Dean Wade has largely played all year, just in varying roles for the Cavs. It wasn’t until March that Wade started getting significant time. On the year he’s shooting 43% from the floor, nearly 35% from three-point, while scoring just 4.9 points per game, with 2.9 rebounds per game and 1.1 assists per game. All while playing 16.1 minutes per game. That was until March 21.
Wade had 16 points that game and was extremely efficient shooting the ball. Since then he’s been filling in more and more in the starting lineup, especially with Kevin Love, Jarrett Allen, and Larry Nance Jr. all missing significant stretches of time.
Since his workload increased, he’s spent the last ten games averaging 9.6 PPG, 5 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 29.1 MPG. All while shooting 43% from the floor with 3.6 baskets per game, while attempting 8.3 shots and he’s shooting 31% from three-point land, hitting 1.6 shots for every 5.1 attempted.
Wade is now playing alongside the very man he may one day replace in Love. The two men have started the last four games next to each other. In that time Wade has become a better rebounder (or is benefiting from the attention Love brings) and is starting to attack more in the paint more. Wade had a stellar drive from the arc against the Thunder, showing the world that he can in fact attack the basket and not just settle for pullup jumpers.
Having Love back in the lineup has allowed Wade to not worry so much about taking three’s, something he’s still finding his stroke for in the NBA. While Love and Wade playing next to each other may make some fans think they can’t work well together, partly due to their similar styles of play, they’re 2-2 and have two big blowout wins to their name.
Maybe they’re not going to be the new Tim Duncan and David Robinson but considering they’re both big men who can pass, it’s not hard to think that they can do some damage against opposing defenses when on the court at the same time.
Wade is making a case to be the team’s starting power forward in the 2021-2022 season and the Cavs really should consider it at this rate.