Bulls vs. Timberwolves: Chicago's Kyle Korver Continues Hot Hand

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIJanuary 11, 2012

The Chicago Bulls' Kyle Korver has had a hot hand the past few games, and he continued nailing key shots in a 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday night.

Korver, who signed a three-year deal last summer to shore up the Bulls' perimeter shooting, opened the floor against Minnesota, hitting 5-of-6 shots and going 3-of-3 from downtown en route to 13 points.

During the last four games, Korver has averaged 13 points a night on 57.1 percent shooting.

Korver was especially key against the Orlando Magic, where Derrick Rose was playing with a bruised elbow. The 30-year-old sharpshooter scored 18 points on 6-of-8 and had three steals in the 97-83 win. 

Korver had nine points in the second quarter, as Rose was held to zero.

The following night, the Bulls lost to the Atlanta Hawks, but Korver had another solid performance. The 6'7" swingman played a season-high 35 minutes and scored 13 points. Outside his scoring, Korver also was effective finding the open teammate, finishing the night with five assists.

Korver cooled off a bit against the Detroit Pistons, shooting 2-of-7 from the field and being held to eight points. However, Korver was more valuable then those stats would suggest.

Since the offseason, Korver said he has been working on his footwork to improve his defense and movement off the ball. His presence on the court against the Pistons effectively opened the lanes for Rose and Luol Deng to score. 

This hot play comes as a relief coming off Korver's ice cold start to the season. In the first seven games, Korver averaged 4.9 points on 40.8 percent shooting.

For the Bulls to be successful, Korver needs to be the big-time shooter they signed him to be. Last year, Korver turned cold in the playoffs and couldn't do anything right against the Miami Heat. In that series, Korver was just 31.8 percent from the field with 3.8 points a night.

Korver needs to shoot over 45 percent and score more like he has if the Bulls are going far this year. With injuries to Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson, Korver has been demonstrating his worth to Chicago.

If Korver consistently provides solid shooting and scoring off the bench, the Bulls will be in good shape.


Bob Bajek is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Bulls. He is also a freelance reporter, and can be followed on Patch.com and Twitter.