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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Palmore

Throwback Thursday: Dwyane Wade in the '06 Finals

There have been many historic individual performances in the storied history of the NBA Finals. Looking back, one of the most impressive finals performances of all time was Dwyane Wade's series against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals.

Image provided by Miami Herald

The 2006 Finals were a very important series for a multitude of reasons. Prior to this series, neither the Dallas Mavericks nor Miami Heat had won an NBA title and for Dwyane Wade, (who was only in his third season) the pressure was on to beat the Mavericks led by Dirk Nowitzki. During this series, the finals were played in the old 2-3-2 format and Dallas took advantage of having the first two games at home as they won convincingly to go up 2-0. In game one, the Mavericks won by 10 and Jason Terry led the Mavs in scoring with 32 points and in game two, Dallas won by 14 led by Dirk Nowitzki's 26 points.

Miami found themselves down 0-2 with the series set to shift to Miami for at least another two games. Game three was the turning point for the Heat as they were able to win by two led by Wade's 42 point explosion. A constant theme in this series was the high amount of free throws that Dwyane Wade was able to shoot, but he made them when they mattered most and earned them because of his aggressiveness. Game four was a more convincing win for Miami and Wade scored 36 points as the Heat cruised to a 98-74 victory.

Image provided by ESPN

The "Pivotal Game 5" of this series featured the Miami Heat getting an overtime victory 101-100. Dirk Nowitzki made a clutch turnaround jumper with seconds remaining to give Dallas a two point lead, and then Wade made a layup to tie the game in send it to overtime. In overtime, Wade made two clutch free throws to give Miami a one point lead and ultimately, a victory.

In the closeout game six, Miami won narrowly by three points as Dwyane Wade scored 36 points. In his first NBA Finals appearance, Dwyane Wade led Miami back from an 0-2 deficit while averaging 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. Wade at just 24 years old won Finals MVP as the Miami Heat captured their first title.


Without looking a the numbers, Wade's performance in this series is easily one of the best individual finals performances ever because of the era he did it in. Everything was so tight and packed during the 2000's era and it was hard to get anything inside. The game was also not as perimeter oriented as players focused on the inside game and mid-range a lot more. For Wade to put up the numbers he did and make the tough shots he did all while in just his third season, makes his first finals appearance one of the most memorable we've seen.

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