Southeast Division Outlook: Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat

Mar 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) drives against Chicago Bulls guard Aaron Brooks (0) during the second half at the United Center. Miami won 118-96. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) drives against Chicago Bulls guard Aaron Brooks (0) during the second half at the United Center. Miami won 118-96. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bulls signed former Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade. Does signing Wade make the Bulls better than the young Heat this season? We take a look.

Unlike the Chicago Bulls this year, the Miami Heat roster for 2016 thinned out considerably without Dwyane Wade back as their main gun.

Goran Dragic — the guy purportedly vying for locker room supremacy with a team that has been Wade’s for so long — seems to have won the battle. Pat Riley kept both Dragic and Hassan Whiteside on the team ahead of Wade in offseason contract negotiations.

The snub forced Wade to take a second look at his hometown and he realized that it would be in his best interest to play for the Bulls than run as second fiddle again in Miami.

Wade changed the Eastern Conference in ways we’ll only see come the new season.

Player Matchups:  New Guard vs. Old Guard

Is Miami Better with Dragic, Whiteside and Justise Winslow than Chicago is with Wade, Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler? From a closer look at both teams, Chicago looks to have better depth especially after checking out all the recent Miami signings: Former Bull James Johnson? Wayne Ellington from the Nets and Luke Babbitt for three-point shooting? The Heat look worse on paper than the Bulls do.

Dragic can only hope for Justise Winslow’s game to develop into an explosive two-way swingman next year to compensate for Wade’s loss. Dragic is an on-ball, scoring point guard who loves to drive the lane and dish pocket passes to cutters like Whiteside, Chris Bosh or Winslow, and he’ll do more of the same.

Derrick Williams may be the best offseason signing for Miami and will provide what Gerald Green used to give: Offensive spark and lots of energy on defense.

Dragic spearheads the Heat’s New Guard going into this season. But, beyond the starters, which include the enigmatic Chris Bosh (whose blood clot problems might make his season and career shorter than expected), the Heat are only 7-8 players deep.

On the other hand, the Chicago Bulls are tough as nails with their new, young defensive guards in Spencer Dinwiddie and Jerian Grant and tougher interior defense with Robin Lopez and Cristiano Felicio coming into their own this year.

Fred Hoiberg’s team may not really need to take the ball to the rim and give Whiteside fat stats. The Bulls can settle for outrunning the Heat and gunning it from half-court. Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis and Doug McDermott playing at the same time should give NBA teams plenty of matchup problems. We’re not even counting the production of the “Three Alphas” yet, and you see how outmatched the Heat are without Wade on their team.

The video below shows how valuable Wade was for the Heat and choosing Goran Dragic as your future means you’re an idiot. Now that the Heat postseason hopes now belong where it should be, Bulls fans hope Gar Forman won’t screw up the GM-player relationships as bad as Pat Riley did.

Offer Wade an extension if the Chicago Bulls make the playoffs this year and chase rings outright as the young core get their precious NBA playoff experience with one of the best.

Coaching: Fred Hoiberg vs. Erik Spoelstra

This might be the year that proves Erik Spoelstra is only as good as his players are, while Fred Hoiberg proves how potent his Iowa State offense may actually be with all the pieces in place. Those pieces include strong rim protection in Lopez and two-way defensive guards swarming opponents this year. Miami is centered around Goran Dragic, and if any team shuts his passing and scoring game down, they shut down Miami.

Next: Atlantic Division Outlook: Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks

Without Dwyane Wade, the Heat may be just like the Bulls were without Jordan, the Lakers without Kobe, and so on. This offseason’s player movements may finally haunt Pat Riley if his team enters late December with no chemistry and no offense.

If Justise Winslow comes into his own as a younger version of Wade, the Heat may still make a playoff run. This should be Derrick Williams’ breakout season as a Dragic kick-out and pocket pass target after being a journeyman for so long. That’s the best Spoelstra can hope for out of his rag-tag, Wade-less team this year.

For the Chicago Bulls, Wade is just Derrick Rose with three inches added and being seven years older, but with championship rings.

Plus, he has an attitude that makes him a good teammate and role model overall ,which should make Fred Hoiberg’s offense run on autopilot all season long. Pad the Bulls win column some more after the Heat games.