The Bulls can play effective offense with one shooter

How do teams win games?

Score more points than their opponents, duh.  

However, in that simple statement several things are lost.   Scoring points and stopping your opponent from scoring points needs to happen on a per possession basis not on a per game basis.   Many teams hailed as great offensively and terrible defensively are really neither.   They just speed up the pace of the game ramping up everyone's totals.  The same can be said of some teams giving up relatively few points.

In the end, if a possession is defined as a trip down the floor, than a team has no more than one possession more than it's opponent each game.   How may points you score and give up per possession is the key to victory.

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So now we've taken an obvious point, and tried to make it a bit more specific.   In order to ramp up your ability to score more points per possession there are simple principles to follow, and denying those principles will improve your defense.   The idea is to take as many high efficiency shots as possible.

So what are high efficiency shots?  Obviously an elite player, can create good scoring chances when he has a mismatch situation or single coverage, however, for the rest of the guys who can't create efficient offense for themselves you hope to get ones in the following categories:

Break away / transition opportunities that lead to dunks/layups/fouls are the most efficient scoring chances in the game.    In the NBA, few guys miss an open layup, and most guys can beat a defender one on one on the break or force a foul. 

An open corner three is the most efficient jump shot in the game.    It's the short distance three, and most perimeter players in the NBA can knock this shot down consistently when open, plus it's worth the extra point. Open threes in general lead to efficient scoring, but it takes a high caliber shooter to hit the ones from the wings or up top.

Shots in the paint from post up play or from players attacking the basket lend to efficient scoring due to proximity to the basket.   Obviously the closer you are to the hoop, the easier the shot typically is.

Garbage baskets (offensive rebounds, open dunks due to penetration, and sometimes dumb luck) create easy scoring opportunities for the offense where a big man merely needs to hit an open dunk.

Open jumpers from anywhere are good shots.  Even the loathed long two, is a good shot if taken wide open, because the hit rate for most players on that shot is quite high when open.   NBA players simply hit open jumpers more than they miss.

What type of shots kill an offense?

The worst shot in basketball is a long, contested, two point jumper with movement (turnaround, pull up, etc).   The shot yields two points, has difficulty in terms of additional movement, and is defended.

Defended two point jumpers in general are bad shots, while most plays knock down an open jumper, the conversion rate goes down considerably once the defense gets into play.

Defended three point jumpers are typically terrible shots as well.   While they may score three if they go in, the conversion rate on them is low.

Players trying to score in the paint when it's packed with defenders make for  bad shots.   Sure up above, I said shots close to the basket are good, but not when your primary man is on you and the opposing center and power forward are clogging the lane and you decide to try and shoot anyway.

So nothing about these lists should surprise or shock.   Every team knows what it needs to do to score efficiently and what it needs to do to defend efficiently.   It needs to craft it's offense to get as many high efficient shots while taking away as many as possible from it's opponent, so how does this effect the Bulls?

The Bulls don't have many shooters.    In fact, they have one.   Kyle Korver.   On the surface, this seems to destroy the team spacing and limit one type of efficient shot opportunity.

However, it's not as bad as it seems.  Watch NBA defenses closely, and you'll find that few shooters really space the floor.  Teams aren't hanging on top of Roger Mason or Kirk Hinrich because they can hit 37% of their threes.  They're content to sag off those guys as much as Ronnie Brewer and hope they can recover in time (which they typically can).

In general, teams in the NBA, always give the weak side shooters a lot of space and hope to recover in order to help shut down the paint.   As such, only the truly elite shooters really have someone chasing them around all day making sure they space the floor.   Thus, while the Bulls don't have as many decent to decent to good shooters as last year (assuming Rose/Deng don't make large strides), having one elite shooter may provide more spacing than having multiple decent shooters.

The downside is that having one great shooter may provide more spacing than two good shooters, but two good shooters provide more punishment for not defending them than the one great shooter who remains covered up.  Thus the Bulls may play with more space this year while Korver is on the floor, but they'll get probably shoot far less threes due to a lack of other players who can hit them.

In order to make up for the lack of threes the Bulls need to focus on the other areas of efficient scoring. 

Derrick Rose can start a fast break quicker than all but a few players in the NBA creating a lot of easy opportunities for the Bulls.   The Bulls should play uptempo and force the action in transition before defenses can get back to crowd the paint.   Even in non fast break opportunities, they can score effectively through early offense which are plays every team has designed to run while switching ends of the court.   Getting as many opportunities in early offense and transition will help offset the lack of spacing the Bulls have.

A Boozer/Rose pick and roll will create the mismatches that lead to efficient offense.   The defense can no longer automatically double Rose, because an open Carlos Boozer will score at will against them.   This allows Rose to get into single coverage against a big man, or against a guard trying to get around a Boozer screen.   Either situation creates an opening that Rose can use to create an efficient look for himself, or find an open target if the defense overreacts.

The next key will be quick ball movement from side to side, typically through swing passes or working through the high post big man.  Defenses typically face the ball and crowd the strong side (ball side) of the court.  Moving the ball from strong side to weak side quickly forces every defender to reposition and change direction.    In their repositioning lies the split second that the off-ball cutters can make cuts to the basket, to take advantage of these types of shifts an offense needs players in tune with each other and with excellent basketball IQ and passing skills. 

Finally, drawing double teams in the post will create open lanes for cutters and open jump shots around the perimeter.   The Bulls finally have a player who can draw those double teams down low to open up the floor for the wings on the perimeter, and on top of that, Boozer's an excellent passer which will allow the Bulls to benefit from the double coverage he receives unlike when Eddy Curry was sitting in the low post.

With back screens, quick movement, and good passing from the PG, PF, and C, the SG/SF will get lots of easy shot opportunities off of cuts and open jumpers.   The Bulls might have the best passing starting front court in the NBA, so they should be able to facilitate quick ball movement whether it be out of the low or high post.

I foresee the Bulls offense running a lot of Boozer/Rose pick and rolls while Noah sets baseline screens for Deng, Brewer, and Korver.   They'll come off the screens for open jumpers or basket cuts.    The primary options will become Rose working against a mismatch, Boozer, on a mismatch (or left alone), a pass to a cutting Brewer/Deng, or a pass to an open Korver.

When the initial pick and roll doesn't generate the type of look the Bulls want, they'll either swing the ball to switch sides of the court, feed the low post off the pick and roll to look for a cut/shot, or simply reset up top to generate another pick and roll.

How will it all come together?   Only time will tell, but the Bulls have the offensive personnel to consistently create mismatches that will generate easy shot opportunities for the team.


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  • Doug, how do you see our bench players running the offense?

  • Doug, your previous reply/rebuke of my comment on Michael is just too much. I simply don't believe he hates the Bulls/deep down disrespects them. And I don't even take it for granted that if he did speak to Wade he really ripped on them. And if he did it was probably a rant like at his speech. When you seperate from an ex who gave you the best years of your life with Phil and Scottie, I really think those will happen sometimes. Does that mean deep down he really disrespects the Bulls or dislikes Reinsdorf etc.? I sincerely doubt that. I just wish he would have clarified what if anything was said to Wade. But of course at this point after the fact he wont.

    You saying he owes the Bulls nothing, after repeatedly stating he "decimated" the franchise after he left is contradictory and just wrong.

    Would Jordan have won six(could have been eight) championships somewhere else? I'd say doubtful. Defense wins and Pippen and Phil's staff were the best. Regardless of how much his greatness carried that team, he still owes the Bulls for the opportunity to play with Scottie, Phil, great character guys like B.J. Armstrong, Pax, Steve Kerr. To say Jordan owes the Bulls nothing/no gratitude is a flip comment that in retrospect is ridiculous.

    If he did make some rant/bad ass moment ragging comments to Wade he should be sorry he did so. That's just the way it is.

    And you so many times villifying him for, decimating is what you kept saying, the franchise after he left, and then taking this angle is just a monumental flip flop. His guiding that group through the nightmare beatdown crews of Detroit and then New York was heroic. He is a hero to Bulls fans of that era. Could you find nicer guys then Scottie and Toni Kukoc from those teams or Steve Kerr? Kukoc still plays pickup golf with Jordan, and the others speak of him glowingly and as a friend.

    Simply your take on Jordan as villain was ungrateful, revisionist history, and so many of his former teammates and opponents Ewing, Charles love him. It's not all a a con job. Give me a break. Sure he turned sour and could be a major prick with his competitive jones no doubt. But he nonetheless is a hero and loved by many of the coolest guys he played with and against.

    As for Flip the guy shoots 30% from three for his career. Most years he's in the 20's? Why the heck when we need another perimeter shooter especially if someone goes down should we get this guy? No thanks. I'd rather trade for Maurice Evans, Fernandez, West, or wait and see who might become available.

  • Mitchell W gave me the directions on posting links, but there seems several steps, and I just haven't had the time yet to try it. Anyhow, Hoopsworld/Mike McGraw/Daily Herald has Thib's interested in former No.1 Larry Johnson as an assistant to replace Pete meyers along with Terry Porter. Gran Ma Ma on our bench. Interesting. Also, Hoopshype lists an article that says Noah will not play for France in the FIBA world's. Which is great with him recovering form plantar fasciitis.

    I have to say from what I viewed despite the Pete Meyers love, I did not see a commanding presence that players respected. Just a hard working likable guy. I hope they get someone that can relate to players, but also with some toughness/commanding/coaching presence to steer guys in the right direction.

  • I love that 4 of the 5 Bulls starters will consistently create mismatches. Rose can beat anyone in the league 1 on 1 (which basically makes every possession a 5 on 4 break for a few seconds), Boozer requires a double-team, Deng more nights than not can dominate his man in the post, and don't forget about Noah. Away from the basket Noah's one of the few bigs in the league who can put it on the floor. He's a point-center that can draw bigs away from the basket and beat them off the dribble or dish to Boozer with a more open bucket. Noah drifting out a bit is one way they can keep teams from packing the paint even without a floor spreading shooter on the court.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Not only is Deng incapable of dominating anybody in the post, he is incapable of dominating anybody in any facet of the game.

    Deng really does not care to play in the post, and does not perform particularly well on those instances when he even tries.

    Deng is simply overated as an individual player, he has no outstanding skills, he is nothing more than a system player who thrives off of others.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    When you have players like Rose who need the ball a lot, it is good to have somebody like Deng. Except against a few elite SF's like LBJ, KD etc.., Deng looks more than capable of matching up and doing well. If not for his contract which by the way doesn't look so bad now, he is a great 4th best player on a contending team. We want him to shoot 3s, play post game, play without the ball etc..He definitely has a problem doing all of that plus he has been brittle. If he plays for less than 35 mins, he does well. I predict he will sit more in the 2nd,3rd quarters from now on.

  • Solid post, except for one thing: you didn't mention the most efficient shot in basketball and its something the Bulls probably wont be very good at with out individual improvement - the free throw.

  • One issue I have with three point shooting from an inside-out game is it can be more famine than feast. If the shooter hits the rim and the offense doesn't get the rebound(which is usually the case), it ends up being an easy fast break for the opposing team. The worst can be 3-point shooters waiting in the corners(they are usually your best athletes) and they have to make up more ground to catch-up with the fast-breaking player and it gets worse if it is a long 2 pointer attempt from the corner.
    I hope Thibs designs the offense so that they have a good fall back for defending when the corner 3's are missed and the rebound is missed too...

  • To add to my last post, obviously the corner shooters for the Bulls are not great athletes(Korver and Deng). Even Rose might camp out there once in a while. Usually, the guards and SF go there. That's why it would have been nice to have a 3-point shooting big man


    How do you counter poor shooting?

    1.) Defense (force turnovers and get easy baskets that way)
    2.) Rebounding (2nd chance points are always a good thing)
    3.) Free-Throws (if you can't make FG's, make FT's)


    It's official. Joakim Noah will NOT being playing for France during the World Championships.


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    JJ and a 1st rounder for Carmelo?

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:


    Deng, Gibson, Johnson and TWO #1 Picks sounds more like it.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Maybe to you. But nobody in Denver would think that's even close.

    And something tells me we've had this discussion before. Is this the first time you've presented this idea or have you mentioned this previously?

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    * The Chicago Bulls have the better pieces, given the extra draft picks they own.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I just browsed the talk back to that article.....Knicks fans are ****ing delusional. Very entertaining....

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Are you insinuating that there aren't any delusional people posting here?

    It is funny to read though. I guess Knicks fans also seem to think they can land one of the top 5 players in the league for a bunch of crap and think that throwing in a 1st rounder or two evens it out.

    Good times.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Would rather have gotten Rudy...but we still can. Bogans will be burried on the bench.

  • In reply to evilhoban:


    This sucks for Dallas. It's also scary for DROSE.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    The Bulls have just signed Bogans.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The Bulls' brass SETTLED for the best that's out there.

    That's SAD, but typical!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    They "settled for the best"? Is that even possible to do?

    That's like me saying, "I could have had a date with some total hag. Instead, I took out Jessica Biel. I decided to just settle for the best."

    You never fail to outdo yourself, McHappy.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:


    You don't know basketball. Sorry to say.

    The Bulls SETTLED for the pick of the litter, so to speak.

    That's not good enough, if they expect to contend for a title.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    My comment was about your understanding of basic English.

    Then you showed you didn't even understand the comment I made by making the same statement, thus reinforcing my opinion.

    But allow me to rephrase... if you get the pick of the litter, you're not settling.

    "Settling for the best" in an oxymoron. In other words, like you, it makes no sense.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Keith Bogans?? more like Keith Bogus...hate this signing. We would have been better off getting a one legged TMAC. What a dumb way to finish off the roster.

  • In reply to Vedo:

    Remember the roster isn't finished...two more spots left. Tmac may still be in well as Rudy.

  • In reply to Vedo:



  • In reply to Vedo:


    Stay on the GOOD-SIDE of reality with me, Reesel and Edward.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Although this season feels somehow feels like we are settling for 2nd options in everything...
    1. Wanted Bosh ....settled for Boozer
    2. Wanted JJ Redick....settled for Brewer
    3. Wanted Rudy .....settled for Bogans
    4. Wanted LBJ ....kinda settled for Korver/Deng

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Well we couldn't do anything about Bosh, LBJ, and JJ Redick. But I agree, this definitely sucks.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:


    Welcome to the GOOD-SIDE of reality.

    MY TEAM:

    and now schaum

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:


    Plus, leagues sources say the Bulls remain very much alive in the potential discussions for Fernandez if the Trailblazers decide to trade him. To this point, sources say Portland is holding back on any trade of Fernandez. But with cap room remaining the Bulls are in play in other trade scenarios for a wing player or big man.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    If only we had Sam Young, that would clinch the deal.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Id say trade for Rudy....and then go after Melo with a package of any of these players.....Taj, CJ Watson, Brewer, Korver, Asik, Rudy, Deng and Draft picks.

  • In reply to Csharp:


    Anthony Tolliver is signing with Minnesota.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    No "Grandmama" on the Bulls' staff.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Good...where has this guy been for years anywayz?

  • FYI:

    Somebody should tell YAHOO that the #23 is retired in Chicago.

  • Who are the few players tha can start a fast break quicker than Rose. I can't think of them.

  • In reply to Dileg:

    Jason Kidd?

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:


    Tony Parker and Steve Nash can get the break going pretty fast.

  • Mitchell,

    Not if the Bulls can get MELO.

  • I will definitely give it a whirl soon. Thanks again for the tip/instructions.


    via Hoopsworld...

    Chicago Bulls
    Current Commitments: $53.8 million
    Remaining Cap Space: $4.1 million
    Luxury Tax Status: No
    Mid-Level Exception: Not available
    Bi-Annual Exception: Not available
    Traded Player Exception: None

    Read more NBA news and insight:

  • Thanks for the link. Thib's has mentioned(no surprise really) that Derrick is a humble player, and now other players would want to play with him.

    But players also want to play with a leader, someone who will take charge when needed, and tell it like it is. And Humbleness is the not the quality that elite scorers/winners like Wade and Kobe exhibit when staking their claim with refs face to face on foul calls. I hope he realizes the necessity for some of that boyish humblness to change in an ultra-competitive, elite atmosphere that is the NBA.

    I do like how high Thib's seems on Derrick's defensive potential. Laterally his agility rating in the NBA pre-draft measurements was poor, but again so were many of Kevin Durant's measurements. Really excellent high scores are more telling. But I do see Derrick so far as laterally sub-par defensively/guys often drive right by him. If they can change him into a better then average one on one defender I will be extremely pleased. Really, intelligence of reading lane and post intent of scorers, and knowing when to leave your own man for double teams, steals etc. is key. Jordan was the master of this, and I hope Thib's can teach this to Derrick as well.


    Paco Rabadan: I've spoken with Rudy (Fernandez) this morning and he doesn't know anything about his possible trade to Chicago, but he gave me a clue: "The East looks very attractive to me." Twitter

    via Hoopshype

  • As much as I like Rose...there are a couple of things which make me a little tempered..
    1. There are too many good young point guards in the NBA than makes it tough to win his position every night.
    2. Steve Francis....A talented player didn't do much and flamed out of the league. I know Rose is probably not that. But, unless he proves it consistently for a few more years, we have to be a little less tempered in our expectations.

    His defense improvement and three point shooting will play a large role in how he develops..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    He will prove it...future HOFer

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Besides out of the "good young point guards" which is better than Rose? Deron Williams and CP3 (if healthy). That's it. He will win his position just about every night.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Overall Rose might be a good player but the point is every PG has some skill which Rose might not be great at and will kind of even out sometimes. More than 18-20 teams have decent PGs who will make Rose work and if your best player is not beating out the opposition's player at that position easily, it makes it tough. Then the other teams don't have to double-team, shut him down with their best defender etc.. That's what I mean. If you look at LeBron, he probably wins his matchup almost every night.

    I am not saying Rose will not reach those heights....but we just don't know will be fun watching him grow in the league.

  • In reply to mdot1986:


    So, the question remains, "How will the Bulls' brass spend the last $4.1 million?"


    Sounds like the roster could reach 14.

  • Mitchell,

    Last I checked, Bogans wasn't a SHOOTER.

    If the Bulls trade Johnson for Fernandez and Pendegraph the Bulls will be at 12. My guess is John Lucas III grabs the 13th spot and either Matt Bouldin, Derrick Byars, Chris Richard or Trent Plaisted grab the 14th spot.

    It just depends on where the Bulls' brass feels they need more depth.

  • Mitchell,

    In other words, you want the Bulls to SETTLE.

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