Per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin Dwayne Wade has requested to come off the bench, which would mean J.R. Smith will return to his starting position from a year ago.
Ty Lue says Dwyane Wade came to him and said he wants to come off the bench. JR Smith back to the starting 5.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 23, 2017
This is coming off the Cavs 21-point loss to the Magic Saturday night where Wade was two of eight shooting and had only five points. We all knew we weren’t getting the Wade back in his early Heat days, but you should expect more out of your starting shooting guard.
We all knew it was going to take time to fit in with this Cavs team. Here is a quote from Wade in an article from The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd.
“I’m trying to find it, man. It’s very different, different than I’ve ever played,” Wade said. “Just trying to find my way as we go on, see how I can be best for this team. Everything’s happened so fast. This has been a long, long week.”
Later in Lloyds piece, Wade talks more about trying to find his groove with the team.
“I’m a rhythm player. I take a lot of shots,” Wade said. “It’s just trying to find that rhythm, trying to find where it will come from when it will come. It comes with time.”
Rhythm is a huge part of any team, especially to this team which relies on its high tempo offense to win games.
Lloyd brought up an interesting point to this Wade situation in the same article.
As I’ve written and discussed at length already, Wade’s arrival on this team negatively impacted five other players. J.R. Smith lost his starting job, Kevin Love was pushed to center, which cost Tristan Thompson his starting job, which pushed Channing Frye out of the rotation, which pushed Richard Jefferson off the team.
Putting Smith back into the starting lineup could create the spacing that we are used to seeing out of the Cavs. It could also mean less pressure for Wade giving him more time to get aquatinted with the team and not so much pressure to be productive right away.
It also shows who Wade is as a player. Wade has always been a team guy; he was willing to take less money in Miami so they could bring certain guys in that could help the team win. Wade isn’t an idiot. He knows he is new and he knows when he isn’t playing well. Putting Smith back in the starting lineup could give these Cavs some familiarity they haven’t had much of this year with a lot of new guys on the roster.
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