On Thursday May 17th 2012, Dwayne Wade played was has been widely called by analysts as the worst game played by a superstar, possibly ever. I wanted to see how true this claim is, so I headed to Basketball Reference to see what the Game Finder says about that.
Since 1986, only three starters have scored 5 or fewer points in a game while taking at least 13 shots, grabbing 5 or fewer rebounds, and handing out one or fewer assists. Gary Payton and the Jarvis Hayes are the only two other players to do this since 1986.
While Payton had fewer rebounds, he also had fewer turnovers than Dwayne Wade. Thursday’s performance might truly have been the worst playoff performance by a superstar in recent hoops history.
So is this good news, or bad news for the Heat? On the one hand, the likelihood of Wade having another historically bad night is very unlikely. One the other hand, it could be indicative of a great problem with Wade, that could continue to affect his play, though certainly not at the level it did Thursday. If history is any indicator, it will be a long time before Wade has a night like that again. Wade actually had a worse game in 2004. In 31 minutes, he scored only two points on eight shots. He had six turnovers in that game. In that series against the Hornets, Wade did bounce back and eventually help lead the Heat to a series win.
Heat fans certainly have their fingers crossed that they get to experience that rebound again. Otherwise, it will be another long off-season wondering if the Heat’s big three will ever be able to get their hands on the Larry O’Brien trophy.