Wade declines to set high expectations for Chicago Bulls
Dwyane Wade talked about living in the moment Tuesday. He doesn't want to get too far ahead of himself when it comes to team goals, pacing himself or playing against old friends.
He downplayed Friday's preseason matchup against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center. But he did confirm the "Banana Boat" crew, which also includes Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, remains in constant contact.
"I told them Fred (Hoiberg) was kicking our (butt) over here," Wade said after Tuesday's practice. "Everybody got a chuckle out of it."
The Bulls are in the middle of four straight practice days, followed by three preseason games in four nights this weekend. Wade guaranteed he won't play in all three, and believes he's on the same page as the coaching staff when it comes to taking breaks. He said sometimes at practice, he'll slide off the floor and "coach from the sideline."
"As much as some days I feel great, some days I feel 34," he said. "I wanted to push myself this last game (Saturday against Indiana), that's why I played 26 minutes, because I knew we didn't have a game for a week."
Wade took a realistic view of expectations for this season. It's possible the Bulls could be one of the better teams in the East, but with so many changes this year, there's no point in declaring lofty goals.
"When you're coming off a season where as an organization you don't make the playoffs, your goal can't be winning a championship," Wade said. "Your goal has to be day-to-day making steps to improve yourself so you can get to a point where you're a playoff team. And then you go from there.
"Our goal is to get better. I'm not going to put a ceiling on our goal. We're not thinking long term right now. We're in the moment."
Wade had some interesting thoughts when asked if he'd make lineup recommendations. The main issue now is deciding on the best fit to start at power forward. Hoiberg said the Bulls would continue to experiment in preseason and probably take the competition into the final week before the Oct. 27 opener.
"I've learned to stay out of it," Wade said. "When I was younger, I thought I had that pull to be able to do that. Then it starts getting a little tricky. You start getting in relationships with guys. You don't want to get involved if a guy's not playing or a guy is not there no more.
"So I totally took myself out of that situation. I just started being a player and letting the coaches decide who they want to play and let the GM and president decide who they want to bring in."
• Hoiberg said forward Tony Snell would be "out a while" with a sprained left ankle suffered during Monday's practice. That could mean a couple weeks, but it's too soon to tell. Rookie Denzel Valentine remains sidelined with the sprained left ankle that occurred on Oct. 3.
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