Dwyane Wade officially begins new era as he makes Bulls' preseason debut
Great intro and those newfangled 3-pointers looked pretty cool
Dwyane Wade made his preseason debut for the Chicago Bulls and it was predictably an all-new experience for him and all of us viewers. It was odd seeing him on the court for the first time in a Bulls uniform instead of the Miami Heat. And getting that introduction to the infamous Bulls starting lineup music was a bit disorienting, but ultimately a cool experience.
When Wade was introduced to the United Center crowd, we heard some new words. In the past, Wade would be introduced as "from Marquette ..." where he played his college basketball. This time, the hometown star was introduced as "from Chicago ..." much to the delight of the Bulls fans in attendance. It's a cool new touch for the latest chapter of Wade's career that involves a Bulls jersey instead of a Heat uniform.
Wade didn't play much in the game, as expected. Most NBA stars and starters are only going to see about 10-15 minutes of time on the court in these early preseason games. As the rosters get cut down and the regular season gets to being right around the corner, you'll see those preseason minutes ramp up quite a bit to a more usual rotation. But there's no sense in wearing these guys out early or risking a greater chance of injury in games that have no bearing on the season ahead.
Where we did see Wade show off something new besides that Bulls jersey was in his 3-point shooting. Wade told reporters recently that he's now being asked to shoot 3-pointers by his coach Fred Hoiberg, which has not been something asked of him in the past. Mostly because he's really bad at it. Wade has one of the worst 3-point shooting résumés in NBA history. He's a career 28.4 percent 3-point shooter and only Charles Barkley has a lower percentage (26.6 percent) of any player in NBA history with at least 1,000 career attempts.
Predictably, it caused a lot of us to roll our eyes at the notion. Perhaps Wade was still reliving his newfound 3-point stroke that randomly appeared in the postseason when he made 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) from downtown in 14 games. But his only two makes in his 12 preseason minutes in his debut for the Bulls came from beyond the 3-point line.
The first one was him stepping right into a 3-point shot from just left of the top of the arc. With Jabari Parker picking him up in secondary transition, Wade was given the space to dare firing one up and he did it without hesitation. He knocked it down cold.
The second 3-pointer was also off the dribble, but came when he received a pass and a screen from Nikola Mirotic on the right wing. Wade took a couple of dribbles before firing up his second 3-pointer of the night. He hit that one too and finished with six points on 2-of-3 shooting from the field. He missed his only 2-point shot and also missed a couple of free throws.
Since the NBA started tracking pull-up 3-pointers in the 2013-14 season, Wade has made just 23.3 percent of his pull-up 3s. Last season, he was 2-of-28 (7.1 percent) on them, so to go 2-of-2 even in a preseason game is a step in the right direction for him. Nobody is going to believe it to be a weapon for him until he does it consistently for an entire season and even then it's going to look like a fluke until he does it the season after that.
But it's also going to take time for people to get used to him playing in a Bulls jersey. It's a brave new world for Dwyane Wade right now.
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