Soon after the Warriors loss to the Heat, contributor Michael Wallace of ESPN.com posted a relatively lengthy piece about Dorell Wright’s new beginnings with the Warriors and the remarkable growth of his game since arriving in East Oakland (but most likely residing NOT in East Oakland). For former teammate Dwyane Wade, he is not surprised at all by Wright’s versatility and his ability to hold his own against the likes of the best in the NBA in Lebron James:
Asked after the game if he expected that sort of breakout performance from Wright, Heat guard Dwyane Wade didn’t hesitate to respond.
“Yes,” said Wade, who is the godfather of Wright’s son. “That’s how it happens, man. I’m happy to see him be aggressive that way, and really be one of the leaders on that young team.”
But as much as Wright says his play was not personal, others clearly knew that it was to some extent:
Publicly, Wright played the possum act to perfection. But privately, there was another side – one that burned to put on a solid show in his first visit to Miami to play the Heat since his free agency departure.
“Everyone says it doesn’t matter,” Warriors coach Keith Smart said of Wright. “But you still want to prove to them that, ‘You let this one get away.’ I’m sure that was in his mind. It takes a couple of years to remove that from your thinking. You may say it, but in the bottom of your heart, if you had a glass body, you could still see there’s a little bit there.”
D. Wright was probably the lone bright spot of today’s game. And you can tell from Wallace’s post about Wright that it was perhaps difficult to write this ‘coming of age narrative’ when the Warriors lost the game horribly in the second half. Wallace, on two occasions, mentions Wright’s ‘first half’ dominance and that’s clearly all that it was.
But, the larger trajectory of D. Wright’s improvement this season is what’s most important. In the last 5 games, D. Wright has shot above 50% from the field, above 50% from 3-point territory, above 90% from the line (possibly since he hardly registers any free throw attempts period), and above 24 points per game. He has also averaged more than 6 rebounds a game and showed a wider range of offensive skills than being a spot-up 3-point shooter (though that is clearly what he is best at right now). With that said, D. Wright’s emergence as an offensive leader on this team will surely help a team that has struggled to find any sense of identity on both ends of the floor.