Rejuvenated star carrying Chicago early
Dwayne Wade’s first game as a member of the Bulls couldn’t have gone much better. What does the 12-time All-Star have in mind for an encore?
The Chicago native leads into his new team into battle against the Pacers tonight, with an 8 p.m. ET tip at United Center. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the host squad odds of -160 to prevail. Conversely, Nate McMillen’s group represents a +140 underdog.
On Thursday, Wade drained a 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining to clinch a 105-99 victory over the Celtics. The clutch trey gave him 22 points in his professional contest not donning Miami colors. He opted to sign with the Bulls as a free agent, ending a 13-year run in South Beach.
While Fred Hoiberg promises to lean heavily on Wade in 2016-17, several other backcourt studs figure to help balance the equation in the Windy City. All-around stalwart Jimmy Butler and floor general Rajon Rondo will run the show during the acclimatization period for fresh arrivals like Robin Lopez and Michael Carter-Williams.
From a pure talent standpoint, Indiana could be hard-pressed to compete this evening. Paul George & Co. absorbed a dispiriting loss to the Nets about 16 hours ago. The Pacers shot just 37.8 percent from the field, failing to exploit Brooklyn’s sketchy defense.
Expect the visitors to work hard to take the air out of the basketball here. By focusing on winning in the halfcourt, McMillen’s troops stand a better chance of sticking around for 48 minutes. We fully anticipate an affair in the 190s.
SATURDAY NBA FREE PICK: PACERS +3