Dwyane Wade is getting acclimated to his
old new city, new team, and new players. Chicago is still getting acclimated to seeing him in Bulls gear. And to be honest, it looks strange.
But the silver lining in the strange offseason formation of this current team preceded by the departure of hometown guard Derrick Rose, followed by the ushering in of Dwyane Wade, is the chance to marvel at a future hall-of-famer in the twilight of his career. Wade has definitely given the basketball world most of the best years he already has to offer, but this preseason is shedding some light on the moments that may still be left.
Yesterday’s game against the Pacers displayed Wade in his finest minutes yet as a member of the Chicago Bulls. scoring 22 points and adding 8 assists. Even more promising from this showing was Wade’s continued success from the three-point line, an area many pundits feel with be the achilles heel of a backcourt shared with Rajon Rondo.
Wade splashed 3 threes, the first was an uncharacteristic pull-up (by Wade’s standards.) The second one, which he was clearly being dared to take the shot; Wade made the defense pay by obliging. The third attempt, which came later in the game, did have a hand in his face but he was still met with a soft close-out. If these are the types of looks Wade will get all season, he’ll have to continue to take the shots, at the very least to keep the defense honest.
Wade had a fantastic showing in the playoffs last season, knocking down over 50% of his 24 attempts from three. Clearly, there’s still some three-point heat left in his holster as he’s lighting up his first preseason with Bulls coming off the heels of his playoff exit with Miami last season.
Wade has absorbed the criticism this offseason about his seemingly inability to knock down the three-ball:
“I have the ability to knock it down,” says Wade. “I’m not Doug McDermott. I’m not Niko. But I’m comfortable with the shot and I’m going to shoot it. I know it’s going to be there, so I have a better chance of knocking it down. Coach has been on me about it. Shooting it when it’s there, not hesitating. And like I said, that’s refreshing for me because I’ve never been told to shoot it. This is the first time someone is telling me to shoot the three ball. So it’s cool. Getting them up a little bit in practice, getting comfortable with it.’’
It’s apparent that Wade’s legacy will be split up into two different chapters, the first being his historic course with the Miami Heat. His game and play style during this tenure included the birth of “The Flash” with his highly acrobatic finishes, his penchant for being all over the floor, and his ability to finish and draw fouls at will.
His second (and maybe final) chapter with the Chicago Bulls, has him morphing into a “Father Prime” role. But interestingly, this role may be the version of Dwyane Wade that shoots 3-pointers on a consistent basis. This isn’t usually an aspect of a player’s game that they pick up at age 34 going on 35, but to each it’s own. The Bulls certainly need the shooting and Wade seems up to the challenge.