MIAMI -- Feeling validated after 2 straight wins over the Bulls, Dwyane Wade used Derrick Rose as an example for why the Power Trio was formed during a free-agent signing spree last summer.
"That's the reason why we're playing together," Wade told Miami reporters. "After so many years of that, you want to do something else."
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Wade was talking about Rose having to carry the load for the Bulls and face double teams from opposing defenses constantly.
Asked what he thought about that comment, Rose gave credit to his teammates.
"We couldn't have gotten this far with one player," he said.
The Palm Beach Post explored a similar topic with LeBron James. The former Cavaliers star suggested Rose has a better supporting cast than James did in Cleveland, with another high-priced free agent on the roster in Carlos Boozer.
"I can definitely relate, having a coach of the year and being MVP and then having to go out against teams that have multiple guys that can break you down," James said.
James was MVP the past two seasons, while Cleveland's Mike Brown won coach of the year in 2009, when the Cavs lost to Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals.
Injury effects Asik:
Bulls center Omer Asik suffered a muscle strain in his lower left leg in the third quarter of Game 3.
On Tuesday, he warmed up, tested the leg and seemed to feel OK. Asik checked into the game with 55 seconds left in the first quarter.
Just a minute into the second, though, Asik came off the floor and walked slowly to the locker room with trainer Fred Tedeschi. His availability for the remaining games of the series is in question.
Before Game 4, coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned that using veteran Kurt Thomas was an option even if Asik was healthy.
"I think Omer has played very well defensively protecting the front of the rim," Thibodeau said. "I don't want to change that right now."
Butler has false entry:
Coach Tom Thibodeau sent shock waves along press row when seldom-used Rasual Butler jumped off the bench and ran to the scorer's table when Luol Deng got 2 early fouls.
Butler made a U-turn, though, and retreated to his seat on the bench as Ronnie Brewer went into the game. Minutes earlier, Brewer ducked into the locker room, most likely for a bathroom break, and may not have been back on the bench when Thibodeau scanned his available reserves.
Family sports history:
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has an interesting family history. Not only was his father, Jon, an executive for the Blazers, Nets, Nuggets and Buffalo Braves; his grandfather, Watson Spoelstra, was a longtime sports writer for the Detroit News.
The elder Spoelstra covered the Lions in the 1950s and reportedly bailed quarterback Bobby Layne out of jail a few times. He covered the World Series champion 1968 Tigers and a couple years later, was doused with water by pitcher Denny McLain.
"The biggest change I noticed, when my grandfather was a journalist for the Detroit Tigers, he dressed the part," Erik Spoelstra said. "Sport coat, tie, very professional, and a nice cap on his head."
No one covering the Bulls-Heat at Tuesday's shootaround wore a suit and tie, let alone a sharp hat.
Heat revs up defense:
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were hyping their defense before Tuesday's Game 4.
"When we got together and all of us started playing together, our conversations were about how good we could be defensively," Wade said. "We never said we're going to average the most points in the NBA. We all talked about how great of an impact we can make on the game defensively as a unit."
"The only thing we care about is defense," James said. "We love just locking down our opponents for two-minute, three-minute stretches where they can't get nothing expect maybe a tip-in or free throw."