Should the Bulls consider a trade with the Heat?

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Should the Bulls consider a trade with the Heat?

Talk of breaking up the Heat's Big Three will really start to pick up if they fail to make it out of the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Up to this point, most of that chatter has centered on moving Chris Bosh, but that would be ridiculous. The Heat's weakness is its lack of size in the paint, so trading a big man would not make much sense unless they can get a better big man.

Dwight Howard's name has been floated as a possibility and it makes sense. Bosh and Howard's salary numbers are pretty similar. Plus, both teams would view the trade as an improvement to their roster.

But for the Heat, they run the risk of only having Howard for a year. He has made it clear that he wants to explore free agency when his contract ends after the 2012-13 season.

The more logical move is to trade Dwyane Wade.

His game is too similar to LeBron James' and Wade is two years older than Bosh. Plus, in terms of attitude, Wade seems to have gone to the dark side. His shouting match with coach Erik Spoelstra in the third quarter of Thursday night's game is one example in a recent trend of petulance from the Chicago native that first reared its ugly head when Wade shoved Rip Hamilton off the court toward the end of a regular-season matchup with the Bulls.

At some point Pat Riley will be making phone calls, looking to make a trade. It would be irresponsible for him to not call the Bulls and make an offer. The offer would likely be Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson for Wade.

John Paxson and Gar Forman should turn it down immediately, then counter with Noah and Hamilton for Wade.

The trade would benefit both teams. For the Bulls, they would get a proven scorer that can help the team stay afloat while it is without Derrick Rose and the probable absence of Loul Deng early in the season. With all of his faults, Wade still averaged 22 points per game last season. That's slightly more than what Rose averaged, by the way (21.8).

The Heat would also finally solve its major weakness -- lack of size and rebounding. Noah pulled down close to 10 rebounds a game this season, while the Heat's starting center Joel Anthony only grabbed four per game. That's almost the same as Derrick Rose, by the way (3.4).

Plus with Noah, the Heat get the comfort of having him locked up for four more seasons as opposed to Howard who could walk at the end of next season.

The trade would also send Wade home to Chicago and Noah back to Florida where he has had a lot of success over his basketball career.

What do you think? Would you trade Noah for Wade?

Big first period paces Blackhawks over Penguins

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AP

Big first period paces Blackhawks over Penguins

PITTSBURGH – There are certain trends through which the Blackhawks tend to go sometimes. They can be so-so against teams on the bubble or out of the postseason. But face a playoff-bound team and the Blackhawks usually come with a top-notch game.

Exhibit A on that came on Wednesday.

Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane each had two-point nights, and Marian Hossa scored his 25th of the season as the Blackhawks beat the Penguins 5-1 on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks snapped a three-game winless streak and now have a nine-point lead over the Minnesota Wild in the West.

Corey Crawford stopped 31 of 32 shots. Richard Panik scored his 22nd goal of the season. Bryan Rust had the Penguins' lone goal at 5:46 of the third.

The Penguins, much like the Blackhawks, entered this one with 103 points. The Penguins were without several injured players, including Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Trevor Daley. Still, it's the Penguins, and you can never take them lightly.

[Buy Blackhawks tickets right here]

The Blackhawks got the early lead, then really pounced in the final five-plus minutes of the first period. The Blackhawks got stellar set-up passes from Patrick Kane, Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz and finishes to accompany them. Two of their goals (Marcus Kruger and Hossa) came in the final minute of the first period for that 4-0 lead.

The Penguins had the first six shots of the third but the Blackhawks would score on their first of the period when Tanner Kero, taking the turnover from Justin Schultz, finished on a breakaway.

Bastian Schweinsteiger says he is ready for new challenge with the Fire

Bastian Schweinsteiger says he is ready for new challenge with the Fire

As far as first impressions go, Bastian Schweinsteiger made a good one on Wednesday.

The Chicago Fire's new German star smiled at every opportunity, said all the right things about playing hard and wanting to fit in with his new team and even elegantly danced around some 'tricky' questions.

Schweinsteiger opened by thanking fans for showing up to greet him at O'Hare on Tuesday and later said he has plenty left to give on the field.

"I'm 32 years old, I'm ready," Schweinsteiger said. "Of course I need more training sessions to have the right rhythm where I want to see myself. I want to use every minute to feel how it is, how the teammates are playing, which kind of runs they make, which kind of rhythm they have. So to know each other better, that is very important for me step-by-step and I hope you will get results soon because I don't like to lose or to draw."

The German's addition is a big deal to the Fire because he is a big name player who is drawing more attention to the team. That means the Fire will have to win more to capitalize and show the team is deserving of the extra attention.

Despite that extra attention, words of adoration from general manager Nelson Rodriguez and coach Veljko Paunovic saying he "can be the icon of the MLS in the future," Schweinsteiger said he is ready for the attention, but does not want to stand apart from his teammates.

"I had a lot of pressure in my career," Schweinsteiger said. "When you play a World Cup final or a Champions League final and the third time you have to win against Borussia Dortmund there is a lot of pressure on your shoulders so I can handle that. I don't want to say I'm a key player of Chicago Fire. Every player on the pitch has to be a key player and has to take the responsibility on the pitch and I would like just to get comfortable with myself and into the team so much as I can."

Talking about the importance of winning and showing humility? Check.

[Watch or listen to Bastian Schweinsteiger's full press conference here]

As for some of those 'tricky' questions, he was able to stay clean there as well. Will you root for the Cubs or Sox?

"First of all I like the Fire the most, of course," Schweinsteiger said.

Well played, Bastian.

But what about this one: Is the World Cup a realistic expectation for the Fire?

Sorry, what was that? Schweinsteiger smiled politely, said he didn't understand the question and avoided getting egg on his face while the Internet exploded in laughter that he was asked about the chances a club team winning an international competition.

Schweinsteiger is the new face of the Fire and that face smiled, waved and shook hands on Wednesday amid all the pageantry.

Media savvy? Check.

As for how he will perform on the field, that's to come soon. Paunovic only gave a subtle hint as to whether Schweinsteiger will play in Saturday's home match against Montreal.

"Obviously he is going to be available," Paunovic said. "We are not going to reveal our plans here, but we still have a talk to have and discuss how he feels and more things about the team and how we want to play. Be ready, just be ready. We'll see."