Tonight’s matchup: Hassan Whiteside returns, James Johnson not expected to play as Heat look to snap 3-game skid against Bulls


When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Records: Chicago 1-4, Miami 2-4

Chicago’s Robin Lopez and Miami’s Hassan Whiteside tip-off to start a game at American Airlines Arena last season. The Bulls are in full rebuild mode this season. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)



F: Paul Zipser

F: Lauri Markkanen

C: Robin Lopez

G: Justin Holiday

G: Jerian Grant


F: Okaro White

F: Josh Richardson

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Dion Waiters

G: Goran Dragic

Scouting report: The Heat will have Hassan Whiteside back in the lineup but probably will not have James Johnson’s services.  Johnson has right knee tendinitis and will be available if needed but is not expected to play. Whiteside has missed five consecutive games since bruising a bone in his left knee in the season opener at Orlando. After going through a full workout Wednesday morning, Whiteside will warm up prior to the game with the intention of playing. … Whiteside averaged 29.0 points and 14.0 rebounds against the Bulls last season while Goran Dragic averaged 17.7 points and 8.7 assists. … The Heat and Bulls finished 41-41 last season with Chicago claiming the final playoff spot by virtue of winning the season series 2-1. This season the Bulls are in full tank mode after trading Jimmy Butler during the summer and buying out Dwyane Wade’s contract. Chicago’s four losses have been by an average of 16.5 points including 101-69 to OKC on Saturday. … Chicago is last in the league in scoring (89.8 ppg), field goal percentage (.385) and offensive rating (91.0). … One bright spot has been rookie and No. 7 overall pick Lauri Markkanen who is averaging 15.6 points and 9.6 rebounds. … The Bulls are without Zach Levine (ACL), Nikola Mirotic (concussion), Cameron Payne (foot) and Bobby Portis (team suspension). …

[Turnovers are an issue, but Erik Spoelstra wants the Heat to stay ‘aggressive’ and not to play ‘passively’]

[Mailbag: Should Miami Heat make a play for disgruntled Suns guard Eric Bledsoe?]

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Report: Dwyane Wade may have to give up money to accommodate Bulls buyout

Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade (3) walks to the bench during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 in Chicago. The Mavericks won 99-98. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

One of the motivating factors that led Dwyane Wade to leave the Miami Heat for the Chicago Bulls last offseason was the extra money the Bulls offered Wade, but Wade may soon be asked to give some of that money back.

The 35-year-old Wade, who opted into the second year of his two-year, $47 million contract in June, finds himself on a Chicago team that is rebuilding, and though speculation is that the Bulls may look to buy out Wade’s deal, if they do, they may not be willing to pay him the full $23.8 million he is owed this season, according to the Chicago Tribune.

>> Miami Heat select Weston-based Ultimate Software as uniform patch sponsor

Bulls executive vice president John Paxson appeared on “The Mully and Hanley” show on WSCR-670 AM in Chicago on Thursday and said that any talks of a buyout would need to be “advantageous” for the Bulls.

“We want to work with Dwyane because we respect him very much,” Paxson said Thursday. “If he doesn’t want to be here, then we want to do (the buyout). But again, the bottom line is always — and it has to be — that we have to do what’s in our best interest.”

Paxson also acknowledged that there is “some dialogue is going on,” but reiterated that, though the Bulls would be willing to accommodate a buyout request from Wade, any buyout agreement would need to be in the team’s best interest.

>> Miami Heat to hold public scrimmage at Florida Atlantic University on Sept. 30

At least for now, it appears that if Wade wants out of Chicago, it’ll cost him a chunk of his expected salary.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

Monday was wild, but Heat’s 1996 upset of 72-10 Bulls was even crazier

Monday’s 105-102 upset of the Golden State Warriors was one of the most shocking victories in Miami Heat history and it provides the blueprint for Erik Spoelstra for defeating the league’s best as the season continues.

First, forget about getting Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson back in the lineup. Obviously, the Heat don’t need them.

Dion Waiters of the Miami Heat poses for photo media during Heat Media Day at American Airlines Arena, September 26, 2016. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Dion Waiters of the Miami Heat poses during Heat Media Day at American Airlines Arena, September 26, 2016. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Second, get a subpar performance from Hassan Whiteside. His meager 10 points in 35-plus minutes on Monday were well below average but clearly vital in distracting the Warriors from their pregame keys.

Third, tell Goran Dragic to dial it down a bit, too. He made just 5-of-14 Monday from the field and was pretty lousy from the foul line, too, missing 5-of-13. Again, brilliant subterfuge.

Fourth, take a kid who has barely played in the NBA and give him significant minutes. Okaro White, who prior to Monday was 0-for-3 in a grand total of two career games, contributed five very necessary points to the win over the Warriors.

Fifth, get Dion Waiters and Luke Babbitt to combine for 9-for-12 from three-point range. Now there’s a game plan that should be easily repeatable, right?

All kidding aside, there’s only been one Heat game more ridiculous than this one was in terms of overperforming. That was Miami’s easy 113-104 win over Michael Jordan’s invincible Chicago Bulls on Feb. 23, 1996.

Chicago was on its way to a 72-10 regular season, a record that stood until Golden State went 73-9 last year. We’re talking about MJ, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and the boys, plus Steve Kerr, the current Warriors coach, off the bench.

Defeating them that night was a Miami team coached by Pat Riley but stuck in a disastrous roster limbo. The 24-29 Heat had just made a trade for Tim Hardaway, Chris Gatlin and two other players but those fresh troops had not yet arrived. Consequently, there were only eight Miami players dressed and ready to play against the Bulls but it hardly mattered.

Rex Chapman, who averaged 14 points per game that year, went off for a season-high 39 against the Bulls, hitting 9-of-10 from three-point range in the process.

“He reminded me of Jerry West,” Riley said of Chapman.

Don’t know about that, but Rex did outscored Jordan that night by eight points.

Here’s an excerpt from the Palm Beach Post’s deadline story on the upset, written by Tom D’Angelo. Of course, Tom was there. He’s everywhere.

“Some nights are hard to explain. Friday was one of them.

Playing with eight players and against the team some are touting as the best of all time, the Miami Heat submitted their most impressive performance of the season.

The Heat – relying heavily on three-point shooting – shocked the Chicago Bulls 113-104 at Miami Arena. Miami showed emotion (and outside shooting) rarely seen this season less than 24 hours after the team was gutted by three trades involving 10 players.

“You see it all the time in sports,” said Heat guard Rex Chapman, who equaled his career high with 39 points. “A team that’s undermanned on paper, and has no chance at all…Nobody is more surprised than we are, I’ll admit that. But if we had come out and laid down, we could have been beaten by 100.”

That’s just a flavor from D’Angelo’s complete story, and here are a few last notes I’ll throw in, too.

In the two games prior to that monumental upset, Miami scored 70 points in a loss to Cleveland and 66 in a win over Philadelphia.

What’s more, they didn’t get a monster game from Alonzo Mourning in beating the Bulls. Zo turned in his usual strongman numbers of 19 points and 12 rebounds but made just 8-of-22 shots.

The funniest part to me, looking back, is how angry Zo was after the game. He couldn’t believe how many in the sellout crowd were cheering loudly for the visiting superstars from Chicago and actually looked forward to going on a road trip in a couple of days.

“I’m kind of happy we’re getting out of this city and away from these fans,” Zo said. “The fans here are so hypocritical, it’s ridiculous. It makes me sick.”

[Gators are a touchdown shy of college football’s per-game scoring average]

[Wondering if Dolphins’ No. 22 draft position is haunted]

[Steve Shepherd and ‘Dangerous Dave’ Lewter join Florida Boxing Hall of Fame]

For the record, the Bulls got their revenge, dismissing Miami 3-0 in the opening playoff round that year and going on to start a new string of three consecutive NBA championships.

Better remember these amazing nights when they come along, however. It’s why any game ticket could wind up being the one you keep forever.


Heat’s awkward reunion tour brings back-to-back nights with LeBron and Dwyane

Through a cruel twist of the NBA schedule, the Miami Heat are going up against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade this week. On consecutive nights and on the road.

Chicago Bulls' Dwyane Wade (3) is fouled by Miami Heat's Justise Winslow as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Chicago Bulls’ Dwyane Wade (3) is fouled by Miami Heat’s Justise Winslow as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Friday’s game at Cleveland is Miami’s first against LeBron without any hint of the old Big Three alliance in the Heat lineup.

Then, on Saturday, it’s on to the United Center for a second try against Wade and the Bulls. Chicago won the first meeting between the teams 98-95 on Nov. 10 at AmericanAirlines Arena, with Wade struggling to score 13 points and concluding “I’m glad it’s over with.”

Awkward reunions are going to keep coming up like this for LeBron and Dwyane. Teamed with Chris Bosh in Miami they were terrific, winning two NBA titles and reaching the Finals a few more times.

Since LeBron broke up the band and returned to Cleveland two years ago, it’s been fun to see how they do against each other. The results, at least to me, have been fairly satisfying, since Wade is far more the favorite.

In his final two seasons with Miami, Wade went 4-3 against LeBron and the Cavs. There were two games in there where one or the other did not play. In the five where they both did, Wade averaged 23.8 points and LeBron averaged 26.8.

Since Wade signed with the Bulls in the offseason as a free agent, there has been one meeting between the two.

The Bulls beat the Cavs 111-105 last week to give Wade a head-to-head record of 5-3 against LeBron since the end of the Big Three era. In that game Dwyane scored 24 points and LeBron turned in a terrific performance with 27 points and 13 assists but came up short.

[Lamar Jackson’s Heisman Trophy campaign follows Tebow’s pattern in 2007]

[FSU keeping Jimbo is program’s most vital move since hiring Jimbo]

[Here’s one recent Dolphins head coach who made a big impression on Gase]

Everybody knows that LeBron will continue to do just fine where he is, but the question now is whether Wade will thrive in Chicago more than he might have by staying in Miami another year.

So far, neither team is tearing it up with Miami at 7-15 Miami and the Bulls at 11-10.

Wade, meanwhile, is scoring about like he did last year in Miami with an average of 19.8 points per game. He’s playing just a little more, 31 minutes plus per game, and making a higher percentage from three-point range.

Altogether, not bad at all for a 34-year-old guard, turning 35 next month, who changed his game when LeBron joined Miami and continues to adjust now that both have moved on.



Dwyane Wade returns to Miami: What we wrote about his departure when he left

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Chicago Bulls looks to the scoreboard during the first half of a game against the Boston Celtics at the United Center on October 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade #3 of the Chicago Bulls looks to the scoreboard during the first half of a game against the Boston Celtics at the United Center on October 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

We compiled the story below when Dwyane Wade first returned to Miami as a member of the Chicago Bulls in November of 2016. Today, it’s being reported that he’s coming back to South Florida full time.

We’ll have more shortly on the Heat’s latest move to bring Wade back. But for those of you who enjoyed the first go-round, here’s a trip down memory lane.

He’s back.

Well, at least for one night.

Dwyane Wade is set to return with the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night to the city he played in for the first 13 years of his illustrious career. And the Heat will be ready.

But as part of the celebration-to-be, we thought it would be useful to look back at the stories we wrote about Wade’s departure over the summer.

Take a look back with us, won’t you?

How will Dwyane Wade be received by Miami Heat fans Thursday night?
(Nov. 10, 2016)

Miami Heat say key to stopping Dwyane Wade is keeping him out of paint
(Nov. 10, 2016)

Dwyane Wade says he has not spoken to Pat Riley ‘since the season ended’
(Nov. 9, 2016)

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat looking forward to Thursday’s reunion
(Nov. 8, 2016)

Dwyane Wade tracker: How is Wade playing as he prepares to make return to Miami?
(Nov. 8, 2016)

Dwyane Wade’s former trainer believes he “will finish his career in Miami”
(Oct. 26, 2016)

Pat Riley says Dwyane Wade exit was his fault
(July 16, 2016)

Heat’s full-page Dwyane Wade ad in today’s Palm Beach Post
(July 8, 2016)

When Dwyane Wade joined Miami Heat, South Florida sports scene was much different
(July 7, 2016)

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat not the only messy breakup in South Florida sports history
(July 7, 2016)

Five of Dwyane Wade’s greatest plays for the Miami Heat
(July 7, 2016)

Dwyane Wade: By the numbers
(July 7, 2016)

Dwyane Wade’s letter to Heat fans: ‘It has been truly incredible’
(July 7, 2016)

Dwyane Wade’s top five Miami Heat highlights
(July 6, 2016)

Dwyane Wade leaving Heat for Chicago Bulls
(July 6, 2016)

Chicago Bulls to introduce Dwyane Wade at press conference on July 29

Dwyane Wade (Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade (Getty Images)

Dwyane Wade hasn’t had his introductory press conference with the Bulls yet.

But it’s happening soon. The Bulls announced Wednesday that they will introduce Wade at a press conference at 3 p.m. on July 29 at the Advocate Center, which is the team’s training facility. Continue reading “Chicago Bulls to introduce Dwyane Wade at press conference on July 29”

Stephen A. Smith “stunned but not surprised” as Dwyane Wade leaves Heat

Stephen A. Smith is a man of many takes. (Getty Images)
Stephen A. Smith is a man of many takes. (Getty Images)

It requires verbal Jiu Jitsu to be “stunned, but not surprised” about anything, and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is a blackbelt.

Smith jumped on SportsCenter last week to talk about Dwyane Wade leaving the Heat for Chicago, and here’s what he had to say:
Continue reading “Stephen A. Smith “stunned but not surprised” as Dwyane Wade leaves Heat”

Photo: Dwyane Wade is in Chicago, likely to sign with Bulls today

Wade's future home. (Getty Images)
Wade’s future home. (Getty Images)

Dwyane Wade is in Chicago today and should be signing his new two-year, $47.5 million contract soon. Wade posted video on Snapchat while touring the Bulls’ practice facility.

Here is the first photo of him with his new team:
Continue reading “Photo: Dwyane Wade is in Chicago, likely to sign with Bulls today”

Dwyane Wade to Chicago Bulls was unthinkable for Miami Heat in May

Pat Riley and the Heat seemed to believe it would never come to this. (Getty Images)
Pat Riley and the Heat seemed to believe it would never come to this. (Getty Images)

How blindsided were the Heat by Dwyane Wade’s exit? Based on Pat Riley’s comments at the end of last season, they never saw it coming.

Even Wade was probably a little surprised that his free agency ended with him going to the Chicago Bulls, but he spoke carefully about his future in May.
Continue reading “Dwyane Wade to Chicago Bulls was unthinkable for Miami Heat in May”

With Dwyane Wade gone, here’s how Miami Heat move forward

Wade has left the building, and the Miami Heat have some tough decisions to make. (Getty Images)
Wade has left the building, and the Miami Heat have some tough decisions to make. (Getty Images)

The Heat are in trouble after the face of their franchise walked out the door. After 13 years of stardom in Miami, Dwyane Wade agreed tonight to sign with the Chicago Bulls, as reported by The Vertical.

As painful as this will be for the fan base and the organization, management must move forward rebuilding its roster immediately. The only starters from last season currently set to be back for 2016-17 are Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, and Bosh remains a question mark after losing a second straight season because of blood clots.
Continue reading “With Dwyane Wade gone, here’s how Miami Heat move forward”