The Dwyane Wade era in Chicago has begun. Armed with possibly the most non-shooting backcourt in the NBA with Wade, Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler, the Bulls could go one of many ways this season, but they started off on the right foot by beating the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. More encouragingly, they did so while getting excellent three-point shooting from two of their stars, Butler and Wade.
The pair each went 4-6 for the game, and while they’re not going to be 66 percent shooters all season, it’s an encouraging sign that the hard work they put in to better fit together on the perimeter could pay off. As for whether it’s sustainable, D-Wade isn’t sure, but he does know that he’s not much for those fancy number folks.
“We’re not the team that everyone is analytically putting together,” Wade said of the new-look Bulls. “But we’re a team of guys who can compete. We’re a team of guys who have pride. We’re a team of guys with talent. Once you make it all work together, it doesn’t matter about analytics or the game. It’s about players. And it’s about going out there and competing. And we were able to do that tonight. So we’re able to do that on a consistent basis. Who knows if the 3’s [are] going to go in, but we know if we compete and give that effort, we’ll have a chance to win every night, and that’s all you can ask for in this league.”
One would argue that last year’s Bulls, with stalwarts Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, also had pride and talent, and it got them exactly nowhere, partly because they couldn’t hit threes as a team. Wade’s right to be uncertain if the Bulls can keep the perimeter shooting going, but he’s wrong about it not mattering. If the threes fall, then the veteran pride and talent in Chicago could very well produce a surprisingly good team.