Dwyane Wade

Kobe Bryant vs Dwyane Wade: Who’s the Odd Man Out for 1st Team All-NBA?

Updated 4/15/2011

Derrick Rose’s MVP candidacy has not only incited a national debate as to whether he is truly worthy of the award, but if he wins, will also ignite a second, and potentially more explosive debate as to who actually merits 1st Team All-NBA consideration.

With Dwight Howard considered to be a lock at Center, and Kevin Durant and LeBron James virtual locks at the Forward positions, Rose’s MVP honors would almost assure him of one of the final two Guard spots since no MVP award winner since the post-NBA/ABA merger has ever failed to make First Team All-NBA, and only 4 have failed to do so in NBA history (Bill Russell in 1958, 1961, 1962, and Dave Cowens in 1973). Assuming this remains consistent, the 2011 1st Team All-NBA would come down to one remaining spot, and two  deserving candidates:  Dwyane Wade vs Kobe Bryant.

So who’s odd man out?

Dwyane Wade 37.2 50.0% 52.2% 58.0% 30.6% 75.8% 25.5 6.4 4.6 1.5 1.1 3.1
Kobe Bryant 33.9 45.1% 48.7% 54.8% 32.3% 82.8% 25.3 5.1 4.7 1.2 0.1 3.0

Wade has certainly had the better overall stats, outperforming Kobe in 7/11 major categories, while trailing only slightly in two categories: assists, and turnovers. Moreover, given his age and the fact that he is still in his prime, the argument can be made that Wade is in fact a better player at this point in his career than his counterpart, who is embarking upon the twilight of his tenure.

However, my vote still goes to Kobe. Believe me, I’m torn on this one, but I’ve got to go with Kobe.

Despite the fact that neither player has been particularly impressive in close games this season, Kobe has still nonetheless outperformed Wade in the clutch . As an example, based upon the NBA’s standard “5 in 5” metric, which measures a player’s performance in the final 5 minutes of a game, and neither team down by more than  5 points,  Kobe Bryant has  managed to generate significantly more points, assists, and shoot a slightly higher FG and EFG percentage than Dwyane Wade, during his team’s most pressure packed games. Conversely, Wade has not only struggled to deliver, but has often deferred to LeBron James during key possessions. While much of this deference can be attributed to Lebron’s point-forward ball domination, and a lack of a defined 4Q offensive game plan by an inexperienced head coach, Wade’s performance has still nonetheless been below even his standards.

Assuming 48 min of productivity: 5 min left, no team down by more than 5 points

Clutch Stats FG% EFG% PTS AST
Dwyane Wade 39.7% 44.1% 34.1 2.7
Kobe Bryant 40.9% 45.7% 53.4 7.0

A second, and more significant point, is that Kobe Bryant is the defined Alpha Dog for his team, while it is highly questionable as to whether Wade is either the Alpha Dog, or even the best player, on the Miami Heat. After all, it is Lebron, not Wade, who is the Heat’s primary candidate for MVP this season, and it is Lebron, not Wade, who has managed most of the Heat’s crunchtime possessions. I am not necessarily declaring Kobe to be better than Wade, but in my mind, if I am picking between the two, I give the edge to the guy who carries the bulk of his team’s successes and failures on his shoulders on a daily basis.

Again, it’s a tough call – but my vote goes to Kobe. Moreover, in my mind, this honor is not only about what each player has done during the 2010-2011 regular season, but also about what we expect them to shoulder during the playoffs.

So there you have it Kobe Nation – I just threw you a bone. Sorry Wade’s World, but everyone lost out with the Scheme Team’s decision over the summer.

Regardless, I can’t wait to watch the fireworks once the announcements are finalized this May.


92 Responses to “Kobe Bryant vs Dwyane Wade: Who’s the Odd Man Out for 1st Team All-NBA?”

  1. Good article realist. No doubt Kobe should be on the team. Realistically though, I would add regardless of NBA outcome, Wade should be ahead of Rose (though he’s just going to get screwed this year).

    Posted by hof_tex | April 2, 2011, 10:56 pm
    • Completely agree HOF. In a more accurate world, Rose would have been 2nd team and Wade would have been 1st. However, the Derek Rose bandwagon is simply too big to overcome.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 4, 2011, 11:13 am
    • Are you guys serious? Wade ahead of Derrick Rose?!? HOW??? In what universe does the second best player on a lesser team move ahead of the best player on a better team?

      Wade has more points, but their defense isn’t as good and the point differential between the two players is less than a single point. The stat differentiator though is with assists where Derrick CRUSHES Wade by nearly 3.5.

      Add in the end of game situations and that’s the reason this discussion is not between Wade and Rose. In key situations, Rose ALWAYS carries his team, while Wade usually defers to LeBron…sounds like Second Team to me.

      Posted by docmarc | April 5, 2011, 2:21 pm
      • kobe shots so much tho, need to step his his shot seltion up

        Posted by GBmoney | April 12, 2011, 3:57 pm
      • are you mental? how are the heat a lesser team? the heat still have the third best defense in the league.

        yeah, Dwayne scores a little bit more.
        yeah, Derrick has 3.5 more assists a game.
        but you’re forgetting a couple other things..

        Wade: 6.4 rebounds
        Rose: 4.1 rebounds

        Wade: 50% fg
        Rose: 44.5 % fg

        Wade: 3.1 TO’s
        Rose: 3.4 TO’s

        Wade: 1.1 blocks
        Rose: .6 blocks

        Wade: 1.5 steals
        Rose: 1.0 steals

        so yeah, Rose kills Wade in assists..
        but i’m pretty sure that all those other stats listed above make up for the lack of assists.

        case closed.

        Posted by alex | April 18, 2011, 4:04 pm
        • Thank you! And the main reason Rose has more assist is that he’s he plays the point guard as to D-Wade’s shooting guard. Of course he’ll have more assist. He should! But the other stats brought up by Alex are facts! Like he said… CASE CLOSED!

          Posted by RG | January 3, 2012, 6:23 pm

        Posted by BURN | June 1, 2011, 6:34 pm
    • ur an idiot…. its about whos having a better season not whos name is on back of the jesery…. wade has way better numbers than kbe and has shut down kobe both times they played heat winning bothe of those matchups… and the heat finsihed with a better overall record…

      Posted by donya davis | May 7, 2011, 8:39 am
      • “A second, and more significant point, is that Kobe Bryant is the defined Alpha Dog for his team, while it is highly questionable as to whether Wade is either the Alpha Dog, or even the best player, on the Miami Heat. After all, it is Lebron, not Wade, who is the Heat’s primary candidate for MVP this season, and it is Lebron, not Wade, who has managed most of the Heat’s crunchtime possessions. I am not necessarily declaring Kobe to be better than Wade, but in my mind, if I am picking between the two, I give the edge to the guy who carries the bulk of his team’s successes and failures on his shoulders on a daily basis.”

        do you not read!?

        Posted by Staci | December 26, 2011, 3:21 pm
    • WADE always outdoes Kobe

      Posted by arthur | June 27, 2012, 9:52 pm
  2. Kobe is averaging same amount of points, one less rebound, same amount of assists, same amount of steals, better 3pt fg% and better ft%.
    While he’s playing four less minutes than wade.
    If he was playing more minutes he would have better stats than him all around the board.

    Posted by Tremaine Edwards Jr. | April 3, 2011, 7:24 am
    • wade’s number is far more superior than kobe in all other aspects.

      wait you forgot to mention that wade has better fg%, efg%, ts% and blocks…

      even if kobe plays 5 more minutes and 3-4 inches taller.

      he cant block like wade do…

      btw, lakers did not win a game this season against the heat..

      Posted by raymanster25 | April 3, 2011, 11:19 pm
    • Kobe is getting 24.2 attempts per game compared to 21.2 attempts for Wade. Kobe’s PER is 24.0 and Wade has 25.7. Wade is being more productive per minute while playing more minutes. The minutes argument goes against Kobe – not for him.

      Posted by TG | April 4, 2011, 9:30 am
    • What? Equal on steals and better at fg%? OMG. You’d better look on Wikipedia before posted this stup*d comment.

      kobe doesn’t have another great scorer in L.A. But wade, he must share his productivity to lebron and chris. before james join the heat, d.wade outperformed kobe in many categories. rebound, assist, steals, block, fg%, and almost equal in scoring.
      and wade is better defender than kobe.

      Posted by William | July 13, 2011, 12:54 am
  3. @Tremaine Edwards Jr

    you talk about scoring but quickly forget that Lebron is second in the league avg. wise, so of course dwades numbers won’t be as pronounced, even still he’s #3 in the league in scoring, closest laker is Gasol at 18.9 which is 21st

    Posted by Sam | April 3, 2011, 12:51 pm
    • The Heat’s Big Three make up more than 70are % of the team’s scoring. Their fourth best player (excluding Haslem and Bibby who have not played a full season with the team) is Chalmers with 6.6. Of course,it’s no wonder Wade can score that much even with LeBron around. In contrast, the Laker’s top Three players only make up only 57% of their teams total and 8 Laker players are out-averaging Chalmers.

      Posted by xonx | April 3, 2011, 10:40 pm
  4. For defensive statistics, we can look at blocks, steals, and rebounds. Both players are more less equals at steals per game, but Wade averages 1 full block more than Kobe per game. Blocking shots is a high effort defensive play for a guard, especially one like Wade who is less than 6’4″. Likewise, Wade is getting about 1 more rebound per game. Wade wins on the defensive side of the ball.

    Offensively, different story. Wade is more accurate from the field (shooting over 50%), more or less the same as Kobe from the 3 point line, but worse from the free throw line. I would call that a tie. Wade averages almost a point per game more than Kobe, but that stems from playing more minutes. I would say that honestly, it’s hard to say who’s better offensively. One scores more and is more accurate, but the other makes more foul shots and would probably close the scoring gap if he played a couple more minutes per game. Unlike on the defensive side of the ball, there isn’t a clear winner on the offensive side.

    I would choose Wade because I feel that the NBA undervalues defense, and Wade is clearly a better defender than Kobe – not surprising considering Wade is in the prime of his career. Offensively, it’s hard to argue that Kobe, shooting under 50% and scoring fewer points, is better than Wade, but you can argue Kobe is no worse. I can understand why people prefer Kobe, but I think Wade earns this with his defense.

    Posted by Khalil | April 3, 2011, 11:12 pm
    • Thanks for the read and insightful points Khalil.

      I agree with you that at this stage of their careers, Wade is a better defender than Kobe. Moreover, as evidenced by his shot blocks and steals, he is the better help defender and plays the passing lanes extremely well. However, Kobe is still the better on-ball defender and I believe Wade’s edge over Kobe defensively is much smaller than you are positing.

      With that said, I actually believe that Wade is the better offensive player. His True Shooting% (which takes into account FTs and 3-pointers)is nearly 3% higher than Kobe, which if you understand how TS% is calculated, is substantial.

      With that said, while I believe that Wade is the better player, it is very difficult for me to award 1st team to the player that isn’t the Alpha Dog on his team. I understand why others would disagree, and believe me, it was close. But I still have to go with Kobe.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 4, 2011, 11:21 am
  5. Well Kobe deserves it because he is also playing with a torn ligament in one of his fingers. I watched all his game and hes not the same kobe no more.. because of his fingers being taped like crazy, and yet he still averages about the same.. and Wade should be disqualified, he has a teammate who is much better then he is Lol

    Posted by Josh | April 4, 2011, 12:18 am
  6. This award is different from the MVP award in that it is predicated on individual performance as opposed to team value. With that being said Wade and Kobe “should” be the two All-Stars, with Wade having a slight statistical advantage. But “should” rarely happens in the NBA.

    Posted by Phildren | April 4, 2011, 1:43 pm
    • Phildren: I agree with you. In a perfect world, Rose would be 2nd team All-NBA and Kobe/Wade would be 1st team. Unfortunately, it will not happen that way.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 5, 2011, 11:52 am
  7. 7/11 categories point to D Wade and you still give Kobe the nod. 7 out of 11 categories…

    and as for clutch performance, well how is that a basis for measurement ‘in this instance’. heat = NEW team consisting of TWO closers that haven’t been together for 1 season. Lakers = Kobes team that have been together forever (well a long time!).

    Its like when everyone was questioning “is Kobe the best Clutch player ever” because he hit some pretty amazing shots. It was only after people did some digging did they realise his clutch % (shots actually made) was very much unspectacular.

    p.s I’m not to sure KD is a lock – well at least not as much as howard, rose and lebron.

    Posted by JB | April 4, 2011, 6:27 pm
    • JB – I know, I know – as I said in my post, I thought about this one long and hard, and was torn. I believe that Wade is arguably the better player, but in my mind, 1st team All-NBA should be reserved primarily for Alpha-Dogs.

      With regards to clutch performance, I think that you substantiated my points. Regardless of the excuses (new players, new coach, etc..), we need to award the spot to the player that is most deserving for 2010-2011. And for me, based on the fact that Kobe was both the Alphas Dog and leader of his team, and significantly better during the most pressure packed moments in ball games, gives him the edge.

      With regards to KD, the alternate would likely be Stoudamire. Either way though, Wade and Kobe will likely be duking it out for the last spot.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 4, 2011, 6:52 pm
      • This whole Alpha dog thing is a ridiculous construct, that is perpetuated by people who dont know any better. Here is a small sampling of 1st team All NBA guys who werent the “alpha dog” on their own team (starting in 1994)

        Penny 95
        Stockton 94
        PIPPEN 96
        Tim Hardaway 97
        Kobe 02-04
        Stoudamire 07

        You aren’t any less great because you play with other great players…ask Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The reality is…Dwayne Wade is not in the same category from a HISTORICAL standpoint…but as of this year, its not even close. Kobe Bryant is not the same player he was. His big shots now are all contested 3’s…he doesn’t get to his spots on the floor with any type of ease, and typically has to pump fake 3 times to get shots off. Kobe is still great, but his game is not that of a 1st team all NBA-er.

        Posted by GT94 | April 19, 2011, 7:04 pm
        • GT94 – I don’t recall ever saying that Wade was “any less great” because he played with Lebron. My position is and always has been that the competition is close, but Kobe assumed more responsibilities, was more clutch, and demonstrated more leadership and therefore deserves 1st team over Wade.

          With regards to the examples mentioned, each of those players named on 1st team, while second fiddles, were named 1st team because they were substantially better than anyone else on the second team. I do not believe that Wade is substantially better than Kobe.

          – Penny (95) – Beat out Richmond and Payton – Penny was the best 2 guard in the game by far.
          – Stockton – Stockton was a second fiddle, but was a Hall of Famer who beat out another second fiddle (KJ) and Richmond, who while the LApha Dog, was not as good as Stockton.
          – Pippen 96: Shouldnt have happened. Grant Hill should have been named 1st team.
          – Hardway (97) – 2nd fiddle who beat out another second fiddle, and was simply better than Richmond
          – Kobe 02-04: No explaination needed. Kobe was head and shoulders better than anyone voted on the second team (guards)
          – Stoudamire: One second fiddle beating out another 2nd fiddle (Yao). Mcgrady was the alpha dog on those Rockets teams.

          I am not saying that a 2nd fiddle has never made 1st team. I am simply saying that if the competition is close, I give the edge to the Alpha Dog.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | April 20, 2011, 12:07 pm
          • I just found this site…and let me say that I love it. While I think your position is one based on what Kobe was as opposed to what D Wade is, its your opinion and you are entitled to it. I dont think its as close as you want to make it, and you’re pretty much just using “clutch” stats as your separation point. I think Wade is better offensively and defensively at this point in their careers.

            Posted by GT94 | April 20, 2011, 9:22 pm
          • Thanks for the read GT94 as well as the kind words – We agree to disagree, and i appreciate your perspective. We hope you continue to stick around as a reader

            Posted by The NBA Realist | April 20, 2011, 9:34 pm
  8. wade outplayed kobe this year when they played against each other why can u still pick kobe people are stupid wade doesnt get enough credit in the nba its kobe this or lebron that wade WILL BE 1st team all nba and 1st team defense

    Posted by josh law | April 5, 2011, 3:05 am
    • Josh. Trust me, it was a close call. But as mentioned through the message posts, Kobe gets the edge because of his performance during the moments that count, as well as the fact that he is the Alpha Dog of his own team. Had Wade been the alpha Dog on the Heat, it would have swayed my vote.

      Moreover, the Lakers only played the Heat in two games this season. Two games doesn’t define anyone’s season, so I can care less that Wade outplayed Kobe. We need to evaluate their performance over the course of the entire season.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 5, 2011, 11:48 am
  9. Alpha dog? What a load of crap! You can’t determine the best players in each position by whether they are the number one option or not. And the closer argument is crap also.
    Wade can’t be faulted that at the end of games, Lebron has the ball the majority of the time. LBJ is not a proven closer and because he is not recognized as such, he has tried too hard this season to prove everyone wrong. Wade has allowed that to happen in the hopes that Lebron will realise before the playoffs start, that winning time is DWade time. Nobody in the league breaks down the D and gets to the rim quite like Wade with the exception of maybe DRose. The ball should be in Wade’s hands when it’s time to close.
    Kobe also shoots his team to defeats with ill advised and impossible shots and even when he hasn’t played well for the duration of that particular game, will still look elsewhere for the blame. He shoots 10 of 27 from the field against Denver and blames turnovers for their loss.
    Sure the turnovers contributed but dude, seriously… Sometimes it’s just your fault. You don’t see Wade shoot his team to losses like that quite as often as Kobe.
    Obviously looking for a reason to justify why Kobe with less impressive stats should be selected ahead of Wade with the better numbers.
    Wade is the better player at this point! The proof is there in black and white for all to see. This is not the “MVP In Their Respective Positions” award.

    Posted by vkmja | April 5, 2011, 7:28 pm
    • vkmja – Thanks for the read. 1st team All-NBA means different things to different people. It sounds like your criteria is based on the best player at each position. My criteria requires a bit more, and evaluating their impact on their team, leadership, as well as their performance in critical situations is as important.

      I agree with you that Wade is a better player than Kobe. However, the gap is very very close, and as I said in my article, I could go either way. Ultimately, I gave the edge to Kobe for the reasons aforementioned.

      With regards to Wade in the clutch, I agree that Lebron has had the ball in his hands more often during stretches of games. However, its not as if Wade hasn’t had his opportuntiies. 82games.com shows that he has had 69 opportunities to deliver in close games with under 5 minutes to play, but has succeeded on 35% of the time. Lebron on the other hand has had 86 opportunities and has succeeded 44% of the time. It is a complete myth that Lebron is less clutch than Wade. He may not be as flashy or demonstrate as much confidence, but the numbers show that his results are far better.

      Lastly with regards to Kobe, I agree with you that he is overrated in the clutch and oftentimes shoots his team out of ball games. In fact, i wrote a post in February highlighting all of his misses in game winning shot situations in the playoffs:

      But math is math, and he has still been far better than Wade. However, I am open to any factual evidence to dispute my claim.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 6, 2011, 9:20 am
  10. What in the name of Bill Russell is going on over here. All I see is in the article and comments are repeated statistics. Does no one watch the games anymore?

    Posted by Hakeem the Dream | April 5, 2011, 7:38 pm
  11. Kobe will get it for star power alone.

    Posted by HomeList | April 5, 2011, 9:03 pm
  12. Saying “Kobe gets the edge because of his performance during the moments that count” is the same argument you responded to by saying “Two games doesn’t define anyone’s season, so I can care less that Wade outplayed Kobe.” Five minutes in a game is irrelevant to the whole of the game, and five minutes at the beginning should not be weighed more favorably than the 5 at the end, the whole per 48min end game stat you dropped. In statistics, you can make arguments any way you see fit, but not all statistics are reasonable for the discussion. You bring stats, don’t just use ones that help your biased argument, try being objective. Since you compared Kobe and Wade in
    “clutch-ness” for an arbitrary time interval, why not compare each possession that the presumed 1st team All-NBA player had against the 2nd team player, for ~70 minutes they played against each other, to determine who’s “clutch-ness” is better when they’re being defended by a supreme player, instead of Monta Ellis. Also, you can normalize the possessions by extending it to the nBa jOurnalist standard of per 48 minutes if you have an issue with usable statistics, that you discredit because of your strong objectiveness.

    Posted by Dale Gribble | April 6, 2011, 10:37 am
    • Thanks for the read Dale, but I disagree.

      Wade outplayed Kobe 2 of 82 games this season. However, Kobe demonstrated a higher level of clutchness during close games throughout the course of an entire season. To me, they are not equivalent and I value the consistency of playing well in the final moments of games throughout the course of an entire season over outplaying a counterpart for two games.

      I also disagree that the last 5 minutes of a close in game, in which neither is up by more than 5 points, is the equivant to the first 5 minutes of a ball game. The NBA’s GMs, Coaches, and Scouts have been using the 5 in 5 stat for years and there is a reason why we use the word “clutch” – When the games get tight, certain players tend to freeze up, there are less fouls called, and there is a higher demand for execution. Certain players thrive while others disappear. Therefore, while I agree that stats can be subjectively used, I think that I have remained pretty consistent in my position.

      Put another way, are you telling that the last 5 minutes of a close ball game does NOT define crunchtime? It may not be all-incluve, but is certainly a pretty strong indicator However, I am open to ANY other metric or facts that shows Wade has outperformed Kobe this year – citing 2 games, which merely count as only 2/82 in the long run, is insufficient.

      Comparing the performance of each player head to head against one another for a 48 min period doesn’t determine who deserves 1st team All-NBA. For years, I’ve watched Kirk Hinrich eat Wade for lunch. Are we really saying that Hinrich deserves to be honored ahead of Wade?

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 6, 2011, 10:59 am
      • You’re Welcome, but i disagree

        I was trying to bring a little clarity to what my position was by taking the low road but my issue remains in the “The NBA’s GMs, Coaches, and Scouts” term of clutch. It fails to recognize variables present in the end game situations and leaves us to the assumption that the NBA is a fixed league with equal talent outside of the elite by not taking in to account the variables present. You say Kobe performs in a role he has done this whole millennium better than Wade this year, but you fail to mention the importance of the additions of Lebron and Bosh when considering Wade’s prowess in late game situations.

        For example, lets consider the Laker’s end game situation. The Lakers are built on a strong foundation of the triangle offense, where it counts on the contributions from there strong front court presence and Kobe. I think we can all agree that a shot from 2 feet away has a higher effective percentage than a shot that occurs from 12-27ft in the waning moments of an NBA game, even Kobe would make a pass to a wide open Gasol in crunch time. Teams have to account for the presence under the rim and this gives Kobe the leeway of one on one situations in end game situation, or clutch times.

        Now compare that to Wade’s situation, where you have another supremely talented wing and another wing, disguised as a finesse pf, in their first year together. The end game situation is going to be a work in progress as they have all been the go to guy for their first years in the league. Yet the clutchness factor doesn’t take into account these variables, as it just measures how a player performs in “clutch” time moments per 48. My argument is that this metric is irrelevant for this discussion, clutch time execution appears to be a more coach related statistic, where the coaches should receive the most credit, unless you want to grant Mo Williams and Monta Ellis elite status, since they are ranked ranked 4th and 6th in this category.

        There are too many variables involved to say that clutch time is a viable statistic to compare players and should not be used in any discussion other than the COY award.

        As for Hinrich, he does play exceptional defense on Wade, which brings up a great point. How does clutchness take into account for defense in the last five minutes? Or are we to assume that a strong indicator of performance in the Last five minutes are steals and blocks? Which for argument sake Kobe: stl: 2.0 blk: 0.0 Wade: stl:1.9 blk: 1.2

        As to the other factual information, i believe you said it best in your per 48 of the years stats, where Wade had 7 of 11, which although flawed, is a vastly superior metric to compare individual players in separate conferences.

        Posted by Dale Gribble | April 6, 2011, 12:02 pm
        • That’s exactly what i’m saying. Fans and these *cough* experts seem to forget there’s two sides of the ball. Offense and Defense. I’ve been to the triple A and saw wade clutchness on defese live and in person but everyone only talks offense(I think i have to see a shrink because i played LB in high school and we clearly was the backbone of our team but since we didn’t score touchdowns the defense got overlook by boosters and some other creeps that will remain nameless *cough* coach. Everyone likes to say all you have to do is outscore the opponent but thats false. Also, a team needs to stop them from scoring, you have to break there will and say resistance is futile. lol. But for real defense is just as important if not more important than offense.

          Posted by Sam | April 6, 2011, 12:17 pm
        • Dale, first off, I want to reiterate that I believe that Kobe is actually overrated in the clutch, as evidenced by my post in February. So I actually agree with some of your points:

          With that being said, end of game situations usually consist of isolations, and I do not subscribe to the notion that Kobe gets cleaner looks in the cluch because he has better big men. Double teams come from all angles, off wings as well as bigs, and Wade has been given a pretty good big man himself (Bosh), another superstar (Lebron) as well as 3-point snipers such as James Jones, Eddie House etc… Bottom line is that it is challenging for any defense to double team either player, but Kobe simply outperformed Wade.

          I do not agree that crunchtime is a coaching related statistic. Ultimately, the players have to perform, and the players need to make shots. And while there are a number of variables, I think that the 5 in 5 does a pretty good job of capturing the moment.

          I agree with your point on defense. It absolutely should be taken into account and statistics do not do a good enough job of capturing all of these situations. However, Kobe has been All-Defense 1st team for several years, and steals/blocks do not capture on-ball defense of forcing an opponent into a difficult shot. I find it difficult to believe that Wade’s defense was substantially better than Kobe’s in the clutch, and enough to off-set the significant points and FG% delta between the 2.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | April 6, 2011, 1:25 pm

      Posted by darryl | April 13, 2011, 3:05 am
  13. This is nonsense. Why people put no value on defense is beyond me. What about being clutch on the defensive side of the ball? Who’s better? Is there a stat for that? D-Wade has been the best all around player for years. I know i’m off subject but it amazes me how the top 3 players are james, kobe and durant. Wade always seems to be left out. Wade avg. 1.12 blocks while durant who is taller avg. 1.0. But getting back on subject each player plays both offense and defense and both are equally important. Also, that alpha dog approach is silly. They’re both alpha dogs and yes two aplha dogs can work together to get any job done. I was in the service(I was a medic and was assigned to the 82nd on my last tour in 2006)and everyone in my squad was alpha dogs and if you don’t know you better ask somebody. I know my grammar and sentence structure sucks but this is a blog not english 1101. lets go heat

    Posted by Sam | April 6, 2011, 12:06 pm
    • Sam – First off, thank you for serving our country. It is heroes such as yourself that protect our freedoms, and allow sports fans to express our opinions as freely as we do on this blog.

      Second, thanks for the read.

      As I responded to Dale, I agree that defensive stats are extremely underrated. However, Kobe has been All-Defense 1st team for several years, and I find it difficult to believe that Wade’s defense was substantially better than Kobe’s in the clutch, and enough to off-set the significant points and FG% delta between the 2.

      With that being said, I disagree that there is enough room for 2 alpha dogs on an NBA championship team. It has never happened before in the history of the NBA,a s I discussed this a bit in a previous article, specific to the Heat:

      … and I do not believe that it will happen now – not unless Miami establishes clearly defined roles. Today’s NBA is predicated more around defined roles, and without that, there is an absence in chemistry.

      Your grammer looks fine to me 😉

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 6, 2011, 1:35 pm
  14. I’d honestly put both on the team. They are the two best guards in the league. They give everything they have on both sides of the ball and are imperative to their teams success. I know they both play with some great players but you can’t overlook what either is doing this season for their teams. D-Rose has had a good year but I don’t think you put him over either one on all NBA.

    Posted by Avery | April 6, 2011, 12:19 pm
    • Avery – Thanks for the read. I agree with you. Wade and Kobe should both be 1st team, but the reality is that it is not likely to happen.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 6, 2011, 1:05 pm
      • I think that the biggest problem is there’s not enough room for the best 5 players in the league. I think that’s what the award should be and this year IMHO it was Rose, Wade, James, Bryant, and Howard, with STAT and Durant being close but not quite there.

        BTW if it was just between Wade and Kobe, the edge is going to go t Kobe whether the stats point to Wade or not, just because he’s the 14 yr vet. It’s just like Duncan making the All-Star team, over several more deserving players.

        If i were put on the clock i would take Kobe mostly because i think that they are so close that you have to look at the little things. I think that Kobe does more with less, people say that he doesn’t get himself as open as Wade does, and i think that just shows how good his footwork and mid-range ability is.

        Posted by B F | April 23, 2011, 3:46 am
  15. Its crazy that you guys are coming up with every reason outside of the stats the NBA keeps to determine all NBA first team. NBA first team has always been about the guys who put up the best numbers throughout the course of the season. The NBA has not deferred to 82games.com or any of these other websites in making this determination. You guys try to discredit a guy who before Lebron won his own Chip and MVP with the help some help from a decent cast. Wade never needed Lebron to win a Chip, Lebron needs Wade so lets not forget that when you start talking about an Alpha dog in your basis from all NBA first team. WADE is a first team on both sides of the ball. Its hard to argue he is not the best players in the league because of his high level of production on both ends of the floor.

    Posted by Bob | April 6, 2011, 1:43 pm
    • Thanks for the read Bob, but I disagree.

      1st Team All-NBA has typically been awarded to the player that is either the best at their position, or impacts their team at their position, not the player who puts up the best stats. In 2001 Allen Iverson won BOTH MVP and 1st Team All-NBA despite the fact that Kobe Bryant had the better statistics. This is because Iverson was his team’s Alpha Dog and had a greater overall impact in the 76ers.

      With regards to who the Alpha Dog is, it is irrelevant that Lebron came to Miami to join D.Wade. He has since taken over the Alpha Dog position and it is he, not Wade, who is one of the primary candidates for MVP. Sounds like an Alpha Dog to me.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 7, 2011, 10:19 am
  16. Nice article, but what I don’t get is the misconception that since derrick Rose is in his third year, he’s somehow undeserving. I’m not going to use stats to support any argument for or against any one of the three, but if you did, you’ll notice that Rose is just as deserving either of the two. I do know that using the eye test, Derrick Rose no doubt is first team All-NBA. The defense argument isn’t true. Rose plays defense. Is he the best defender? No, but if you use the stats that are being tossed around on this board, rose holds his own. Clutch? Very. Alpha Dog? Of course. He actually has a more difficult time in clutch situations than both Wade and Kobe with his size and the fact that no one else on the team commands that defensive attention. Being honest, put three names in a hat ad pull out two and you’ve got a damn good All-NBA backcourt. But give Rose his due and watch his ascent to one of the top players in the league status.

    Posted by Andrew | April 6, 2011, 1:50 pm
    • Thanks for the read Andrew. It is interesting. I am actually a big Chicago Bulls fan, so I am as sensitive to the criticism that Rose has encountered as anyone. However, to me, he is still not yet in the league of Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade and two things that stick out are his inferiority in Scoring and Shooting percentage as well as Defense. He is not a bad defender by any means, but will not be making any 1st team All-Defense teams anytime soon either.

      With that said, I agree with you – Rose is only scratching the surface of his potential at 22.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 7, 2011, 10:24 am
  17. To those saying Rose doesn’t deserve it…really? His stats are better than Kobe’s or Wade’s…if you care about things like assists that is. There is also the fact that he is flat out balling and his team rides his coat tails…too often if anything. Personally I see Wade as the odd man out. Being alpha dog does matter and it’s not easy to make a case for Wade. Certainly harder than it is to make a case for Kobe.

    Posted by Adam Kralic | April 6, 2011, 8:59 pm
  18. I don’t even know how this is even a debate. If you watch b ball in know the game, you would know that d wade deserves to be over kobe on the first team. In two games against the lakers this year, wade has shut Kobe down, made it real tough for kobe in forced him into bad decision. D wade has clearly shown he’s the best in the game. The only weakness you could say d wade has is his 3point shot, but on the other hand d wades doesnt shoot as many threes as kobe does, in d wade tends to knock down jumpers when he has too. In for people to say d wade is not in alpha dog is on crack. Yea we’ve seen what lebron does in the 4th, he choaks. But as soon ass d wade start takin over in the 4th the heat have been winning(hint hint). In oh yea please give ma a break with all these metrics shit, cause I actually watch basketball, in we all know d wade is as clutch as they get.

    Posted by ROB | April 6, 2011, 9:01 pm
    • Rob- Thanks for the read and your perspective. But if D-Wade is really the Alpha-Dog, why is Lebron ahead of him in the MVP race?

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 7, 2011, 12:20 pm
      • Because Lebron has more star power than d wade does. The only reason wade is getting this much attention is because lebron is on his team. If you look at stats ten years from now lebron would be the greatest, but stats lie. If you watched d wade from year 1, when he took a garbage heat to the playoffs, a team that only won 15 games thye year befor, as a rookie wade took that team to the second round of the playoffs. He also hit to game winning buckets in the first round. For a rookie to be your go to guy in the playoffs is unheard of. Then the next year he gets shaq, in goes the ecf, in if he doesnt get hurt, they wouldof beat the pistons in 7. But the next year he comes in wins the tittle when he was expected to, un like lebron, who everybody picked to win a tittle the last 2 years. In dont give me that excuse that he didnt have a team because he did in everybody said he did all the so called experts. But when he loose its alwayz the other player faults or the coaches fault. Wade didnt got to lebron to get a ring, bron came to wade to get a ring. If you watched d wade in lebron play you would see that skill wise wade is better player, his mid range game in his pull up games iz crazy, lebron doesnt have that, wade a better man defender, wade mental is head in above shoulders better than lebron, wade a also better slasher in finsher at the hoop, not to mention at 6’4 215 wade has a wayyyyyy better postgame then lebron does, Actually lebron has no postgame. In o yea wade a better closer as well. The mvp is a media award, in we both know how the media had a big part in hyping him up out of college. If you go back to befor the decison, all the media experts said lebron is the best player in the game, they even said he was better then kobe, in well be next to jordan when his career is done member that?????? But they were wrong, the same media who all picked lebron to win the tittle the last 2 years, was upset because lebron wasnt he they thought he was. He quit in 2 games agaist boston last year, and in the elimintaion game yea he had 27 19 10, but he also had 9 turnovers, 5 that were costly in the 4th quarter(Now can you see how stats could lie) but anywayz after hw quits on his teamates he blames them in the coaches. The media didnt like that, then when he went to go play with d wade the media got mad cause they knew he wouldnt be the player they thought he would be, he went to go play wher theres already a superstar.

        Posted by Rob | April 10, 2011, 10:18 am
  19. You don’t need a scoring point guard when the team has Wade and Kobe. If I’m trying to make the best all-around team, I take Rose out and put them two in. And I still want Rose for 2011 MVP, but I just can’t deny any of those other guys a spot.

    I actually had this debate in my head a couple weeks ago, except I took KG over Durant, because when you have an all-star cast like that I’d rather have the 7 footer defensive beast than the extra 5 points a game (really 10, but he gets probably half the touches on an all-NBA team, so I cut that in half) from Durant.

    Posted by Neazy | April 6, 2011, 10:35 pm
    • Its a tough, tough call Neazy, but you make some valid points. The only thing that I would mention is that All-NBA is usually awarded based on individual performance vs. ideal team chemistry. Had it been based on team chemistry, I would agree with you – never put 5 guys on the same team who need the ball in their hands to be effective. Mix in some roles players who can do the dirty work.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 7, 2011, 12:25 pm
  20. You can settle the Wade/Kobe/Rose debate by asking one question. Are the other two even in the conversation if Wade and James aren’t playing together?

    You’re so hung up on the alpha-dog question (answer: the Heat have two) that you’re missing the headline. Despite playing next to perhaps the most ball-dominant player in history, Wade is managing to average 26/6.5/4.5/50%.

    Do you think there’s any other player in the world who could maintain relative statistical parity with LBJ as a teammate? Do you think Rose is anywhere near the MVP conversation if Bron goes to Chicago?

    James has not changed his game a bit. He’s still averaging 27/7/7 because, for the most part, he’s been playing his Cleveland role. Wade meanwhile has had to completely reinvent his game.

    Lastly, to the poster who keeps talking about Rose’s assists– are you aware that Wade was a perennial 7apg player before he teamed with James. Bron/Wade/Kobe they’ve all done the total offensive monopoly thing that Rose has. The difference is they all did it much better than him.

    Posted by jaze | April 8, 2011, 5:03 am
    • Jaze – But they ARE playing together and the reality is that we need to award 1st Team All-NBA honors based on reality, not hypotheticals. Had Wade and Lebron been on different team, I probably would have voted for Wade as 1st Team All-NBA, and Derek Rose may not be MVP. However, the reality is that they played together and it ended up hurting Wade’s stats and diminished his leadership impact. 1st Team All-NBA is not awarded to the 5 most talented players, it is awarded to the 5 players who performed best at their position by demonstrating a level of leadership and skill. I give Wade kudos for reinventing his game, but saw 5 years in which Kobe had to do the same with Shaq on his team, and suffered the same fate when Allen Iverson was voted ahead of him in 2001.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 8, 2011, 11:30 am
      • Wade still performs best at his position shooting guard! He does much more than kobe and all the stats are there to prove it! I mean 1 block per game for a guard are you serious? Mind you Lebron James, the real MVP is on his team now you can’t tell me the NBA voting is rigged if Wade doesnt get voted to the 1st team. The NBA just has never had to make a decision like this with 2 of the best players in the NBA on the same team!

        Posted by Laurent Booz | April 12, 2011, 4:02 pm
        • Laurent – Guess what? I’m telling you that the voting is not rigged if Wade fails to make 1st team All-NBA.

          I actually agree that Wade is the better player this year than Kobe. However, Kobe has been the leader of his team while Wade has been second fiddle. Plus, Kobe has been much stronger in the clutch. To me, those things count for more when awarded 1st Team All-NBA.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | April 13, 2011, 3:27 pm
  21. Kkobe is overrated as a defenive of player. If you go look at the first 3 ships he won, He wasnt the defenive of stopper it was rick fox who guarded the best premeiter players during those years. Fast foward a few years, When they beat the magics, Travor ariza hit big threes, in made big steals to help beat the magics, not to mention he guarded hedo, in Rashard Lewis, the best two premiter players on the team that time, in if you think ariza wasnt big for the lakers during that time, just look at when he was hurt the year he lost they lost to boston. I think paul Pierce was having a fail day against kobe that year in the finals. Then they added ron artest who is argubaly the best premiter defender in the league for the last 10 years. Its a reason why Paul Pierce struggled last year because artest was guarding him in not kobe. I dont need a stat to tell me that because i watched it live. In to say wade isnt clutch shows you no nothing about basketball,you just look at the stats. D wade is the Alpha dog, youve seen when they ran the offense through lebron in games, in in the 4th the heat has failed, but as soon as they gave the ball to d wade in the 4th they have won every close game they’ve played in since that point accept bucks in the thunder, in wade didnt play against the bucks he was hurt. If anybody has watched the heat and the lakers play would see that d wade is the better all around player on both sides of the ball. A who ever wrote this aritcale needs to go look at some film of d wade, in not a stat line. You really need to learn the game befor you speak on it.

    Posted by Robbie | April 10, 2011, 9:49 am
    • Thanks for the read Robbie, but the stats are facts. You are pointing to specific games where Wade was successful but conveniently ignoring those instances where he failed, which is far too many. This means that you have selectively remembered what you want to, while disregarding the bad games. Either that, or you are not watching EVERY game, in which you need to rely on the stats to help understand to whole story.

      I’ve watched plenty of film on Wade and have seen plenty of instances where Wade missed key shots. I have also seen him make key shots. However, the only way to tell whether he is missing more than he is making is to the look at the numbers – basic math.

      But you are more than welcome to disprove me with facts.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 10, 2011, 6:45 pm
  22. Hello NBA Realist! Gotta say I have hood love fr anyone using the word “realist”.
    My take on this is that the main reason LBJ or Wade have become such points of topic is that people outside of “playing” basketball have added their two cents about it all. Sad thing is, their two cents counts; *cough* the media. First of all, as much as D-Rose “improved”, he deserves an award based on improvement, MIP. MVP is for a MIP doing it twice.
    LBJ and Wade have made it easier for themselves (i.e. more layups for the two) since one of the two can easily maneuver backdoor while opponents’ eyes are watching the current ball-handler. And we can talk about giving them an award once the NBA holds a collusion investigation… gimme a damn break.
    Dwight Howard, although his techs are MVP suicide… well, the only thing I can say about Howard is what else do you call a Defensive POY that happens to average 24PPG?!?!
    And I read that article about Kobe in the clutch when it came out; rather liked it. But for people that comment on KB’s misses, just know that he WILL take that shot. Opponents know its not about beating them: Its about him beating the game. That is a man with no absolutely fear in that moment. While LBJ struggles to overcome it and Wade is content to defer it, some players are willing to be defined by it. THAT makes Kobe the King of Clutch, not his shooting percentage.

    Posted by Yves30 | April 11, 2011, 10:01 am
    • Thanks for the read Yves. Agree with a lot what you said, except the Kobe clutch argument. Clutch to me is about when you succeed, not whether you are fearless. If you give me 2 players, and one guy is scared and goes 8/16 and the other is fearless but goes 4/22 – I’m taking the scared guy. His results are simply better.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 11, 2011, 9:28 pm
  23. Count me in with those who disagree with the underlying premise that Rose is not deserving. The last time I checked, the starting 5 consists of a point guard as well as a shooting guard. For some reason the voters forgot this the last 2 years when voting both Kobe and Wade to the First Team. The First Team should include the best point guard from that season, and this year it’s clearly Rose. (The voters have also often made the mistake of voting 2 small forwards, or sometimes 2 power forwards, on the First Team in the same year.)

    As for the question at hand, it is a close call, but my vote goes to Wade because the Heat have turned around since he became Miami’s alpha dog. The Heat struggled in late-Feb. and early March, losing 5 straight and 6 of 7, in large part because LeBron repeatedly misfired in late-game situations. The Heat then made Wade the primary option in crunch time, and they’re 13-3 since, with one of the losses coming when he was injured. For that, he gets my vote.

    Posted by E-Dog | April 11, 2011, 4:14 pm
    • Not quite sure I agree E – It seems as if everyone is looking at one Laker game and casting their judgement saying that it has become Wade’s team when the fact is that Lebron is still taking the bulk of the 4Q shots, at least from what the stats are reflecting. I think that Wade occassionally becomes the go-to guy, but for the most part, the ball is usally in Lebron’s hands – unless I am overlooking something.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 11, 2011, 9:46 pm
      • You are overlooking something, do you even watch every heat game? If you did then you would see who has the ball during crunch time! This is not even a discussion because everyone here is a kobe dick rider and Derrick Rose bandwagoner! You people cant overlook the fact that wade is better plain and simple

        Posted by Laurent Booz | April 12, 2011, 3:57 pm
        • Laurent – No, I have not watched every Heat game, but have watched a significant number. Moreover you are absolutely incorrect in stating that Wade has the ball in his hands at the end of games (which may contribute to the challenges that the Heat have had) as evidenced by the fact that Lebron has averaged more shots, points, assists, and a higher FG% than Wade at the end of close games. Facts are facts:


          Lebron has managed the bulk of the possessions.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | April 13, 2011, 3:23 pm
  24. Seeing how this article was written before the Lakers game, a game in which we saw the shifting of who is the closer of Heat games, I would like to believe that in hindsight your opinion would have changed. Apparently i was wrong as after reading on you still go back to earlier in the season when Wade was deferring to Lebron in order for him to feel more comfortable. Wade himself has even said that, just heard his reason for in an interview he had with Stephen A. Smith in which he did. So back to recent games Wade made not make the shots but when talking about making the right plays wade has done way more since becoming the closer. For instance look at the last game they played against the Hawks. Earlier in the year its no question Lebron would have had the ball in his hand the whole time, but he didn’t Wade did. Wade made the right play by passing to Lebron for the easy shot rahter then force the issue and score on his own like Lebron and Kobe does. When saying who has been better this year, it has been Wade. For the same reason many say Lebron has still had his numbers with wade n bosh on the floor the same can be said about Wade. He is third in the league for scoring for a reason the same reason kobe is not. Also when talking about clutchness take for instance Kobe’s last game this year vs the Kings. Kobe was not cluth in winning the game although they did the reason they won was because he had more opportunities to hit shots with Gasol getting rebounds n passing back out for him which might be the reason for the whole season. Yet many would agree with me on this, when Kobe forces the issue and tries to win on his own throughtout his career he has lost why is this. Because he is not clutch only for that little period of time between 08-10 when he hit game winners he is not playing like that now.

    Posted by Lilcfly2 | April 14, 2011, 1:40 pm
    • Thanks for the read Lilcfly2 – Its a close call as I have mentioned throughout my responses and I have to agree with you that it became even closer given the way that Wade closed the season out. However, we need to judge the season as a collective body of work that encompasses the entire season, not just the last 15 or so games, and Kobe has been more consistent in the clutch than Wade. Moreover, there is a different level of pressure when you are the sole Alpha dog for a team vs. second fiddle, or even shared Alpha-Dog responsibilities with another player, and Kobe has had to endure the pressure on his own.

      With regards to Kobe being overrated in the clutch, don’t get me wrong – I completely agree with you and wrote about this in an earlier post:

      Its a close call, and I have started to soften my stance somewhat – I could go either way. Had Wade been the Alpha Dog from start to finish, my vote would have definitely gone Wade’s direction.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 15, 2011, 2:06 am
  25. All your clutch arguments are crap because you fail to note that most of Wade’s attempts come from broken plays that were not drawn with him in mind. Almost without exception, his attempts come from offensive rebounds. Whereas LeBron’s attempts and Bosh’s attempts come from plays designed for them. Give Wade the ball in crunch time, draw the play for him, and you will see him succeed. It is not fair to blame him for his performance in clutch situations after he grabs the offensive rebound or somehow finds the ball in his hands after the player that the play was designed for misses the shot they were supposed to hit. At that point, he has no idea how much time is left, he is out of rhythm, and he just, in desperation, throws up a prayer of an attempt.

    Posted by ImSuperSerial | April 18, 2011, 9:18 am
    • Thanks for the read – Let me see if I understand you correctly. Dwyane Wade had a total of 80 attempts in the clutch this season while Lebron has a total of 100. Are you really trying to sell me on the fact that the bulk of those 80 attempts, which are only 20 fewer than Lebron, were either offensive rebound put backs or broken plays? Tell you what, show me the evidence, and I will retract my claim. I agree that the bulk of the plays were drawn with Lebron in mind, but Wade had plenty of opportunities.

      Moreover, Kobe Bryant was often tasked with putting up a shots with the clock winding down, which are essentially low percentage shots, so it evens out. Yet, he still managed to get to the foul line more and generate more assists.

      Both players simply underperformed in the clutch, but Wade was worse – period. However, if you have any evidence other than the “I watched all the games and you gotta believe me” retort, I am open to listening.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 18, 2011, 2:42 pm
  26. First, lets forget the notion that a player must be the “alpha dog” of his team to be All-NBA first team. There have been 64 All-NBA first teams: 28 times, two players came from the same team. In addition, two teams sent two players each to the All-NBA first team in the same season. In 1958-59, three Celtics were named first team All-NBA. Teammates who have shared the honor include Nash and Stoudemire, O’Neal and Bryant, Jordan and Pippen, Stockton and Malone, Johnson and Jabbar, Bird and McHale, Erving and Malone, Reed and Frazier, and West and Baylor. Obviously, both players can’t be the “alpha dog” on the same team, at the same time.

    As for the argument that Bryant is “more clutch” than Wade, the statistical constraint is just silly. A 3pt shot down 6 pts with 2 min to play isn’t clutch by this definition. But rolling with the 5 minutes, 5 points definition, it’s hardly true that Bryant is more clutch. Wade’s usage rate is much lower, averaging 13 less fg’s per 48 minutes in clutch time. However, while fg% is essentially equal, Wade’s 3pt% is a very stong .429, against kobe’s .351. Bryant has the better ft%, but on defense at clutch time Wade averages 1.9 blocks per 48 compared with .3 for Bryant.

    How do you put together these factors? One way is to look at adjusted +/-. Wade is +21 in the clutch, Bryant +13. Indeed, Bryant’s adjusted +/- in the clutch is less than Odom (+21), Fisher (+19), and Artest (+18). On the Heat, Wade is second to Bosh (+24) but ahead of James (+16).

    Posted by CKF | April 18, 2011, 12:54 pm
    • CFK – Thanks for the read. Moreover, thank you for coming to the table with research and facts when defending your position. I can’t tell you how many readers begin their counter-arguments with “What do you mean? Didn’t you watch the game when …..”.

      I am not at all stating that a player must be the Alpha-Dog in order to make 1st team All-NBA. As you mentioned, there are several instances throughout NBA History that show Second Fiddles as making the team, and you are right – there is only enough room for 1 Alpha Dog on any given team. With that being said, I think that the competition is close, and I do give the edge to Kobe because of the fact that he WAS the Alpha-Dog and had to assume responsibilities while Wade had the luxury of playing second fiddle.

      With regards to the 5/5 stat, sure – it does not include each and every single time a player hit a big shot within the 5 minute make and 6 points down. However, it DOES include every instance within 5 minutues and 5 points down, so unless you have evidence that there is a significant difference between the way a player performs while down by 5 vs. down by 6, I think it is safe to say that the totals and the percentages would in all likelihood trend similar. I do not think that we are taking a giant leap by limiting the analysis to 5 points. Nonetheless, I am open to any evidence to the contrary.

      With regards to usage rate, I think that you are substantiating my point – Wade simply didn’t have do as much, or carry as much of the load as Kobe did. Its probably why Kobe generated substantially more points.

      Lastly, blocks and steals do not account for on-ball defense – unforunately, we do not have a stat that measures that. Therefore, while Wade may have been a better help defender in the clutch, I have no doubts that Kobe was the better on-ball defender. Therefore, at worst, it is a wash.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 18, 2011, 4:18 pm
      • Realist- First on on-ball defense, we do actually have stats to measure that. I can’t give you clutch defensive statistics beyond those you already have. But in general, Wade’s opponents are held to roughly the same PER as Bryant’s, 12.8 against 11.8. Per 48 min, Wade’s opponents’ score 18.8 pts against Bryant’s opponents’ 20.0. Wade has the slightly better defensive rating (points against per 100 possessions): 102 against 105. Wade’s on-ball defense is often overlooked, but at this point Wade has equaled if not overtaken Bryant. As far as advanced statistics that incorporate total defense, Wade is tenth in the league with 4.7 defensive win shares; Bryant is 32nd with 3.5 DWS.

        As for Bryant’s amount of shots in clutch situations (leading the NBA), we must remember that Kobe Bryant does not actually shoot the ball well during clutch time. No team wants the bulk of their shots going to a player shooting .40 fg%, .35 3p%. Lakers-Hornets game 1 was a good example. Bryant had a very strong game, but down the stretch he took a lot of tough shots, and missed them. When I see a player taking just under 40 fg per48 in clutch situations, but only shooting around 40%, I see hero mode. And hero mode is not a good thing.

        Again, the clutch stats for Wade and Bryant are hard to weigh, but adjusted +/- is particularly clear. That Bryant’s +/- is significantly lower than three other teammates is particularly disconcerting.

        At the end of the day, all the advanced metrics, offensive and defensive, point to Wade. The Heat have the better record. The narrative the media are buying and selling right now is that the Heat play best when Wade has the ball in the clutch. Of course, the narrative the media have been buying and selling for the past decade is that Bryant is God’s gift to basketball. I don’t know which one wins.

        An interesting side note concerning dropping Rose to All NBA 2nd team. The regular season MVP has been on the All NBA 2nd team 4 times. Three of those times the MVP has gone to Bill Russell, which may provide an interesting parallel. Take 60-62, two seasons in a row where Wilt Chamberlain lead the league in scoring (61-62 included the 100 pt game) and was named to the All-NBA first team, but Russell led the Celtics to a league best season record and eventual championship both years, picking up the MVP each season. It hasn’t happened in a long time, and Chamberlain/Russell is not Bryant/Wade/Rose. But at least it wouldn’t be unprecedented to give the MVP to the player most important to his team (Rose), and the All NBA First Team to the player(s) that fill out the stat sheet.

        Interesting side note 2: Chris Paul is somewhere in this conversation too. But that’s a discussion for a different article. If I wanted to get really crazy, I’d throw Westbrook’s name into the mix…but that would be lunacy.

        Posted by CKF | April 18, 2011, 11:55 pm
        • D Rose is a 1st teamer…No question. If we are to live in the moment, Kobe does not make this team, similarly, Tim Duncan should not have made the All-Star team over Aldridge…but we are a country that likes to let our heroes die slowly instead of facing the harsh reality that they can no longer sufficiently fill the role. The Bean is a top 10 player of All-Time…he is not a top 5 player of the 2010-2011 season.

          Posted by GT94 | April 19, 2011, 7:22 pm
        • Thanks CKF – You make some very compelling points.

          I am actually in agreement with you that at this stage – overall Wade has been better player than Kobe and I am not disputing that. Moreover, I understand your point regarding Kobe being overrated in the clutch. I actually wrote about this extensively in one of my articles:

          In many ways, picking between the two was picking the lesser of 2 evils. Both players shot a poor percentage, but in the end, Kobe assumed more responsibilities, manufactured more points, generated far more assists and an overlooked stat – went to the line far
          more often. I know that Kobe goes into hero mode quite often, but also did not have the luxury of deferring to a second player such as Lebron James, or perhaps he could have been more selective in his shots.

          I also think that the +/- can be attributed to a number of variables. One theory may position that although Wade shoots bad in crunchtime, he nonetheless makes the right plays. However, given Kobe’s assist total, I tend to believe that the presence of Lebron James contributed to Wade’s higher +/-. After all, Shawn Marion has a higher +/- than Jason Terry, however we all know that Marion assumes less responsibility in the clutch.

          Regarding the MVP making 2nd Team All-NBA – that is indeed an interesting note, but as I mentioned in my article, it has never happened in the post-merger NBA, and very doubtful to happen now. Nonetheless, there is always a possibility.

          Great points, and thanks for the feedback.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | April 20, 2011, 11:41 am

    Posted by banthum | April 20, 2011, 11:04 am
  28. This clutch stats argument for Kobe over wade is bogus. Over the course of games Wade is simply a more productive player then Kobe. How you guys can discount the fact that Wade is a more efficient shooter by a substantial margin is beyond me. Objectively Wade is a shoo in with Kobe battling Rose for the next spot. And Rose simply should not be the mvp. Chicago wins largely because of D, and while he is a above average defender, he is not spectacular. Offensively he is not even close to as efficient as Lebron/Wade. Howard or Lebron should be MVP

    Posted by Shawn | April 23, 2011, 5:34 am
  29. how can you say wade is betther defensively than kobe. sure wade has 1 more block a game but who does he have to defend in the east. the east only have 3 to 4 good teams that if you put them all in the west they would be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. the heat dont have to play defense except on boston and the bulls. if you look at kobe in game 2 of the playoffs he gave up doing anything offensively so he can guard chris paul. would wade do that and sacrafice his own numbers offensively to guard the other teams best player? no he wouldnt, but kobe would. he has more trust in his team than wade does and thats why if kobe wants to play lock down defense he can. the reason wade has one more block a game is because he is willing to leave the guy he is guarding to get the block. kobe would almost never do that because he cares more bout stopping 2 or 3 points than getting 1 block. yeah he has two 7-footers but thats why they are in the paint to get block. i you take away the 1 block per game from wade and gave it to the big z, he would be thier best stopper in the paint but since wade dont trust his team in the paint, he wants to make up for it. if you ever try to say wade or another guard deserves to be nba first team then you need to realize that the guy who doesnt trust his teammates that arent a superstar like they are dont deserve to be on the nba all first team because he isnt a true leader for his team. and now take the block a game garbage out of this post because if thats all you have to say why wade deserves it more then you are a moron

    Posted by robert | April 23, 2011, 11:03 am
    • To Realist- Thanks for the discussion. I’ll give you +/- is a dubious statistic with a lot of confounding variables. At the end of the day, I’m in Wade’s camp an will always under-acknowledge the importance of LeBron being there too.

      Robert- I am guessing you consider Kobe Bryant to be the best player of the Lakers. Yet Wade guarded Kobe when the heat played the Lakers. Bryant shot 38%.

      Posted by CKF | April 23, 2011, 3:16 pm
  30. oh and also wade gets beaten off the dribble more than kobe when they are healthly because kobe had people WHO KNEW HOW TO PLAY DEFENSE teach him the importance of playing D

    Posted by robert | April 23, 2011, 11:05 am
  31. I have never seen such bad grammar in my life. Anywho, this idea that some how Wade doesn’t deserve first team honors because bron is in the mvp race is rediculous. The last few months wade has taken control down the stretch, not bron. Not to menthion you could argue that rose has more assits and has the ppg that he has because he has too. Wade has had a whole carreer of ave. 25/6/6. And he’s a better defender than rose and kobe. Period. Oh, and why do people praise rose’s assists and forget wade out rebounds him, out blocks him and out steals him. Plus im pretty sure he shoots a better fg% as well. D-wade is the best gaurd in the leage. One last thing, Wade’s finals performance is maybe the best of all time. Its also the most underrated.

    Posted by matt | May 7, 2011, 1:26 am
    • “I have never seen such bad grammar in my life.”

      Did you really just go there?






      Posted by Milhouse | May 7, 2011, 9:19 am
  32. ps
    Robert has no idea what the hell he is talking about. How can you say that wade doesn’t sacrifice defensively? Have you seen him chase around ray allen the last two games. The difference is Wade’s offensive numbers don’t falter when he has to d up on a good player. Oh, and Wade beats Kobe in more areas than just blocks per game. And to say that a player is a good shot blocker because he doesn’t trust his teamates is perposterous. And big Z would be the primary shot blocker if Wade let him? Thats funny. Have you seen Z play lately? The guy has the athletisism of a parapalegic. Robert has no idea what he’s talking about.

    Posted by matt | May 7, 2011, 1:39 am
  33. Its settled now. However, IMO it should be a non-issue. The imposter is Rose. He does not belong on the first team.

    This Bulls/Heat series will be fun to watch. Think Wade might take a little exception to Rose coronation?

    Posted by marparker | May 12, 2011, 12:21 pm
  34. I had a fun time reading these post..and I must say…you have a few people in this discussion that hit it on the head about wade/lbj/rose/kobe lets look at a couple of things here. kobe always has in mind of making ‘clutch’ shots…so he is rarely ever thinking of making a ‘team play’ he’s launching the ball not for his team..but for himself…I watch ‘all’ heat games…and I am so tired of lebron holding the ball for 18-21 seconds before he makes a play…his stats are overblown to me because he forces the next player to shoot when he decides to pass the ball. and for you people that like to throw wade stats out the window…how about this observation..did you know that lebron gets the bulk of his points when the heat are ahead in games? he hogs the ball when they up..but in close situations, he plays hot potatoe with the ball…Ive seen wade score 6 straight buckets to bring the heat back…and oh mr lehog immediately start jacking up 3’s once wade brings them back…and as far as Rose..great season..but the bulls whole defensive scheme is created around protecting rose on defense..Im aghast to here people talking about his defense..all the no name players have great games everytime he sticks them one-on-one..jeff teague was the latest example.but because rose is killing on the offense..no one talks about how he is getting abused by almost ‘all’ guards…there is a 6’4″ guard in the league that is the greatest shot blocking guard since he entered the league…he constantly is in the top 5 in steals..he is constantly in the top 5 in scoring….but the media is looking for a theme…and Drose fit that theme this year..so they elevated him in the media..thats why you all cant stop mentioning his name…its sends me crazy that Rose can take 30+ shots and people say he has no help? no help? you are the guard! you are the one that suppose to set up players..we will never know if you had help, cause you wont pass! then they act like deng(whom i believe the media screwed this year)isnt balling to hi level. my point is, I didnt use stats because for some reason stats dont matter to you people…

    Posted by tyronewatson | May 15, 2011, 9:49 am
  35. The fact that Wade is equal, slightly behind, or slightly better and even significantly better than both Rose and Bryant in the deciding statistical catogories WHILE “playing second fiddle” to lebron should’ve attributed to him being 1st team. Of course I have hindsight being that was last year,but according to the finals I think we know who the “Alpha Dog” really is down in south beach.

    Posted by Arnez McDaniel | December 5, 2011, 9:15 am


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  2. […] out. It is difficult to pick D-Wade over Kobe as long as he remains second banana on the Heat (an argument made by The NBA Realist last year). As Pau Gasol has found, it is often much easier to be no. 2 than no. 1. Kobe’s […]

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