"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.