Heat Lose in Wade's Home Town
The last time the Heat played the Chicago Bulls, Dwyane Wade was on fire. Miami was in the middle of a streak in which the team won five of six earlier this month.
Two weeks later, so much has changed. Wade -- and, by extension, the entire team -- has been struggling to put up the same kind of unrealistic numbers he's been piling high since the season started. The result: The Heat had lost four of its last six.
Last night, the team had the chance to right the ship against the surging young Bulls in Wade's hometown. Wade came out hot again, scoring 21 by halftime, when the Heat led 49-47.
But alas, as George Webber, the hero of Thomas Wolfe's posthumous novel You Can't Go Home Again, can attest, a man's hometown will never be as comfortable for him once he's achieved success. (Amid a stock-market crash and the onset of the Great Depression, Webber's celebrated first book alienates him in his beloved hometown of Libya Hill -- the way Wade must have felt when he hit three buzzer beaters to take down the Bulls last time they played.)
That's the way it goes sometimes. The Bulls opened the second half with a 15-0 run, and Wade scored only 10 points the rest of the game (he finished with 31). Heat loses 106-87. The team has now lost five of its past seven games.
If the regular season ended today, the Heat would play the Celtics in the first round. That doesn't look too bad on paper, since the Heat are 2-1 against Boston this season. But the Celtics will have a healthy roster by playoff time, and if things keep going in this direction, we're looking at a possible sweep. It will be a waste of one of the best seasons any player's had in a long time.
So what's Wade to do? Look homeward, Angel.