Ira Winderman Sun Sentinel Columnist
4:13 p.m. EDT, September 15, 2012
Dwyane Wade remembers, you bet he remembers.
James Posey in the corner, as he seemingly always was, this time with 3:43 left in the fourth quarter. Heat up three. Wade with the pass. Posey with the 3-pointer. Game. Moments later, jubilation. Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals over, the Miami Heat, for the first time, NBA champions.
There have been plenty of Wade assists for 3-pointers since, with teammates such as Mario Chalmers, James Jones, Mike Miller, Shane Battier, Mike Bibby, Eddie House, Daequan Cook, Ricky Davis and Jason Kapono.
But the chemistry with Posey was special, the quarterback who knew where the receiver would be, the receiver who intuitively would read the passing lane.
There were other choices during the 2005-06 championship season, including Antoine Walker and Jason Williams, but there hasn't been anything like Wade-to-Posey since, well, Wade-to-Posey.
Which bring us, and more significantly, Wade, to this coming season.
Never have the drive-and-kick options been so bountiful, not only are Chalmers, Jones, Miller and Battier back, but arriving for the defense of the Heat's second championship are Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
At a time when LeBron James is assuming a greater share of the Heat's offense, Wade now finds himself in position to channel back to what he had in 2006, that instinctive connection with a spot-up sniper.
"I mean, that'd be great," he said during a break in his book tour, as he looked ahead to the Sept. 29 start of training camp at AmericanAirlines Arena. "Posey was huge for us."
During the run to the 2012 championship, Wade said he began to develop a similar bond with Battier, one that developed late, with Battier's unlikely postseason insertion into the starting lineup at power forward.
"I think I did a little bit in the Finals," Wade said. "With the matchup problems, sometimes I drove just to get guys shots. So I knew that once I drove, that bigger guys who were guarding Shane were going to come to the rim and protect the rim. Shane had a lot of open shots."
Wade said he expects to do more of the same this time around.
"My mind frame a lot would be when I get to the paint, when I attack, sometimes I'm going just to draw the defense, knowing I've got the shooters and I need to get my shooters shots," he said. "I can always get my own shot. But when I'm in the game, my mindset is, 'OK, I need to get these guys going,' because they're going to get things open for everyone."
Wade said it is too early to consider specific chemistry, having yet to make it to the court for workouts with Allen and Lewis, a process that could be delayed by Wade's rehabilitation from his July 9 arthroscopic knee surgery. But he said there is nothing wrong with trying to find his next Posey.
"No, it's not dangerous to have a favorite," he said. "As long as the ball goes in, I think we all would be satisfied with it."
When the Heat clinched last season's championship, Miller was everyone's go-to choice from distance, with his seven 3-pointers in the series-clinching Game 5 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals.
Now? Now the options have practically been squared.
"We've got a great bunch of guys to choose from," Wade said. "We've got some of the best 3-point shooters the NBA has ever seen. So it's kind of pick your poison."