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The Bulls lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals last season in five games. This was even with the Bulls blowing the Heat out of the United Center in the first game of that series.
Many people slated the reason for the Bulls downfall to no one in the backcourt to complement MVP Derrick Rose. The Bulls starting shooting guard last year was Keith Bogans, and while he wasn't terrible by any stretch, he didn't cut it in the starting lineup.
So, of course, the Bulls front office addressed the position in this past offseason when it signed Rip Hamilton, fresh of his buyout from the Detroit Pistons. Hamilton supposedly was what the Bulls lacked last season, a shooting guard who could shoot and guard.
While Hamilton has played well to start the season (besides from his horrific three-point shooting, which we'll get to later), there's another shooting guard on this Bulls roster that may have been the answer all along.
Brewer was already a phenomenal defender last year, for that is the primary reason he was brought to Chicago. But to start the year, Brewer has been the hottest jump shooter on the Bulls. Brewer is shooting 65 percent from the floor and 100 percent from behind the three-point line. Yes, 100 percent.
Brewer has clearly worked on his shot in the offseason, because he is shooting with absolutely no hesitation and sinking most of his shots. To be honest, I did not see this coming at all. I love Brewer for his defense, but whenever he pulls up for a jumper I yell at my TV. I can't help but wonder what the hell Brewer is thinking because he really isn't a jump shooter. Especially when he takes threes, I mean, doesn't he know he is a career 21 percent three-point shooter?
But he continues to make his shots. And don't get me wrong, I'm not completely sold on Brewer's new found stroke just yet. It's not even Brewer's fault actually.
It's Taj Gibson. Gibson started last season on fire with his jump shot. He was quoted two offseasons ago to have worked on his jump shot and that he will work on a three-point shot (similar to Derrick Rose's career path), and he really did deliver to start last season. He shot 65 percent from the floor for the majority of the beginning of last year, and Bulls fans everywhere were screaming sixth man of the year (even though he was actually starting during this stretch since Boozer was injured).
Once Gibson went to the bench, though, his shot started to decline until he looked like Dwight Howard when he would shoot. And he still does. His jump shot is awful.
He clearly can't shoot and last year he just went through a hot stretch where everything went in for him. My opinion is that Gibson worked hard on his shot and once he had that stretch he simply stopped working on it because he thought he was done. That's why he hasn't developed a three-point shot because he hasn't even finished developing his regular jump shot.
However, I digress. Taj Gibson just shows us that Ronnie Brewer needs to show us more before we proclaim that he is now a reliable jump shooter. Brewer should get more playing time until his jump shot returns to normal, if it does that at all.