Though it isn’t necessarily shocking that Dwyane Wade reached the finals in his 3rd season and LeBron didn’t, would we have guessed at the begining of the season that Flash would put a team on his back — one featuring Shaq, Payton, ‘Zo, Antoine Walker — the way he did last night? Granted, he’s done it before, but if last night’s 42 point,13 rebound performance is indicative of what Wade is capable of with a bad knee, maybe these Finals aren’t Pat Riley’s last chance at a ring.

Since Shaquille O’Neal brought Orlando to the finals with Penny as his running mate in 1995, a few things have been constants most springs :

a) the Diesel leading a team deep into the post-season
b) the Diesel’s foul shooting being the source of much hand-wringing
c) the inevitable quote from Rick Barry, offering to solve the problem.

From the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson :

Bob McAdoo revealed that in training camp, he raised the idea of Shaq shooting free throws underhanded — a notion Shaq rejected when Rick Barry offered lessons years ago.

”I talked to him about it, and he threw it out the window,” McAdoo said. “I don’t think that’s his style. Shaq is from the hip-hop era. Rick Barry’s style is the old school.”

McAdoo said ”probably the next thing I’m going to talk about” with O’Neal after the season is examining what Wilt Chamberlain experimented with, which — besides trying to shoot underhanded — included “shooting off to the side or two feet behind the line. It’s not going to hurt to try anything.

“I’m trying to get him to put rotation on the ball instead of shooting it like a shot put sometimes. He has no spin on his shot.”

McAdoo says it would ”probably be a waste of money” for the Heat to hire a shooting coach because “I consider myself the best-shooting big guy around. He’s had a lot of people before me, and nothing’s changed. It’s going to be on him. It’s not going to be on me. He’s got to want to stand in the gym and shoot 500 to 1,000 free throws. You’ve got to figure it out yourself. I went from a 72- to a 90-percent shooter.”

Barry (above) said this week he’s still willing to work with Shaq. ”It’s unfortunate he has the attitude he has,” Barry said. “As a result, his team is suffering. I could help him big-time. He has a wrist problem that would not be an issue if he shot underhanded. It’s difficult and painful to watch, sad to see someone suffer through this. At least Wilt was willing to try everything.'”