They say opposites attract. And so it is that the Cavaliers face the Bulls on Monday. One team has won 11 straight games. The other has lost eight straight. One features Dwyane Wade coming off the bench, reinventing himself as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate. One might have featured Wade coming off the bench until he took a buyout to escape the misery of a full rebuild. “That all would’ve been determined in training camp,” coach Fred Hoiberg said, when asked if he would have asked Wade to come off the bench to allow young Bulls to start in the rebuild. “My thought going in was if Dwyane was going to be on our roster, he had been through pretty much every situation you can be in in this league, winning championships and also being part of rebuilding situations. We did have a couple conversations about that, but obviously with the buyout, I’m happy for Dwyane. He’s in a position to again compete for a championship and playing very well for that team.” Indeed, Wade, who gave back $8.5 million of the $23.8 million he stood to make to sign a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Cavaliers, has thrived since his short-lived starting role ended. In 19 games off the bench, Wade has averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4 assists in 23.5 minutes. He posted averages of just 5.7 points, 2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 23.7 minutes over three starts. “They’re playing Dwyane a lot with the ball in his hands in that second unit, especially since Derrick (Rose) has been out. He’s done a great job running the show,” Hoiberg said. “They’re playing to the mismatch a lot. Dwyane has that with the second unit. They’re running him into the post. He’s shooting the ball well. Obviously, it’s a team that’s clicking.” And one that has clicked without Rose, who left the team Nov. 22 to ponder his future in basketball after his latest injury, a sprained ankle that has sidelined him since the second game of the season. Cleveland.com reported Sunday that the “the timing of Rose’s formal return was still being determined.” But it appears Rose will return after multiple outlets, including the Tribune, reported he had considered retiring.
Dwyane Wade thriving in 6th-man role for Cavaliers, not Bulls
Chicago Tribune | Dec 4