Simeon starts playoff run with win


Simeon starts playoff run with win

By Dan Ruane
Simeon started its journey to winning a third straight state title by brushing off the cobwebs. The Wolverines were rusty to begin with but eventually shook free of host Oak Lawn for a 64-25 victory in the opening game of the Class 4A regional semifinal.You could tell early on that we were a different team, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. Weve been going at each other for the last week and a half and (Oak Lawn) was a physical team that didnt let us get wide open shots.If not for Steve Taylor, the top-ranked Wolverines (27-1) would have trailed for most of the first quarter. Taylor made five of his first six shots while the rest of his teammates went 0-for-9 to start the game. That helped to stake Simeon to a 12-8 lead at the end of the quarter. He would finish with 16 points and 10 boards.Oak Lawn managed to stay close behind the play of Lyndell Johnson and Jacob Campbell at the guards. The pair combined to score all of the Spartans (16-11) first quarter points.Johnson and Campbell have just been exemplary as seniors for our program, Oak Lawn coach Jason Rhodes said. They did every single thing we asked of them and they set the example for our program moving forward.Smith had seen enough of his starters with the exception of Taylor so he benched the other four including Jabari Parker (15 points) and Kendrick Nunn for more than four minutes of the second quarter. His bench did not disappoint.Reggie Norris (10 points), Dennis Williams, Jaylon Tate and Dwaun Stewart came in to outscore Oak Lawn 9-2 and take a 19-10 lead before the starters eventually came back in.Thats the beauty of this team, Smith said. Jabari and Kendrick started off slow and the other guys came in and picked it up for us.The height advantage that Simeon held figured prominently in the game getting away from the Spartans in the second half. Simeon grabbed 13 offensive rebounds and started making its shots more consistently to pull away.We turned the ball over too much, Rhodes said. Their length bothered us around the glass. With that time, you need to give one shot and thats it otherwise you have no chance.Campbell led Oak Lawn with 16 points.

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

In a season where the triple-double has become commonplace to the point of stat chasing in the effort to chase history, Dwyane Wade didn't mind snatching his own piece of turf.

In a game where teammate Jimmy Butler reached the feat for the first time this season, it would've been doubly satisfactory for Wade to achieve the fifth triple-double of his career.

One rebound away in the final seconds of the Bulls' 117-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the memo didn't reach Cristiano Felicio, who reached over Wade to grab a rebound, causing it to harmlessly fall out of bounds and ending Wade's chance at history.

After Wade finished with 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 34 minutes, he was asked if he "hated" Felicio for interrupting his moment.

"No hate. Just a strong dislike, though," said Wade with a wry smile. "You know how long it's been since I had a triple double? It's been a long time."

It's been six years, as his last triple-double came in the 2010-11 season with the Miami Heat, achieving the feat with a 22-point, 12-rebound and 10-assist performance against the then-Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 4, 2011.

Even more than the statistical feat was Wade's variety, as he grabbed seven rebounds in the decisive third-quarter run that broke the game open, hitting Butler and Bobby Portis for long touchdown passes that would've had Jay Cutler or whichever quarterback the Cleveland Browns are banking on next fall, blushing.

Perhaps even more impressive was the fact it was on the second night of a back-to-back with the Bulls winning in overtime against the Phoenix Suns—a game where Wade turned it up late then threw it down over Alex Len in overtime.

"I think we just found our groove," Wade said. "We've had some injuries that have gone on but we're playing good basketball."

More pointedly, so is Wade, aided by him often finding Felicio for easy dunks on the pick and roll as they play second and fourth quarters together. 

Felicio was clearly bothered by his gaffe, which was made worse by the take-no-prisoners approach from Wade and Butler. When a member of foreign media approached him about an interview, Felicio said "you're not asking me about that last rebound, are you?"

Later in the evening, Felicio went to Twitter, posting "I did not know!!" in reference to Wade's night.

"I told him I didn't not even gonna act like I ain't mad at him. I'm very mad at him," said Wade with a laugh. "But he's all good. He said he didn't see me down there. So he took a shot at my height. It's cool. Jimmy had one. It would've been nice to have two triple doubles."

"I'm sure a stat would've came out that would've said, ‘Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler are the first duo to get a triple-double on a back-to-back since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen', since they got every record around here."

He was close, although Jordan and Pippen didn't achieve their feat on a back-to-back but a random night in the 1988-89 season. Jordan scored 41 with 11 assists and 10 rebounds and Pippen had 15 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 126-121 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We laugh about that often, but it's all good," Wade said. "I gotta work harder till I get another one one day."

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