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Bulls still struggling to space floor without Derrick Rose

Dec 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

John Henson, Marquis Teague, Ersan Ilyasova

The Bulls shoot 55 percent in the restricted area (29th in the NBA) and 32 percent on 3-pointers (28th in the NBA).

That’s a bad combination, and it goes a long way toward explaining why Chicago scores just 95.7 points per 100 possessions, the league’s third-worst mark.

But if there’s a bright side for the Bulls, fixing either their outside or inside issues could help the other area.

Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau, via Sam Smith of

“Offensively, we can play better; we’ve got to make shots,” coach Tom Thibodeau said after practice Tuesday. “We got some extra work on our shooting today. We did work on our layups, so hopefully that will be better. We shot a very low percentage in the restricted area, so that’s something we have to improve.’’

“I think people are collapsing right now because we’ve got to make perimeter shots,” said Thibodeau. “That will improve the spacing. You have to be able to make some threes. I think if we do that, that will open things up.”

But how do the Bulls make more perimeter shots?

Based on their career 3-point percentages, Chicago should have made 10 more 3-pointers this season if each players stuck with the same number of attempts. Kirk Hinrich, who’s missed seven more 3s than expected, is the biggest culprit.

Perhaps, it’s just cold shooting in a small sample. But the absence of Derrick Rose hurts here.

When sharing the court with Rose this season, Hinrich made 43 percent of his 3-pointers. Without Rose, Hinrich has made 28 percent of his 3s.

Rose is Chicago’s primary ball handler when he plays, and he allows Hinrich to spot up beyond the arc. Now, Hinrich is handling the ball more, and that limits his ability to find good 3-point attempts. The same is true, to lesser degrees, for several other Bulls.

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The Bulls’ offensive rating is 28th this season and was 24th last season. In Rose’s last healthy year, 2011-12, is was fifth.

Thibodeau has yet to implement a scheme that successfully spaces the floor without the dynamic Rose dominating the ball. Granted, that’s not an easy task. But, unfortunately, it’s still necessary.

  1. drago2012 - Dec 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    In order to win and score on a consistent basis in the NBA you need two super stars. Without Rose they have none. Bulls are made up of roll players and thanks to Thibs they won with mirrors and gimmicks , the luck just ran out and the Bulls are who we thought they were, an average NBA team. The problem is with the cheap ownership who only care about money. This is a crying shame that such a big sports market gets such a piss poor ownership. Management has been a failure for the last twenty years in drafting. Rose just fell in their hands by lock of basketball GODS and maybe as they say easy, come easy go!!! Lemarcus Aldridge wanted to come to Chicago and they failed to bring him in , after last nights shot by Lillard to win the game for Portland, the dynamic duo of Lemarcus and Lillard was born that could last for 15 years. I am season ticket holder and i am debating to renew my tickets for next year. I just don’t understand how the management claims that the games are a sell out when you are starting to see empty seats. I could not attend one of the games last week, so i put them up for sale on their web sight. Guess what? They did not sell!

    • blueintown - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      Cheap ownership that only cares about money? Remove your head from hind parts and observe the facts. Derrick Rose’s current contract is unprecedented. The Bulls have the fifth highest payroll in the league. They gave Carlos Boozer $80 million. Carlos Boozer! There’s a difference between being cheap and being prudent. If the current Bulls roster is indicative of his true nature, then this owner is neither.

      • chiraider - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        It’s funny that Jerry once told MJ “Players don’t win championships…organizations do.” What a joke. It’s that organizational mentality that I feel is partly the reason why no big names ever want to sign here. Boozer was signed for that ridiculous deal bc no other big name wanted to come here and they had to do something to save face. Every year the Bulls sit atop the league in revenues and attendance and it was not until recently that the team actually paid lux tax. This mgmt traded LaMarcus Aldridge on draft day for Tyrus Thomas and traded JR Smith for a cup of coffee! They got rid of Jamal Crawford for nothing…signed Ben Wallace, whiffed on numerous signings and trade opportunitites, etc. Rose fell into their laps with the 1st pick. For years the Bulls have needed a 2nd star to complement Rose & nothing ever gets done. Our mgmt is more concerned with adding “hard hat, lunch pail” type choir boys rather than bringing in a star or two that can fill it up. We’ve needed a solid 2 guard…how bout OJ Mayo? na, lets just bring back Kirk Hinrich. How bout trying to acquire a young high scoring post player like DeMarcus Cousins? Na, he’s too “troubled”…we’ll just sit tight with an offensive challenged Noah and undersized Boozer. How bout dealing Deng for a lottery pick to draft a player like Harrison Barnes? Na, we’ll just keep him (and probably re-sign him long term) even though he is getting older and has more miles on him than a city cab. The Bulls mgmt is so bad that it is disgraceful…Bulls fans deserve better.

  2. dinofrank60 - Dec 18, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    But how do the Bulls make more perimeter shots?

    All of a sudden, that’s not an easy question to answer, is it?

    Now, Hinrich is handling the ball more, and that limits his ability to find good 3-point attempts. The same is true, to lesser degrees, for several other Bulls.

    Could it be that the Bulls are poor at creating their own shots and have no system that enables them to take easier shots? Wow!!!

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