Wade needs to take a lesson from Kidd

VIDEO: Pat Riley on Big 3 Staying in Miami

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The big question surrounding the Miami Heat in the next few weeks is if their secondary stars — Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — will accept less-than-max contracts, so that Pat Riley can build a better supporting cast around them and LeBron James.

At this point in their careers, it seems impossible that either Wade or Bosh could get better themselves. But there is clear room for improvement with one of the two.

Wade is one of the worst high-volume 3-point shooters in NBA history. Of the 315 players who have attempted at least 1,000 threes, only three — Charles Barkley, Josh Smith and Ron Harper — have shot them at a worse rate than Wade (28.9 percent).

Lowest 3-point percentage, minimum 1,000 3PA, NBA history

Player 3PM 3PA 3P%
Charles Barkley 538 2,020 26.6%
Josh Smith 337 1,207 27.9%
Ron Harper 523 1,811 28.9%
Dwyane Wade 350 1,211 28.9%
Isiah Thomas 398 1,373 29.0%
Corey Brewer 307 1,042 29.5%
Derrick Coleman 326 1,105 29.5%
Reggie Williams 373 1,253 29.8%
Jamaal Tinsley 397 1,326 29.9%
Kendall Gill 315 1,051 30.0%

In the four seasons since James came to Miami, Wade’s 3-point shooting hasn’t gotten any better. He shot 28.9 percent before James arrived and he’s shot 28.9 percent since. And you make think that it’s too late for Wade to turn into a reliable shooter from long distance.

But Wade is just 32 years old, a year younger than Jason Kidd was when he started working with a shooting coach. Kidd wasn’t as bad as Wade from 3-point range at that point in his career, but he went from shooting 33.2 percent from beyond the arc through his 12 seasons to shooting 37.3 percent over his last seven.

That’s not a huge increase, but it’s a difference of more than 12 points per 100 attempts and, more importantly, it’s the difference between defenses leaving you alone on the perimeter and defenses having to respect you.

With his improved 3-point shot, Kidd was better able to complement Dirk Nowitzki when he was traded to Dallas. He spaced the floor for Nowitzki, Nowitzki created open shots for him, and he hit some big ones to help them win a championship.

Over the last four years, Wade has changed his game to better complement James. He can be effective without the ball in his hands, because he’s one of the best in the league at off-the-ball cuts, always able to take advantage of a defender who has turned his head toward the ball. And though he’s lost some of his explosion, he still has enough talent and old-man game to usually keep the Miami offense afloat when James is resting.

But the best complement for the league’s best player is a guy who keeps the defense honest no matter where he’s standing on the floor. When Wade is on the perimeter, defenses need not guard him. He barely shot threes at all (32 attempts in 58 games) this season. His attempts per game have gone down in each of James’ four seasons in Miami.

Here’s one of the Heat’s first few possessions of Game 5 of The Finals. With James driving to the basket and Wade in the strong-side corner, Danny Green isn’t too concerned about his man…


At 28.9 percent, a Wade 3-pointer is worth just 0.9 points per shot. A shot by James near the basket, meanwhile, is worth 1.5 points per shot. So that decision by Green to help is pretty easy.

If Wade shot the league average from 3-point range (36.0 percent), that decision still wouldn’t be too difficult, but the Heat would be able to better punish the defense for making it. Wade is an above-average mid-range shooter (43 percent this season), but even elite mid-range shooters (50 percent) don’t punish the D all that much. Step behind the arc, however, and the shot is worth 1.5 times as much.

When Wade doesn’t have strong legs under him, as was the case in the last two games of The Finals, he can look like an average player. You need legs to shoot threes, but not as much as you need them to drive through traffic and score in the paint.

Heat president Pat Riley was asked about Wade when he met with the media on Thursday.

“You have to reinvent yourself,” Riley said of Wade. “What does he have to do mentally and physically and spiritually to get him to another level at that age of 32?”

Riley was specifically asked about Wade adding a 3-point shot. But he doesn’t necessarily see that as the best way Wade can reinvent himself.

“Sometimes, it is [the way an older player can remain effective],” Riley said. “But some players who are drivers, slashers, dunkers, medium-range jump shooters, the mechanism on how you shoot the ball has to change. Will he be a high-percentage, James Jones, Mike Miller type of 3-point shooter? No. But I can guarantee he’ll make one when it counts.

“He’s not going to be spotted up, standing in the corner somewhere. He’s going to be slashing to the basket, posting guys up, getting out on the break, that kind of stuff. That’s been his game for 11 years now.”

The Heat can’t live only on James’ drives and post-ups. They do need that stuff from Wade as well. And this season, defense was obviously a bigger issue than offense.

But if Wade can be more of a threat from the outside, it can only help his team. He only has to look at Kidd to know that he can still get better at this stage in his career. For the Heat, a shooting coach could be as valuable as a roster upgrade.


  1. Teddy Lee says:

    D wade is going to be fine. The simple solution in which you bone heads felled to mention is that they need to cut down on his minutes tremendously. Obviously father time catches up to drivers quicker than shooters so you have to make his situation make sence. Just look at the veteran in Tim Duncan and the ways in which pop utilized him. He allowed him to start while only playing 6th man minutes. This justifies the pay cut while still allowing d wade to do what he does best . He plays less so he takes less. Its really that simple.

    • Mett says:

      Riley needs to focus on getting Melo and Isiah Thomas and the Heat will be fine for another 3-4 Championships.

      Bosh, Melo, Lebron, Wade, Isiah is the team that will carry them for quite some time.

      Chalmers and Cole showed they can’t handle Parker-like guards, and need someone who is more of a true point guard.

      If Riley fails, Lebron and Melo go to the Clippers, and we all know no team is going to beat Jordan, Griffin, Melo, Lebron (yes, Lebron can play 2-guard), and Paul.

  2. xlr8_555 says:

    To help Wade for the next seasons: Slim down to stop putting pressure on his knees, Improve his free throw and mid range/ 3 point shooting, take a pay cut so that he realizes how much he needs to improve, tweak his post game a little bit. If he does these things, he will deserve a max contract. And if he really wants to add the inside game, then keep practicing those good floaters and everything will be good for next season.

    As for Bosh… let him play PF for once and bring Greg Oden at Center. Also bring a good point guard to compliment the big three.
    Starting line up: PG Kyle Lowry SG Dwyane Wade SF LeBron James PF Chris Bosh C Greg Oden. That team could win it all with guys coming off the bench: Maybe Ray Allen if he doesnt retire, get Trevor Ariza to be 6th man, Chris Andersen, Norris Cole, Michael BEASLEY, Gortat should join maybe the starting line up if Oden isnt ready yet and then James Jones. This team could win the championship for the next couple years if this happens.

    • Teddy Lee says:

      Unrealistic thoughts. There is nothing wade can do to be worth a max contract and please learn how the salary cap works than post a legitimate response.

  3. Someone says:

    Kidd was 33 but played till 40. no way Wade hangs around that long

  4. JohnBugz says:

    If the heat can get Lowry and one big man, i think they will be fine.

  5. saeed says:

    That is why I am saying LeBron James should go back to Cleveland and find a way to bring Klay Thompson to Cleveland. Bosh and Wade want to only collect money so next season’s team will be approximately this team.

    Cleveland should draft Parker, find a way to trade Parker and Kyrie Irving for Stephen Curry and Iguodala. The 3pt percentage and his extra quickness in releasing the three can really resonate with LeBron’s capabilities in THE BEST WAY. Iguodala an exceptional defender and help scorer. Now with this trade, you look at the roster:
    Curry PG, Dion Waiters SG, LeBron (& A. Bennet) SF, Iguodala (& T Thompson) PF, Hawes (& Varejau) C. An alleged team that is number one candidate to win it all every year. Young and talented. Cavaliers have the best chance to both benefit from this trade themselves and Golden State.

    • Angelo says:

      Woah calm down that Will never happen… Especially with Clevelands GM i bet he screws up this year in the draft too

  6. Tiye castillo says:

    Haahah heat expecting to win 3peat after they win in spurs home in game 2 hahahha karma for the big 3 they beat by the old skul and the sophomore

  7. lebron says:

    the do need wade to pick up less money cause he he that worth the max no even bosh if this doesnt happend lebron should get out of miami cause they wont win with the same roster again a championship

  8. Ballin all day says:

    i know im off topic but im here to put my early bid in for russell westbrook to be the starting point guard for the olympic team this year..you dont want to go with a small guard like chris paul.. westbrook is more electric and he imposes his will on people…we wont have to worry about his shot selection since he is playing with legends on his team and on defense he can guard anyone from point through small forward against other countries because of his explosiveness… damion lillard is a nice candidate aswell but tony parker mauled him in this years playoffs where as westbrook overpowered and pretty much had his way with parker… aside from the entire spurs team just outweighing kd and westbrook because of little help they had this year… Chris paul’s lack of size should give him a back seat as well seeing how they have lebron on the court and therefore have no need for a true point guard…I would love to see derrick rose out there but I think even if he is fully healthy he wont just hop on the court at a superstar level.. Who else?? derron williams is hurt and not playing up to par lately so I wouldn’t recommend him even though his strength and size could be a real factor…Who else?? Michael Conley?? Jeff Teague?? Both of those guys could bring a unique game but they are undersized… john wall’s jump shot is so broke that I cant recommend him although with that kind of size and speed he would have my vote if he stops throwing bricks at the wall… Now stephen curry wouldn’t be a bad option,,,not at all.. that jumpshot will come in handy against those european teams… Stephen curry better be on that roster, but my vote for starting linuep still goes to westbrook..that guy is a animal on the court…He has the juice right now… and thats what we need..the best athletes and performers right now.. dont count previous accolades just put the best players on the floor.. I cant wait for the olympics…

  9. BigMike(from North Hill in Akron,Ohio) says:

    Dwade may need to take a lesson for shooting threes,why not a shooting coach like Mark Price???

  10. Quinton says:

    Well yea, DWade keeps trying to play like a young dude with hops and make cool plays like he used to. He’s been needing to learn how to shoot for the longest, but because of his athleticism he has postponed it. If he had learned how to shoot three years ago, they might have won this year and lebron would be staying. now there are questions.

  11. D. Wade’s game has suffered injury and aging decay and ruins. I understand Heat ownership and Pat Riley’s loyalty to him for Wade has given his youth and health to that organization and is deserving of the full benefits of his contract and options! But Labron James has held up his end of the deal and all parties involved have benefited greatly. But any continuance of this relationship will come at a sever cost to Labron James…his prime, his goals, his dreams, his money, his championships and his legacy!

  12. BIG 3: fatty brain says:

    DWade should regain his confidence that’s why he misses his shots, he lost his confidence little by little since he started having knee problems. looking back at the finals Spurs showed complete teamwork,trust and support to every roster players of Spurs. It is the most important time for the Heat to stick together.

    Its not the injuries or age is the problem, the only thing that holds him back is himself. Dwade should ask himself if he can still come back, only DWade can answer that, well for me i believe he(DWade) will come back.. Also despite losing in the finals i know that they have the will to come back again to The Finals..

  13. asdasdasd says:

    seems like nobody has learned the lesson the Spurs are trying to teach every year since 2007. Never, and I say never, question the ability of a champion of adapting and finding a way! I am not a Miami Heat fan, but i would never rule them out just because they lost against the Spurs. If they stick together and stay the course, I am pretty sure they will find a way to come back better than ever, because thats what champions do as the Spurs showed us!

    • dame says:

      well said. it’s funny how people are ready to break up a team that has appeared in 4 finals straight and 2 titles. really…

  14. kobeballhog says:

    Only way heat can be on top is wade to take the veterans minimum. So riley can do his thing and add better pieces. Wade is dragging the team. His paycheck in relation to his health and skill is way overpriced. It all boils down to chasing more rings or be like kobe ballhog and hold hostage the team but still gets a fat paycheck. Remove that no good chalmers that guy costs the heat more games than wins with his constant bonehead plays and unreliable play at the point.

  15. Kevin says:

    Michael Jordan was not a good 3 point shooter, so I dont think Wade needs to learn to shoot 3s but definitely should slim down and get his knees right.

    • Courtney says:

      I agree! This is exactly what I told my friend… he needs to slim down and take some pressure off those knees… though working with a shooting coach will help tons too

    • lalalalla says:

      still, Wade insists on shooting threes fairly often… and it’s awful to watch

      • Dwayne says:

        You obviously don’t read stats… this is his lowest amount of attempts this year of his career… Check you facts

  16. Joe says:

    Here is my theory about retooling Miami Heat:
    Wade has been a great player two seasons back. But since then his ability to play a superstar game has started sliding down. He does not have the age as an advantage for him. Derrick Rose can come back after injury, Westbrook can play great games after injury. But for Wade all these are not choices. Wade should realize this. He is blessed to have Lebron and Bosh still supporting him.
    At this point, best way to retool is to make all inefficient players in Miami Heat to get big time paycut and onboard some youngsters to support the Big 3 legacy.

  17. Unkle Daddy says:

    My question is about the first question in this article; who’s giving Wade or Bosh a max deal after this finals showing… In my opinion there is one player who deserves a max contract, LBJ (that’s in the whole NBA, stop over paying players) and that’s coming from someone who is a Spurs fan.

  18. ernwop64 says:

    So the solution is to make a all around great scorer a one dimensional scorer ?How about change to a real offense not a gimmick offense. Bring all your player down a position,James at point,Bosh at the 3 and Wade stays at the 2 .Outs that bum Mario and get you two horses up front.Gortat,Hawes,Randolph,Humphris all F.A. Or see if you can pull Asik from Houston.Get some younger players.You don’t need a point guard its useless with how much James has the ball.

  19. imissthethunder says:

    Having cracked lips doesn’t help your overall game either, especially at post game media time. Lip balm would probably help for presentation purposes. It’s a girl thing, I know.

  20. haw says:

    so what they’re saying is that his time is best spent working on his shot and keeping in shape than picking his wardrobe before his next game and clowning about with youtube-video material?

  21. MR210 says:

    I agree – D-Wade should work on 3-pt shooting touch. He can’t slash/drive to the basket and post up players as consistently compared to when he was younger.

    Also, D-Wade should take a page from Tim Duncan and slim down a bit so his knee’s can hold out a bit longer.

    So work on 3-pt shooting, slim down, and take a paycut!

    That is three ways he can help Heat…

  22. alksdfj says:

    If they fix his knees, he’ll be fine for few years without having to reinvent himself. Not to say he shouldn’t; it’s always better to have more skills. His old style of play where he would dunk over ppl right, left and center doesn’t do much good in terms of longevity. That’s style of play is what caused all that knee damage. Previous poster mentioned Ray Allen. Although I admire his fitness level given his age, he’s a shooter and doesn’t really do much else. The stress on the body is very different if you’re a high-flying slasher than a spot-up shooter. As a rule, small guards don’t last long in the NBA anyway. If you mainly rely on speed and hops, don’t expect to stick around for a long time. Someone younger and faster is coming to take your spot.

  23. Lance says:

    The problem is his weight. 220 is too much for a 6’4″ guy. Hes probably weighing more than 220.

  24. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    improving your 3 point percentage will not win you any ring, you need to convince Melo to join our King “Lebron” and it’s a 3peat for sure

  25. Van says:

    Really, what DWade needs to do is make a trip to Germany this off season and visit the doctor that did Kobes knees. Seemed to work well for him! We need as much of the old wade as possible.

  26. El Stone says:

    The problem is, he’s lazy.

  27. Basketball logic says:

    I think Wade needs to work on his jump shot period. If his jump got is consistent, he would still be able to get to the basket like the old DWADE, because defenders would start to worry about his jump shot. Also for a two guard, he’s got to shoot 80+ pct from the foul line, needs improvement. He is not consistent from there either. One night he might shoot 7 out of 10 (70%), then the next 50%. That is terrible for a shooting guard, either day. Lebron also needs to improve to 80% from the line. Tim Duncan improved his free-throw percent. Back to WADE, he just looked slow and out of shape to me. Kind of thick, improve on your fitness. Take some lessons and information from Ray Allen. Look at his body and he is 38/39. DWADE needs to get back to work on his game and body. Definitely re-invent himself.