|Dwyane Wade impresses both coaches in Game 1||05.01.11 at 8:11 pm ET|
MIAMI — About 90 minutes before tipoff of Game 1 between the Heat and Celtics on Sunday afternoon, Erik Spoelstra was asked about Dwayne Wade, and specifically his struggles against Boston during the regular season. Wade had averaged 12.8 points on 28.1 percent shooting in the four games.
“We need Dwyane to be effective, we need him to score,” said Spoelstra. ”More so than any other player I’ve ever been around, he can figure defenses out. … So now he’s had more time to see how Boston has played him. The first two games, not an excuse, you have to give Boston credit for defense, but he was just coming back. He’ll be able to figure it out.”
Spoelstra proved to be remarkably prescient with his pre-game thoughts, as Wade was terrific in the win, pouring in a game-high 38 points on 14-of-21 shooting.
“Dwayne is a special player, he really is,” Spoelstra said after the game. ”I’ve said this so many times, he just figures it out. He is very diligent. He has had a couple of days now to see how the Celtics would defend him. He has proven so many times during the playoffs that when the defense is at it’s best, he figures it out and finds a way to crack the code.”
Doc Rivers wasn’t thrilled about Wade’s offensive outburst, but was able to give him credit and even managed to sneak in a joke when talking about his fellow Marquette alumnus.
“It’s tough,” Rivers said when asked about defending Wade. “I thought a lot of the shots were contested and tough shots. When he makes them, he makes them. That’s why he’s the second greatest player to ever come out of Marquette.”
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