MIAMI – Dwyane Wade tuned-up for his return tonight to Miami by playing 34 minutes and scoring 25 points in the Bulls 115-107 loss in Atlanta on Wednesday.
If recent history is of any indicator, it would suggest Wade may not have much left in the tank when he faces his old team tonight.
Wade scored 35 points, shot 12-of-20, including making all but two of his seven threes, and had 10 rebounds in 33 minutes in the Bulls home loss to Knicks Friday. The next night, he slumped, scoring four points on 1-of-9 shooting and playing just 22 minutes in a loss at Indiana.
Wade said his body felt fine but that his shot just not go in.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “Actually, my body felt OK, it was just the rhythm. It was the first one. Our whole team was flat.”
But tonight will be different. Sure, Wade will be coming off a big game, having played 34 minutes and arriving in Miami late. But this game will be emotional and one in which adrenaline should carry Wade, at least to start.
“He’s going to play Dwyane Wade basketball,” said Udonis Haslem, who played with Wade for 13 seasons in Miami. “If that means he has 15 assists to win the game, then he’s going to get 15 assists. He’s not going to try to get out of character and do anything to extra to try and win the game. He’s doing to do exactly what he needs to do to try to put his team in position to be successful.”
Wade was spot on when he told reporters this week that he had similar results in his first back-to-back last season.
Wade scored 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting in a win at Minnesota on Nov. 5. He played 31 minutes.
The next night in Indiana, Miami lost as Wade went 4-of-15 from the floor and scored nine points while playing one minute less.
The issue moving forward with Wade is if the Bulls will come up with a plan to rest him on the second night of back-to-backs.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said this week those conversations have not come up yet.
“A lot of it’s based on how he’s feeling,” Hoiberg said. “He wanted to give it a go at Indiana (Saturday). We’ll continue to monitor it, continue to communicate like we have been doing with him all throughout the preseason as far as when he needs some time off in practices to maybe sit out.”
Expect that time to come. … Just not tonight.