The Chicago Bulls playoff chances just got a little bit smaller. Star SG Dwyane Wade is ruled out for the remainder of the regular season due to a sprain and small fracture in his right elbow. Wade is the team's second leading scorer, and the veteran leader on the team. Wade could be back for the playoffs, but the bigger problem is if the Bulls can make it there. The Bulls are on the outside looking in, as they are one game back of the eight spot in the eastern conference. Their playoff chances were slim with Wade in the lineup, but now the chances are slimmer with him out the lineup.

Not at his best

Wade's injury happened during the team's loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. He tried to play through the injury, but he eventually sat out the fourth quarter. His arm was in a sling during practice Thursday where he explained the injury, saying "I told them that I heard a 'pop, pop,' and I kind of said that [Wednesday night], and it was pretty much a dislocation at the time, and it went back in, so kind of dealing with the aftermath of what that looks like. This is what it looks like.'' (ESPN). Wade has been pretty healthy this season, playing in 57 games. But he does have a rather long injury history, this being his latest.

Wade statistically isn't having the best season of his career, he is actually having one of his worst.

Wade is averaging 18.6 points per game, his lowest PPG average since his rookie year. He is shooting 43 percent from the field, the lowest of his career. Wade's numbers are taking a little bit of a dip, as he is the second option on the roster. Jimmy Butler is the clear alpha dog for the Bulls, so Wade's scoring numbers have taken a dip.

The Bulls roster doesn't spread the floor, so teams will be waiting for Wade in the paint and mid-range game, bringing down his FG percentage.

Odds not in their favor

With the loss of D-Wade, the Bulls aren't looking like a team that is going to be in the playoffs. Chicago is 32-36 in the east, one game behind the Detroit Pistons for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The loss of Wade puts more pressure on Jimmy Butler, who has not been shooting well since the trade deadline. The Bulls' next best scorer after Wade is Robin Lopez, who is averaging 10 PPG. The Bulls are in need of a scoring boost, but they don't have any other option besides Wade and Butler. Chicago has 14 games left, and if they want to get Wade back, they need to start winning some games and get that 8th seed.

Wade's injury is hard to deal with, but he is focused on helping Jimmy Butler rise to the occasion, saying: "It's to focus on what Jimmy needs to do. And that's to go out these last 14 games of the year and kick ass. And help lead this team to the playoffs." (Nick Friedell, ESPN).

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