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Greatest Finals performances: Dwyane Wade 2006 vs Mavericks - 34.7 PPG, Finals MVP!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Wade's 172 points against Dallas are the third-most for any player through the first five games of his NBA Finals career. In 1967, San Francisco's Rick Barry scored 201 points through five games in his first NBA Finals appearance; Allen Iverson had 178 through his first five games in the Finals in 2001.

For the series, Wade averaged 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals -- and this in a slow-paced series (neither team cleared the century mark in regulation in any of the six games). His basket attacks were so deadly because the Mavs couldn't stop fouling him. Wade shot a whopping 97 free throws in the six games -- the most of any player since the merger -- including 25 in Game 5.

Overall, Wade's 33.8 PER is easily the best of any Finals performer since the merger. While it seems strange to have somebody besides Michael Jordan in the top spot, the truth is Jordan never dominated a Finals to this extent. At the time, many called Wade's performance Jordanesque. It turns out they might have been selling him short."

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John Hollinger writes for ESPN Insider.

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