Dwyane Wade has spent the first seven games of the Heat's season putting the rest of the NBA on notice: He is officially back.
It was another run-of-the-mill night for Wade in South Beach last night. All he did was lead his team with 33 points on 9-of-18 shooting (4-of-7 from deep, 11-of-12 on free throws) and five assists en route to a comeback victory from 12 points down against the Nets.
We babbled over the summer about how surprisingly easy it had become to forget how good this guy is. Despite his NBA title, despite his Finals MVP, despite his four All-Star appearances, it was those 95 games missed due to injury over his first five seasons that jumped out at me heading into this summer.
Then Wade spent the offseason tearing it up with Team USA. It shouldn't have taken that much - or his several highlight reel plays at both ends of the floor - to provide a reminder. It shouldn't have been needed.
Now, he's back at it on Association turf. Heading into last night, he was averaging 26.2 points, 8.0 assists and 6.5 boards per game to go with 55.9 percent true shooting on the young season. As far as such statistically well-rounded performance is concerned, only one other player comes to mind as a comparison thus far this year, and he goes by LeBron.
He assuredly doesn't need to hear it from me, but welcome back, Dwyane. Pleasure to get to watch you at full strength again.