Fast break or Carlos Boozer

"7 seconds or less" - an offensive system that prefers to see a shot attempt seven seconds into the shot clock, or even less. Current New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni made the phrase famous by making point guard Steve Nash and forward Amar'e Stoudemire live up to that goal, by creating a fast-paced offense filled with shooters who could sprint down court as well as move off the ball. Even after D'Antoni left for New York, the saying stuck. When current Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal joined the Suns, the phrase changed to ''7 seconds or Shaq". The concept changed, since O'Neal was not a fast break player, to the team putting a priority towards getting a quick shot attempt, and then backing out and restarting the offense should that prove unsuccessful. Usually, O'Neal would then get the ball and try to score in a half-court setting.

Based on that theory, the Bulls could run something similar when power forward Carlos Boozer returns to the line-up.

Boozer, at 6'9 and 266 pounds, is a surprisingly quick player for a guy his size, so there will be times when he can follow the ball (usually handled by über-athlete Derrick Rose) and finish plays on the break. However, blending fast break basketball with a steady half-court offense does provide an offensive versatility which is not easy to defend. Given that forward Luol Deng has been given an order to shoot more three-pointers, the spacing in both settings should be much improved.

The Bulls have the players necessary to make this blend a successful one. Rose, guard/forward Ronnie Brewer and even center Joakim Noah can run all night long, and all can finish well in transition. Back-up point guard C.J. Watson prefers coming off screens in the half-court, but his quickness allows him to participate in the same fast-paced drills. Guard Keith Bogans has the ability to follow the ball, and spot-up from the outside if the defense collapses on Rose.

Should a quick attack fail, Boozer would be the primary weapon of use. Not necessarily as the scorer, but he's a solid pick and roll player which will give Rose driving lanes. It's also possible to simply dump the ball down low to Boozer, and let him work for a shot. Boozer is strong enough to pin his defender and get his body infront of the opponent, thus allowing fairly easy entry passes. Adding to the half-court set is shooting specialist Kyle Korver. The 6'7 knock-down shooter can play a similar role to what Ray Allen does in Boston, or Richard Hamilton in Detroit. Luol Deng cutting and moving off the ball also provides a similar element as to what Korver brings, but Deng's preference is to get closer in to the bucket.

It should be noted that building an offense on quick scores is extremely difficult. The Suns use a combination of off-ball cuts, screens and good shooting placement to fully take advantage of the quick dribble by Steve Nash, coming down the court. The Bulls would do things a little bit differently. Head coach Tom Thibodeau is known for building a strong defense, and the team would look to create in the open court through defensive stops. In other words: The best offense, is a good defense. Chicago will look to force turnovers, and get quick scores off of those, while being a low-turnover team on the other end.

An x-factor in such a team concept is forward James Johnson. Pending his minutes, Johnson could be another player who has the ability to finish plays on the run, as well as participate in forcing turnovers. As a rookie Johnson struggled, but his shot-blocking rate was exceptional, at 2 swats per 36 minutes. An adept passer, Johnson could also help in the half-court offense, led by the inside presence of Boozer. Known as a strong passer himself, Boozer can find perimeter players cutting to the hoop, and Johnson would likely be categorized as such.

Boozer is out for a while, however, and will likely miss 15 games to open the season. In the meantime, the ''Fast break or Carlos Boozer'' offense will have to rely on a strong individual showing from Derrick Rose, as well getting out in transition as much as possible. While forward Taj Gibson is no great back to the basket player, he should help the half-court set by moving without the ball, and spotting up for mid-range jumpshots as he did as a rookie.


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  • It seems that one of the problems with running this type of offense is players slacking on D because of being fatigued from exerting so much energy on the other end of the floor. I don't see Thibs going with this type of gameplan, he's too defensive minded. We will definitely run with the ball, but it seems his philosophy is more focused on passing the ball immediately and continuously until someone has a wide open look. He's against any isolation "create your own play" type of set, however I think he should give Rose more opportunities to do just that, especially with Boozer out. Maybe pass the ball quickly and if no open looks are found in the first "7 seconds" get the ball to Rose and let him create. I have no doubt we possess the personnel to run the offense you describe, I just doubt Thibs is planning on it.

  • The way the Suns play isn't the same thing the Bulls are trying to do. Thibodeau is hoping to have the Bulls ready to run on other teams when the defense is not ready at the other end. The Celtics did the same things, but the Bulls have a few more guys who can run with Rose.

    I expect a more diverse offense from the Bulls this year. The team can run, but can also play pick & roll with Rose/Boozer, & they have guys who can slash & move without the ball for catch & shoot sets.

    The game against Orlando shows that we have a ways to go.

  • What Boston has is more talent and experience but less athleticism. For all his talent, Rose will be better with Boozer next year. If we forget the Heat(who will be in a league of their own), the Bulls will definitely can be great next year. If they add a more talented version of Ronnie Brewer at SG, they can run any kind of offense and be effective.

  • change your "or" to an ampersand and I'm with you Morten. Boozer actually got a quarter of his points off of transition with the Jazz last year, so it's not like he can't contribute to that transition game as well!

    I think once the offense gets up and running, with everybody healthy and executing, the motion offense the Bulls have worked on all preseason becomes the primary half court option when they can't run.

    Giving the ball to Booz in stationary position on the block isn't a bad option, but one of the things that makes him a special player is his ability to finish well while on the move. That is one of Derrick's strengths as well. One of the great things about motion offense is that it (theoretically) allows Rose and Boozer to take advantage of that strength while being difficult to guard schematically. The high pick and roll is a bread and butter play, and while I expect the Bulls to run a good deal of it, it's also what teams spend the most time defensively on. Motion, where guys are slashing in from the sides and attacking from multiple points, is much harder to counter when everything is working right.


    I'm sure Thibs wants to FASTBREAK and RUN, especially with DROSE running the show.


    I'm sure Thibs wants to create offense through his defense, if not wear down the shot-clock and grab rebounds. That should be the plan of attack, so to speak.


    Kyle Weaver, John Lucas and Roger Powell have all been waived.

  • The invites minus Scal got cut according to K.C.

  • I just read the Jazz waived Sundiata Gaines, maybe the Bulls should pick him up as a 3rd PG. Then we could truly be one step closer to becoming the Chicago Jazz :)

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    haha i like that idea of becoming the Chicago Jazz, and i liked Gaines. Mostly due to his game winning shot while on a 10 day contract. But he isn't really a pg more of an undersized combo guard. I would have rather kept Kyle Weaver due to the fact that he's more of a bigger combo guard, could run the point pretty well while guarding the 2 guard too. but a 13 man roster can be good, in case we can get some vet presence before the post season or a trade brings us a few extra players.

  • and dont forget that Watson's going to get some time at the 2 guard as well. If Weaver didnt seem like he cared then i guess were better off. Still kinda wish we kept him even if he wasnt going to play, probably would have helped us more in practice. could have set up some plays where teams will throw all sorts of guys to guard Rose so he can't get used to one guy.

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