LOS ANGELES – When Dwyane Wade left the Staples Center after Saturday’s loss to the Clippers, all systems were go.
Sure, the 35-plus minutes he played were a season high, but Wade swore afterwards that he felt good.
His 34-year-old body said something else by the time Sunday rolled around.
After meeting with the Bulls training staff and coach Fred Hoiberg prior to the game with the Lakers, the decision was made to keep Wade out, as the veteran was given his first game off of the regular season.
“He actually felt OK,’’ Hoiberg said. “We had a conversation and thought the smart thing to do would be to sit him out and get him ready for the rest of the road trip.’’
The fact that the Bulls play again Tuesday night in Denver had a lot to do with the decision, as three in four nights in a November road trip was too much to ask.
“We understand it’s a long season and want to make sure he’s healthy moving forward,’’ Hoiberg said. “He’s fatigued, as several of our guys are after a hard-fought, emotional game. So we felt the right thing to do was to sit him. We had a conversation [Sunday] and came to that mutual conclusion.’’
Hoiberg was even trying to spell Wade late in Saturday’s loss, pulling him with just 3:50 left in the fourth quarter to give him a quick breather.
“I said, ‘I’m going to get you out until a media timeout,’ ‘’ Hoiberg said. “Then we got him right back in. I think he was out less than a minute but sat through the timeout for a quick blow.’’
With wade sitting, Jimmy Butler moved from the three to the two-guard spot, while Nikola Mirotic was given the starting nod against the Lakers.
As far as the protocol the Bulls will take in rest days for Wade? That will remain the same as it was since the start of training camp. A lot of daily communication.
“It really started since the beginning of camp with practices and two-a-days, seeing how his body feels after a practice and make the determination if he’s going to sit out or go through part of practice and the non-contact portion,’’ Hoiberg said. “We felt we had a good plan in place. Our communication was good. And we sat him when he needed to. But at the same time, he felt he had to push through some limits to get himself in the shape he needed to be in for a full season. The same thing applies to what we’re going through now.’’
Doug McDermott (concussion protocol) missed his fourth straight game on Sunday, and while Hoiberg has already ruled him out of the game in Denver on Tuesday, progress is being made with the third-year player.
“He’s getting better, but yeah, I would say that he’s definitely out for the Denver game and then we’ll re-evaluate for the Philadelphia game [on Friday],’’ Hoiberg said.
According to Hoiberg, the problem has been headaches, but they seem to be clearing up.