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Joe Johnson Has Played Far More Minutes Than Dwayne Wade Has -- And That's A Good Thing

Looking over this Joe Johnson-Dwayne Wade comparison post at Peachtree Hoops, one thing caught my eye. Joe Johnson has played in way, way more career games than Dwayne Wade has:

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Add in Wade's 66 career playoff games and Joe's 44, and Joe has still played 206 more games.

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Yes, they're basically the same age in regular human years, born only 202 days apart. But in basketball years, Joe is 7,000+ minutes older. That's almost two entire seasons of 48-minute games.

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Sure, Wade's Pamplona-in-Hell style is more likely to cause wrinkles and gray hairs than Joe's loitering sniper approach is. But while Joe is in tremendous physical condition, he finished the 2008-09 season exhausted after leading the league in minutes, and his playing time was a source of contention last season as well. (Peachtree Hoops has written about the conundrum in another light: Joe plays too much because the team thinks he's as good as ... Wade.) 

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But here's the catch:

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Wade gets hurt all the time, missing over 100 games (3,800+ minutes) in his seven years. And you don't play as much basketball as Joe has unless you're a tank with the soul of an ox. Joe has only once played fewer than 76 games; Wade has played fewer than 76 for half of his NBA seasons.

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Both of these max-money players have a lot of wear and tear, though Wade seems to have more tear (injuries) and Joe has more wear (minutes). As Wade loses a step and therefore his whole game, while Joe continues to ring up 20 PPG indefinitely, the Hawks may somehow end up happier with Joe's contract than the Heat are with Wade's. Wrap your mind around that.

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(Note: if LeBron announces in nine hours that he's joining Miami, that last paragraph is moot. Wade will be able to tone down his play, extending the peak of his career.)

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.