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News » Imagining D-Wade and LeBron together in Miami

Imagining D-Wade and LeBron together in Miami

Imagining D-Wade and LeBron together in Miami

"When you look at the great tandems," the assistant coach said. "you see that — with exception of Michael and Scottie — most of those involved a great big man and a great perimeter player."

The examples include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Oscar Robertson in Milwaukee and Magic Johnson in L.A. We also have Moses Malone and Julius Erving taking few prisoners in Philly, with Larry Bird and Kevin McHale leading a dominant front line to multiple titles as Boston Celtics.

"The only real two-superstar tandem with both players working the perimeter was Chicago," said the assistant coach of the Bulls with Jordan and Pippen. "But there was a definite separation of superstar roles. MJ was the top dog, no doubt, with Scottie reaching superstar status as the ultimate Tonto."

Such a caste system made it easier for the Bulls and Coach Phil Jackson to negotiate the slippery slope of NBA ego.

But James and Wade are considered two of the league's three foremost perimeter players. Beyond their Olympic party with Bryant, this would be close to unprecedented in terms of perimeter Hall-of-Famers joining forces for the greater NBA good.

"The only other tandem that compares is Jerry West and Elgin Baylor with the Lakers," the personnel guy said. "Elgin did a lot of damage inside as well, but at 6-foot-6, he did a lot of his stuff from the perimeter on in. With West and Baylor as a template, putting James and Wade together may not guarantee titles."

For the record, despite checking in as two of the league's 10 greatest players of all time (my opinion), West and Baylor never were able to drag the Lakers to an NBA championship together.

"It could be strategically difficult to create enough situations for both Wade and LeBron because they're very similar in what they do," the assistant coach said.

"They both are tremendous physical talents with superb ability to attack the rim and fairly inconsistent perimeter strokes. With both of those guys in the same uniform, the Heat would have to be prepared to go against a lot of zone defense."

That might not be much of a problem, because few teams spend much game time in a zone defense and even less time working on it in practice. Without practical experience in rotations, few NBA-caliber zones would be able to deal with James and Wade knifing through their dropped assignments.

"I also believe that any team with those two players on it would be insane to not generate the quickest tempo possible," the coach said. "Just having more possessions per 48 minutes would help keep two players of that caliber satisfied and a fast pace would prevent other teams from loading up any kind of junk defense to deal with them."

The NBA personnel sharpie thinks a James-Wade pairing might not be as automatically grand as some would assume.

"The only thing we can compare it to in recent years is Boston with KG (Kevin Garnett), (Paul) Pierce and (Ray) Allen,"he said. "The reason that it worked in Boston is Garnett. He was, by far, the most visible of the three and he came in as the leader in defense, practice intensity and didn't need the ball all of the time to be happy.

"It's one thing for Wade and LeBron to play nice with Kobe and everyone else on the Olympic team. But when they played each other last month and the free-agency question was posed, Dwyane admitted having a great big, like Dwight Howard, and someone like himself would be a more reasonable way to build a championship team."

The assistant coach admits it might be fun to see what would happen with LBJ and D-Wade in the same uniform.

"That's from a fan standpoint," he said. "Attempting to devise a game plan to stop them might be a nightmare. It would generate a lot of interest, though, and that certainly wouldn't hurt the league, would it?"

It might even produce sufficient interest to inspire Pat Riley to bounce another head coach to the curb and return to the Miami bench.

"He certainly would feel a lot smarter than he did the last time," the assistant coach said.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 14, 2009


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