Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat: Instant Game Analysis of Dwyane Wade’s Homecoming

Dwyane Wade returned to Miami for the first time in a Chicago Bulls uniform to face his former team on Thursday night. How did the homecoming go for the 12-time All-Star?

During his time with the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade was a frequent Chicago Bulls killer in his 13 seasons as a member of south Florida’s NBA franchise.

For the first time in his professional career on Thursday night, Wade played in Miami while wearing the uniform of Miami’s opponent as the Bulls came down to South Beach to take on the Heat.

As expected, the Heat and the fans inside AmericanAirlines Arena welcomed him back home with open arms.

Wade received a huge ovation from the Heat fans (and the traveling Bulls fans) in the pregame introductions.

First quarter

It was a sluggish start for the Bulls out of the gate.

The Heat went for two instead of kicking the extra point and jumped out to an 8-0 lead inside the first few minutes of the quarter.

But, after the Bulls woke up a bit in their second game in two nights, they used a 12-0 run to take a four-point lead after the hot Miami start.

Also in the opening frame, the Heat played a touching tribute for Wade in his return to Miami. It was well done by the organization as a whole.

Wade got on the board a couple of times in the quarter after a slow start in his emotional return home (including a little scuffle-like thing with Justise Winslow after a foul).

After the first frame, the Bulls led it, 23-22.

Second quarter

The early portion of the second quarter showed that Fred Hoiberg still doesn’t get it with one particular thing for the Bulls.

Don’t play the five-man unit of Isaiah Canaan, Dwyane Wade, Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis together. Like, at all.

Those 113 seconds referenced in the tweet above came in the first few minutes of the second quarter, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, being that this lineup has been crushed defensively in the last few games for the Bulls.

But once again, the Bulls hung around and battled back to get right back into the game.

Also, Dwyane Wade did this.

The old guy’s still got it.

Outside of the first quarter with Wade’s first points and the video tribute, this was the highlight of the half for either side. (Well, for Miami … it’s probably Justise Winslow hitting three (!) 3-pointers in two quarters.)

In a weird, yet tightly-contested first half, the game was tied at 53 heading into the break.

Third quarter

OK, to sum up the third quarter: Picture Rajon Rondo shooting 3-pointers on five straight possessions.

You assume he not only misses all of them, but probably misses the rim on one or two of them, right?

Yeah, that was the third quarter.

Both teams combined for 34 points in the frame and it was a putrid display of basketball to be honest. Neither team could find anything offensively. (Robin Lopez had 17 shot attempts through three quarters!)

The notable thing from the quarter was Goran Dragic spraining his ankle on a transition push. He stayed on the ground for a brief period of time and then went right to the locker room.

He didn’t play the rest of the night.

Fourth quarter

Miami-Dade County may still be named “Wade County” by some in south Florida, but to close this one out, it was Jimmy Butler’s county and game to lead the Bulls to a bounce-back victory.

Butler made six of the last eight field goals for the Bulls down the stretch of the game after having just two made field goals in the first 40+ minutes of the game.

The former most improved player award winner finished the night with 20 points, four rebounds, five assists and a trio of steals in the win.

The topic of discussion came with just 13.7 seconds on an inbounds pass for the Bulls.

Dwyane Wade was (sort of) pushed by Justise Winslow — who had a fine game himself on Thursday night — but Wade sold the contact and got a huge foul call with less than 14 seconds left and the Bulls clinging to a 94-92 lead.

Wade drained both freebies, the Bulls survived, and improved to 5-4 with the 98-95 win.

Thoughts

First off, this was a sloppy game.

Neither team shot better than 42 percent from the field in the game, yet Miami shot a shade under 45 percent from 3-point range with 13 makes on 29 attempts.

But, the Bulls got what they needed and that’s a road victory in the second game of a back-to-back set. It was an emotional game for Wade, capped off by the Bulls’ best player cooling off the Heat.

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