No Black Friday shopping to fix the Bulls woes

The Chicago Bulls dropped a winnable game to the Houston Rockets, collapsing after building up a large lead. Their defense was improved, but they couldn't find a way to score down the stretch. Sadly, quality offensive players aren't half off on the trade market today.

Bulls lack athleticism

From the start of the season, the Bulls decided they'd attempt to win by outworking opponents. However, this approach is inherently flawed due to the lack of athleticism up and down the Bulls roster. Carlos Boozer, Rip Hamilton, and Kirk Hinrich are all poor to pedestrian athletes for their positions.

It's difficult to outwork teams with an athletic disadvantage at three of the five starting positions compared to most teams. Joakim Noah's probably the only player on the Bulls with a consistent athletic advantage at his position.

Things don't get all that much better on the bench where Nate Robinson is undersized, Belinelli's average, and Mohammed can barely move. Butler and Taj are quality athletes, but Butler's certainly not more athletic than Brewer and Taj is the same as last year. Overall, the Bulls lost athleticism on the bench as well.

The downward shift in athleticism on the roster makes the "effort" play difficult to consistently pull off.

Working with too small a court

The Bulls don't have enough shot creators to generate offense. Their lack of dynamic playmakers means they look to generate offense through efficient passing, ball movement, and strong fundamental offense.

However, the team also lacks consistent outside threats to space the floor. Without any outside shooting, the Bulls have to run their ball movement oriented offense with little space on the floor. Since the opponents don't really need to respect the outside shot of anyone on the team, they can jam the paint against the Bulls big men, and still easily recover on the perimeter players.

If the three facets of offense are slashing, shooting, and post ups, it's fair to say the Bulls are below average in all three. It's no wonder that the team frequently struggles to score. They do have excellent passing throughout the roster, but since no one on the team can really generate space easily that advantage is mitigated.

Things will obviously improve with a healthy Derrick Rose as they'll have one outstanding creator, but an effective offense really needs at least two of those three legs, and Rose still only gives them one.

Few options available

The Bulls don't have many options to fix the team. They really only have one wild card to play, and it's such a long shot, that they're likely better off sticking with the status quo. That said, if they want to mix it up, then their best bet is to bench Kirk Hinrich in favor of Marcus Teague.

Nate Robinson is playing well above Kirk's level, so he can't be benched at this point. However, throwing Teague into the mix gives the Bulls a big dose of athleticism and slashing. The problem, of course, is that Teague can't finish or defend, so while he has the raw tools the Bulls need, his complete lack of refinement probably will hurt more than it helps.

I wouldn't throw that hail mary just yet if I were the Bulls, but it's possibly the only option they have that changes the mix rather than just trying harder at what they're already doing.

Filed under: Management

Tags: black friday, chicago bulls, nba


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  • I say just tank this one away, pull a 97 spurs (i know there is no tim duncan) and get a high draft pick, can't hurt. At least management can do a decent job on the draft most of the time. If they are gonna be playing Noah and Deng 40+ every night and having them clean up for the 3 other slobs it's gonna take a full year of their prime away... they'll age right before our eyes.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I'm assuming you will hold Rose out for the entire season first.

    But then to be bad enough to pull a Duncan, you'd have to trade 2 of the 3...Noah, Deng, taj so we don't 'gamers' who will fight to the end

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    you hold rose out with bs "setbacks", you tell deng to get his wrist surgery and have noah come down with phantom injuries (i think the spurs did a lot of that that year). You can let Taj play and develop his game with the Bozo and the others, that surely wont win you a lot of games. Then you amnesty Bozo, get a high draft pick, and you are right back near the top next year rather than finish 35-47, get pick no 12 and kill Noah and Deng to get that measly record.

  • Hope everyone had a Happy T-Day.

    So, most bloggers knew the Bulls would suck offensively, and nothing has changed that view. I have only watched a couple of wins I DVR'd. Thgoughts: Jo's had a great start though defensively I think he's in some ways overrated as he joins the paratrooper club on Garnetts pump fakes reaptedly which is bush and gets bodied out of the way at times due to his skinny lower body. However, he's added a lot of upper body strength and he's a terrific player to have as a second or third wheel of a contender IMO

    Lu's back to 18ppg on 46% shooting with good boards. Threes have suffered, but that's why he's a very, very good pl;ayer, but not quite an All-Star.

    Boozer is an abomination. Shock. We could have amnestied him for a whopping what $710 Mil a year if we put him on the market early before Scola etc

    Bottom line: this could have been a fun season, and Reinsdorf the fan gouger still could have stayed below the tax. Yeah, you amnesty Boozer, and take on two years of bad contracts while picking up Sacramento's No.5 pick, and snagging Damian Lillard. The guys a legit All-Star level NBA ready young talent. Dump Hamilton etc. for nothing, and pay little or no tax. No way, can't be done. Go tell that to Pat Riley and the pre-Lebron Heat.

    Then you trade Lillard for a legit in their prime wing scorer or high high lotto pick for Shabbaz etc.

    Instead you have no tank, no offensive talent on the horizon and a hamstrung roster where they may not even amnesty Boozer this summer(I wouldn't put it past their ultra conservative cheap ass selves).

    I'm watching Portland(coach, Stotts, will be fired can't coach D), Houston, Memphis, Thunder, Clips, Spurs. Fun basketball with offensive talents and team chemistry/some good guys even in the $10 MIl salary for second rate spoiled/ruined players era.

    Bulls right now let's face it like all Chicago teams usually are, are a joke. Giants, Yankees, Lakers etc. big towns with big teams. Chicago, not so much. For Derrick's sake and Jo's(and Lu's) I wish they would get traded to soembody comitted to winning. Cause it sure isn't the profit gouging buttface Jerry Reinsdorf. But complacent always in attendance enabling Bears and Bulls fans kind of deserve what they get. Yuppies, you know who you are, thanks for the hard work you do, but you absolutely ruin any hunger competitve edge local franchises might otherwise possess.

    Cubs, Bears, Bulls, this town is toast. I'll watch other teams on NFL Ticket and NBA Pass, and dream of a day when I can watch winners again on the teams I will dormantly anguish for until that someday comes.

  • The lack of 3point shooting, lack of athleticism and probably to top it off....too many one dimentional players that will hurt you on defense or offense so the coach has to pick his poison. He tends to favor the defensive guys with nate robinson playing the part of a poor man's derrick rose but of course he struggles in that role. The only thing I can think of is to have both hinrich and nate during crunch time, with nate playing the part of the shooting guard if he feels Hamilton can't get the job done late.

    They have that 14th spot and I understand your not going to get an all star but given how awful parts of our bench are, they could possibly get a decent bench player. The Bulls lack scoring and another quality big. It's pretty scary to think if something happens to our 3 frontline rotation of Noah, Boozer and Gibson....Radmanovic and Nazr will take those minutes......yuck. There is Christ Douglas Roberts and J. Johnson, probably the two best prospects in the dleague and of the veterans there is Kenyon Martin who I thought did well in clipperland last year. Available wings would be Pietrus, Quentin Richardson. Maybe they can pull a small trade, get Korver back for Rip Hamilton if we give them a second round pick with cash.

    What bothers me is that the mainstream Bulls media has kind of been taking shots at Thibodeau for playing Nate and not Hinrich, they also seem upset that Hamilton is not in the 4th quarter. Listen, they have every right to criticize Thibodeau but the blame should be at management's moves. They overpayed Hinrich, they went with an old backup center instead of a younger one, they gave radmanovic a guaranteed deal. The only thing I can't fault them with is the Belinelli signing since we pretty much all thought he would be better, he just looks lost out there. This is not all Thibodeau's fault, half of this roster looks like hot garbage and kind of reminds me of that 2009-10 Bulls team that featured the likes of Jannero Pargo and a fat overweight Aaron Grey with that team struggling to score. That team went 41-41, this new look Paxson mix might even struggle to hit that mark.

  • And we now enter the 5th stage of grief...Acceptance and moving on. I like the idea of playing Teague and Butler a lot more. If mediocrity is the high ceiling then take it apart. 'Sometimes you have to know when to blow up the 'Enterprise'. " Capt. Kirk or Alex Knapp

  • Doug, I can save you a lot of time and effort with future analyses: the Bulls' roster blows!

  • does any other team have a staring guard whose stats are as absurd as Kirk's? Any other team have that little two way production from their starting one guard? If this continues I bet they could not even get a second round pick for him at the trade dead line.....Of course it is not all about Kirk but Pax's love of him has hurt the team. They have no assets for a trade but at least they have few long term commitments. the issue becomes who will want to come play with D Rose next year if this batch of dolts keeps playing so poorly.

  • This is all about the Bulls owner's Chicago White Sox folks. He has to rake in the profits that the dumb Bulls fans selling out the UC to keep chasing high priced free agent players to sign for his sacred baseball team. Someone that has value will have to be traded on the Bulls cause there is no quick resolution to fix this team. Rose, even though I know he wont, should come back extremely PISSED when he does return cause this Bulls team is a complete mess and waiting on the euro guy is not the answer no matter how much Bulls fans continue to hang their hopes and dreams on the guy being a savior or something. And Noah was right when he said a line up change wont fix this team. This team needs a make over and I think Noah and maybe some of the other guys knows it. And some of these fans need to stop trying to blame Thibs, its not his fault that he was dealt a talentless group of players.

  • got a chance to see chris douglass roberts and he looks good. He had 31 points with nice jumpers and dribble drives. He might be that energy bench scorer we've been looking for. The Bulls should take a hard look at him. I'd take a chance on Roberts instead of a burned out veteran like Quentin Richardson.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I wouldn't. CDR is a scrub... Always has been and always will be.

    Although QRich is pretty much on the tail end of his career he brings 2 things...3pt shooting and case someone tried to hard foul Rose.

  • Bulls Management makes me sick to my stomach. They just keep repeating the same cycle. They bring in a bunch of talented players through draft that all the fans love: Thabo, Asik, Aldridge, Gordon, Chandler, etc. Then once there up for contract let them walk to another team or trade for smaller contracts in order to save cap space. They also do the same for the veterans they bring in: Kurt Thomas, Joe Johnson, CJ Watson, PJ Brown, Korver, Brewer, John Sally etc. were all good pieces to a better puzzle, but in typical Bulls fashion once it's time to pay these guys they let them walk and replace them with garbage: Hamilton, Radmonvich, Hinrich, Belineli, Mohammad, etc. There excuse for making these moves is to bring in a winner which has thus far been supposedly Ben Wallace and Carlos Boozer. So if we are keeping score that makes us 0 for 2 and now there doing the exact same thing again. Give away all our precious pieces for a supposed winner and over pay for a loser. The problem I have with that strategy is that we already have a winner, Derrick Rose. It's just a matter of putting the right pieces around him, and we've had the pieces but keep giving them away and use up all the teams salary cap on garbage like Wallace and Boozer. I would have prefered we not signed anyone at all instead of Boozer. Because then we would have had the money to resign Asik, Taj, Korver, Brewer, and CJ. I would rather have all 5 of those guys over the crap we have now including Boozer in day of the week.

  • the only way to fix a problem is to get to the root of the problem. It's not the players fault, it's the management. Its time for Reinsdorf to sell the team because we need new ownership badly. It's also time to send Paxson, Foreman, and all the rest of the trash in the front office that's stinking up the Chicago Bulls. The team that Micheal Jordan, the best player ever in the history of basketball brought 6 championships too.

  • i think your 3 part offensive scheme is causing you to underestimate the impact rose could have (if totally healthy) on the team. looking at the 4 factors instead, its conceivable rose could provide a boost in every single one.

    eFG%: the most important. rose could boost this by providing shooting accuracy over what hinrich is providing. he also gets others wide open looks for themselves.

    ORB%: the bulls team ORB% was 41% when derrick was on the court last year.

    TOV%: derrick is a very high USG%, low TOV% player.

    FT/FTA: derrick has one of the highest foul drawing rates of anyone currently on the team.

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