Dwyane Wade did some scrimmaging at Bulls practice Wednesday and plans to return to the lineup Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, according to CSN Chicago’s Vincent Goodwill.
Wade has already been ruled out for Thursday’s game in Philly, but the team was mum about his status for Saturday. It appears that if his elbow responds well, he’ll make his return.
Wade was initially ruled out for the remainder of the regular season when he fractured his right elbow on March 15. The Bulls have gone 6-4 in his absence, and prior to the disaster at MSG yesterday they’d been playing much better on offense.
With Jimmy Butler leading the show and both Rajon Rondo and Nikola Mirotic showing a pulse (or a contract push), the Bulls have been running an offense that better resembles whatever the hell Hoiball is supposed to be. Rondo has been pushing pace and the Bulls have been bombing 3s, the Knicks disaster notwithstanding. The Bulls have an offensive rating of 108.6 since the Wade injury (it’s 104.4 for the season) and are making over 10 3s a game at a 39.4 percent clip.
Of course, this has featured some unsustainable shooting, and we saw that shooting come crashing back down in New York. And while you could probably make the argument that the Bulls are a better functioning team without Wade right now (his on/off splits aren’t kind to him), his skill set and hopefully improved effort should be helpful come playoff time.
That, of course, is if the Bulls make it. The Heat won tonight and have pulled into a three-way tie with the Bulls and Pacers at 38-40. The Bulls do own the tiebreaker and have their cake schedule to close out the year (Miami’s closing schedule is BRUTAL), but we’re talking about a team that’s routinely played down to their competition. So nothing is a guarantee here.
Furthermore, Rondo has a sprained right wrist and is questionable for the Sixers game.