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Dwyane Wade will return for Bulls vs. Rockets, hoping to solve 4th quarter issues

Dwyane Wade will return for Bulls vs. Rockets, hoping to solve 4th quarter issues

Health is relative this time in the NBA season where physical fatigue is matched usually by physical fatigue as teams go into the home stretch.

So while Dwyane Wade's return is welcomed after a two-game absence stemming from a left quad injury, he certainly didn't sound like someone who was 100 percent. But with the Bulls' grip on a playoff spot loosening by the day, the urgency is there to get back in uniform.

"You gotta play with something. I can't wait to heal like Wolverine. I'd be out the rest of the year trying to heal," said Wade following the team's shootaround before playing the Houston Rockets. "I'm just going to play and hopefully nothing else happens."

Wade missed the last two games, losses to the Pistons and Magic on the road after initially injuring his quad six days ago against the L.A. Clippers. Even with Wade, the fourth quarters haven't been stellar but without him the Bulls have looked lost and disjointed the last two games.

When a team scores 30 fourth-quarter points in two games, it's a recipe for the lottery or a quick and painless first-round exit. Wade said ball movement is the biggest culprit.

"You watch our first halves the last couple of games, the ball has been moving," Wade said. "The defense is obviously an important part of that. Sometimes you get in the fourth quarter, you kind of get slow. And it's all of us, whether it's players or the staff or the play calling or the ball going into the net."

And the coaching staff hasn't yet found a way to get Jimmy Butler easier shots, seemingly preferring to let him get trapped on pick and rolls, hoping he'll make the right decision and then praying someone, anyone, will make an open shot.

"We have to make the right play and play the numbers game on the backside," Hoiberg said. "That's what we're trying to do with our offense is draw two on the ball, and when that happens we have to take advantage of it. We haven't done a great job these last couple games obviously of doing that, especially in fourth quarters."

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In theory, having Wade back as a safety valve should bode better but the Bulls have been sputtering through the entire season late in games. Making the trade deadline move to send Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to Oklahoma City seems to only exacerbate the issue.

"Listen, we all got NBA jerseys on, the other team and us," Wade said. "Whoever Coach decides to put on the floor, we gotta rock with it, all of us. We can't worry about that. We just have to play harder, want it a little more. It's going to be tough. Obviously when you make a change like we made, we lost two guys in our rotation. But there's no excuse. We're still in the playoffs."

Yes, but for how long?

Former Bulls guard joins Illinois State coaching staff

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AP

Former Bulls guard joins Illinois State coaching staff

A former Bulls point guard will soon be back on a basketball court near Chicago.

Illinois State head coach Dan Muller announced the hiring of Chris Duhon earlier today. Duhon has been added to the coaching staff for the 2018-19 season.

Duhon, a former McDonald’s All-American, NCAA national champion and a nine-year NBA veteran, comes back into the coaching role after three years as an assistant coach at Marshall University. The Thundering Herd made a NCAA tournament appearance in March for the first time in 33 years.

"Chris brings a high level of on-the-court experience and success to our program," Muller said in a press release. "His playing career speaks for itself. He is a leader, a teammate, a worker, and a winner. As a coach, Chris helped a tremendous amount with the turnaround at Marshall under Coach D'Antoni, and is eager to continue to grow here with us."

Duhon was drafted in the second round in the NBA draft by the Bulls in 2004. Duhon averaged 6.9 points and 4.4 assists before leaving the Bulls in free agency, joining the New York Knicks on a two-year $12 million dollar contract.

He also played for the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Before entering Duke University, Duhon was named Mr. Basketball of Louisiana. And the year to follow, Duhon was no stranger to success at Duke.

Duhon finished as Duke's all-time leader in steals (300), minutes (4,813), and second in assists (819). Duhon was the only player in ACC history to record 1,200 points, 800 assists, 475 rebounds, 300 steals, and 125 3-point field goals.

He was also part of the 2001 National Championship team his sophomore season.

"I'm very thankful to Coach Dan Muller and the University for giving me the opportunity to be an assistant basketball coach," Duhon said. "I'm excited to be working for a University as prestigious as Illinois State, and I'm looking forward to coaching and working with a great group of student-athletes."

Duhon joins an Illinois State team that is returning multiple top scoring threats, and 88 percent of the team’s scoring from a year ago.

Brotherly love: Justin and Jrue Holiday will walk NBA prospect Aaron cross stage at draft

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USA TODAY

Brotherly love: Justin and Jrue Holiday will walk NBA prospect Aaron cross stage at draft

Here's a cool story to get your week started off right.

Per Yahoo's Shams Charania, the NBA for the first time will have its green room invitees walk across the stage with two family members prior to the draft.

For UCLA guard Aaron Holiday, his brothers will accompany him.

Aaron, a 6-foot-1 guard, is projected to go off the board sometime late in the first round. It's pretty neat that his brothers will be in attendance, both Justin of the Bulls and Jrue of the Pelicans.

And there's a chance Aaron gets to play with Justin. The Bulls hold the 22nd pick in the first round (ironically from Jrue and the Pelicans) and Scott Phillips has Aaron as one of the five players the Bulls should look at with the 22nd pick.

Writes Phillips:

Aaron Holiday, G, UCLA: This potential pick would already have ties to the Bulls as Aaron's older brother, Justin, is currently on the roster. After three stellar seasons with the Bruins, Aaron is now hoping to become the third Holiday brother in the NBA (brother Jrue is with the Pelicans).

Smaller than his older brothers at 6-foot-1, Aaron makes up for his smaller size at the point with an absurd 6-foot-7.5 wingspan that enables him to play bigger on the defensive end. A talented perimeter shooter who never shot below 41 percent from 3-point range during his three years in Westwood, Holiday has shown that he can run a team on the ball or play as a shooter off of the ball. It should also be pointed out that Holiday was a selfless teammates at UCLA. Opting to come off the bench his sophomore season so Lonzo Ball could start, Holiday was great as both a starter and a sixth man during his college career.