In the Chicago Bulls’ season opener, Dwyane Wade shined – and then some – as he proved he still has much left in the tank as the Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 105-99.
After connecting on a mid range jumper for the first time in United Center, Dwyane Wade looked comfortable with his new team already.
Wade’s Bulls debut was nothing short of excellent as he scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists. He also showed improvement from beyond the arc by draining four threes in six attempts including the dagger step-back triple to give the Bulls a 104-99 lead with 26.3 seconds left in the game.
“I’ve been waiting on that moment for a long time,” said Wade. “I know it was special, obviously, for my family who was here. They’ve been waiting on it probably just as long. I just took that moment just to thank God for giving me this opportunity to be here, to do these things, to have this career I have. And to be able to make a decision on my own. And put myself in a position where I can live a dream out. I was very thankful in that moment. Took that knee to just thank the Lord and hear the cheers in the crowd and take in the moment. And then, it’s game time.”
Wade took a knee when he was announced in the starting lineup before the game and was embraced by his teammates afterwards.
At the beginning of the season, he vowed to the media that he has been working on his range from outside, and last night it was evident.
He made only seven shots from deep last season and is on pace to eclipse that mark by far this year. For his career he is a 28 percent three-point shooter.
Wade’s new teammates didn’t disappoint either as Jimmy Butler chipped in 24 points along with 7 rebounds; Taj Gibson contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic had 15 points and 9 rebounds off the bench.
Now that Wade took the last shot in a close game, I’m sure the question will arise as to who is the Alpha male on the team between him and Butler.
Wade explained when he signed that it’s Butler’s team, but things can change in the course of an 82 game season.
The Bulls missed the playoffs last season for the first time in seven years and the trio of Rondo, Wade and Butler will be key if they want to clinch a berth this year.
With a future first ballot Hall of Fame in Wade, the Windy City is off to a good start to the 2016-17 season.
The three-time champion saved the day once for the Bulls, but will he be able to sustain it? Only time will tell.