Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dwyane Wade: Age Ain't Nothing, By the Numbers

If you think Dwyane Wade is too old to be a dominant player in the NBA at 31, the numbers say you should think again.

Old Man Wade?
The news that Wade kept a log of all the "old man" articles from last season was reported by Shandel Richardson for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Here's the relevant excerpt from that article:

The whispers of Wade declining began during last year's playoffs and have continued with the notion he's "NBA old" at the age of 30.
Rather than say he's a few years away from a rocking chair, Wade will just ignore the outside criticism.
"You know what I've decided," Wade said recently. "I've just decided not to comment on it any more."
End of story.
That is, unless Wade struggles at the beginning of the season. The whispers will turn into yells if he has any sort of problems recovering from offseason knee surgery that is expected to keep him out most of the preseason games...
So, will Wade struggle early? It's unlikely, considering Wade kept a log of the "old man" articles from last season. He actually viewed it as an energy drink, an extra boost heading into his 10th season.

Unfortunately for the haters out there, the numbers show the whisper campaign about Wade's age is about as believable as tax statements released by Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

Age Ain't Nothing, By the Numbers
The most commonly seen argument made for Wade falling off is his injury history, so let's start there. Since the NBA went to an 82-game schedule for the 1968 season, there have been 6 other star guards that have played in 85% or less of their team's regular season games in the first 8 years of their career like Wade. In this case, "star guard" means at least 1 all-star selection and production that met or exceeded at least 0.150 win shares per 48 minutes. For an explanation of Win Shares, see

Only two of those injury-prone star guards saw their production drop below 0.150 win shares per 48 minutes from age 30 to 31: Mark Price and Walter Davis. Manu Ginobili produced like a star player for 3 seasons after he turned 30 while Kevin Johnson (despite missing 27 games at age 31) and Vince Carter produced like stars for 2 seasons beyond 30. Eddie Jones did it for one season. The full list of productive guards in their 30s is posted below.

So when it comes to injury history, history is on Wade's side to have a productive 2013 season. The question is, how productive? projects Wade to average 24 points on 50.8% shooting efficiency, 5.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 3 turnovers, 1.6 steals, 1.2 blocks and 2.5 fouls per 36 minutes. Those numbers are almost an exact replica of his production last season.

Wade's 2013 Stats Projection from

Based on the projection, Wade's would produce an 8.3 Win Score per 48 minutes this season. Last season, he produced an 8.7 Win Score 48. If Wade produced an 8.3 Win Score last season, his Estimated Wins Produced per 48 minutes would've dropped from 0.233 Est.WP48 to 0.228 Est.WP48 and his estimated wins produced would've dropped from 7.9 to 7.7. For more information on Estimated Wins Produced, see the HEAT Produced Page.

Wages of Wins blogger Arturo Galletti used a different model and projected Wade to produce 0.237 WP48 this season. Wade produced 0.247 WP48 last season, according to The NBA GeekFor an explanation of Wins Produced, see the Wages of Wins blog. If Wade produced 0.237 WP48 last season, his wins produced would've dropped from 8.4 to 8.0, which was still more wins than every shooting guard in the NBA except James Harden.

Father Time stealing less than half a win from Wade wouldn't have changed his team's playoff seeding or his own player ranking last season. That petty theft isn't a felony, it's a misdemeanor. 

Dwyane Wade and the HEAT have bigger issues to be concerned about than trumped up charges from the haters on their sofas and press row. His game will speak for itself. Nothing else needs to be said.

Aaliyah, give them haters some travellin' music...

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