minutes together,” Wade said. “LeBron is playing a lot of minutes. We’re playing a lot of minutes together. So it allows both of us to play on the ball and off the ball, because both of us can handle the ball, as well. We just have to keep it up.”
After a while, Wade said it was clear that “hero ball” was holding the team back.
“Just too much isolation,” he said. “I thought last year, as we were trying to work our game and get comfortable, I thought a lot of times … we relied on our ability too much.
“And it can get other guys just standing around and not being involved. I think this year, especially in fourth quarters when it gets tight, we still have the ability to still run the play. If that don’t work, run another play.”
Wednesday the split was 34 points for James, 23 for Wade, but there also was room for 22 points from point guard Mario Chalmers and 13 off the bench from power forward Udonis Haslem.