As for the shooting woes, point guard Derrick Rose said, "We're taking good shots, they're just not going in."
No. You aren't. And by you, I mean the team, not Derrick Rose in particular. The Bulls lead the league in long 2s, the least efficient shot in basketball. You know what's worse than living by the three point shot? Living by the long two point shot. The Bulls offense is basically dysfunctional in that it's outcome often ends up with the least efficient shot in basketball.
The worst part of it is, they might be right. The long two may be the best shot this team can get, and if so, that's the reason they'll never escape the bottom five on offense this season.
"There's no room to drive," Rose said.
There's not a lot of room to drive in the half court, but you have lots of transition opportunities where you get the ball on offense with one man to beat and no one else back yet, and you keep resetting the offense. That's not a spacing issue. It's a Derrick Rose issue.
The spacing issue absolutely exists in the half court, but Derrick hasn't pushed the ball up the court hard or taken his opportunities when he has a chance at a one on one in transition. What star player isn't scoring in that situation 70% of the time?
Even in the half court, star slashers with no room to drive still dive into the lane, bang bodies, create contact and get fouls. They are certainly not as effective as if they have space, but they don't become passive and useless.
Derrick Rose is playing scared right now. He needs to find his swagger again and get his confidence back. He needs to bang bodies when he drives in the lane instead of leaping to avoid contact. Maybe the ankle is still in the back of his mind. Maybe he's just never been aggressive and never will be. If not, the Bulls are screwed, because a guy who doesn't shoot 3s and doesn't draw fouls isn't going to lead the team anywhere on offense.
He has the talent. He has the physical tools to get the job done at the highest level. He needs to aggressively assert his will on the opposing team though. The spacing sucks, the offensive fit with this group isn't great, and is made worse by our perimeter players slumping. However, Rose needs to step it up, or we ramp down our expectations to future very good, but sub all star level player.