It took a while but the Bulls are finally back to .500 with a record of 23-23. Against a poor Orlando Magic team, Chicago relied on a dominant 4th quarter from Dwyane Wade to lead them to a 100-92 victory. The 4th quarter has seemed to be the time that Wade decides to change gears and become aggressive offensively.
Wade finished with 21 points on 9 of 23 shooting, and was all over the place to start the 4th quarter and that’s what really kickstarted Chicago’s offense. He was getting to the rim and continued to take shots, despite the fact that he wasn’t shooting well at all for much of the game. When he wasn’t hitting shots, he helped moved the ball for Chicago. Wade continued to utilize the pick and roll with Cristiano Felico as the roll man, a combination that has proven to be effective in recent times.
Look what you can do with space on the floor pic.twitter.com/9jlhBmF9i3— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) January 25, 2017
There are a lot of things to consider in this Wade to Felico lob play. Considering how effective Wade is on a mismatch, it was almost certain that the Magic were going to double him. Wade against a big would most likely result in him getting to the basket with ease. To counter this, Wade’s man completely left Felicio and doubled Wade quickly after the pick occurred. With Felicio’s man stepping up, it gave the Brazilian big man a clear path to the basket and credit to Wade for the pass that resulted in a dunk.
Another thing that made this play effective is the fact that Chicago ran this with three shooters off the ball. Although Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott, and new found three-point threat Paul Zipser didn’t touch the ball, they still affected the play. Usually when you see a big man rolling to the basket, the defenders should come down from the three-point line and help contest at the rim. But with three shooters on the court, coming down to help would leave someone open and it put Orlando’s defenders in no mans land. You can see it in the video with Zipsers and Mirotic’s defenders. Both of them hesitate coming down but eventually retreat to the basket. By that time, it’s already an easy pass from Wade to Felicio.
This once again should scream to Fred Hoiberg that if he puts a point Jimmy/Wade on the court + shooters then that lineup can be effective.
Bulls last night...— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) January 25, 2017
Grant: 19:57, -11
Rondo: 14:36, +5
No point guard: 13:27, +14
It will put defenses in binds, especially when Wade or Butler get to the basket and force defenses to think about whether to help in the paint or cover the three-point line. Wade’s performance in the 4th quarter helped set up Jimmy Butler to close out the game in the final minutes.
Bench comes alive
The bench was also a big factor in Chicago’s win, particularly Doug McDermott and Felicio, who both scored 12 points. McDermott was his usual three-point self, with all of his made field goals coming from there. Chicago did a good job of getting McDermott’s open threes, especially off this hammer set.
Heck of a hammer pass by Rondo. pic.twitter.com/9aVzMCBJOH— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) January 25, 2017
Felicio had another good outing, grabbing 10 rebounds to go with his double digit scoring output. With Bobby Portis continuing to rack up DNP-CD’s, Felicio’s value is growing by the game. He is a free agent this summer and should be on Chicago’s top priories in terms of players they should try to retain.
Fred Hoiberg’s rotations continue to amaze and it’s not in a good way. It’s almost like he spins a wheel with all the bench players names and sees which guys he will play tonight. This time it was MCW who was benched at the PG spot tonight. But considering how inconsistent Hoiberg has been, wouldn’t be surprising to see MCW back on the floor. But nonetheless, the inconsistent minutes are leaving the fans, media, and players perplexed.