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Dwyane Wade.

Dwyane Wade's reinvention has allowed the Cavs to get back on track

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With the Cleveland Cavaliers looking disjointed and out of sorts after a poor start to the season, Dwayne Wade decided to make a sacrifice to help steady the ship and get the team back on track.

When the shooting guard joined the Cavs before the start of the campaign - after securing a buyout from the Chicago Bulls - head coach Tyronn Lue decided to insert him into the starting lineup in place of J.R. Smith.

This didn't go down well with Smith who has been a starter throughout his time in Cleveland, including the championship-winning 2016-17 season.

After just three games, Wade volunteered to move to the bench as he believed it represented the best way for him to contribute and allow the team to be successful.

The results have been remarkable for the Cavaliers.

Reinvention

After a 5-7 start, the Wine and Gold have won 18 of their last 20 games and the three-time champion has played a key role during the impressive stretch.

His legs may not be what they used to but his basketball IQ is still as high as ever and it's no surprise that his transition into a reserve has been a seamless one.

Chicago Bulls vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

He had to swallow his pride and make a big decision but at 36, it was inevitable that he had to accept this role if he wanted to feature on a contending team but not many expected him to have the kind of impact he has.

He leads a bench unit consisting of Jeff Green, Kyle Korver, Channing Frye and Cedi Osman and has played as the team's backup point guard in the absence of Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert.

With this group, Cleveland has finally found a way to be productive when LeBron James takes a breather.

Leadership

Statistically, they have one of the best benches in the league and this was once again evidenced in their most recent outing against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Dwyane WadeCleveland Cavaliers v Milwaukee Bucks

Although they eventually lost the game, the Cavs rallied back from a 15-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter - while LeBron was on the bench.

The King watched from the sidelines for eight minutes as his teammates made a terrific run, which was capped by two huge three-pointers by Wade.

Knowing that his buddy had things under control, LBJ enjoyed his view from the side and was playing cheerleader. He described Lue's decision as "perfect".

Wade has acted as a secondary playmaker which is something they've needed for years. As great as Kyrie Irving is, he's at his best as a one-on-one player and very rarely looked to make plays for others when he was in Ohio.

Unlike Irving, though, the former Miami Heat star often looks for others and has formed a great relationship with Green and Korver in particular.

Veteran Savvy

He knows he can't dominate games like before so he's become a floor general and orchestrator and picks his moments to try to score.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

The 12-time All-Star can't carry a team on his back but he can make sure things are running smoothly and put them in a position to win.

The All-NBA guard has also been effective on the defensive end as he's helped the Cavaliers tighten up in their weakest area.

He's a natural winner and will go down as one of the greatest players of all time.

The big question is whether he can have this sort of impact against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals or even the Boston Celtics in the conference finals.

However, we can save those questions for later in the year, as we should use this moment to commend the future Hall of Famer for altering his game and still staying relevant.

Topics:
Dwyane Wade
Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division

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