Chicago Bulls: 5 Reasons the Team Is Built for an Uptempo Offensive Attack
The Chicago Bulls are off to the best start in franchise history since the championship era.
Their 13 wins are the best in the league.
They are undefeated at home (6-0) and have played 10 games already this season on the road (7-3).
While things look good I think they could be better.
I'm not talking about the struggles of Carlos Boozer or Joakim Noah. What I am talking about is how coach Tom Thibodeau could improve this team.
While MVP Derrick Rose has been out of the lineup we have seen how bad the half-court offense can be for this team. The Bulls have a stellar defense but their offense is just middle of the road.
The 95 points they score a night is 14th in the league. While their point differential is second in the league, look at how the 76ers are playing good defense and combining it with offense better suited to their players.
Because of this I think they would be better served running an up-tempo offense much more and here is why.
The Bulls are by far the deepest team in the league.
Their starting five of Derrick Rose, Richard Hamilton, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah are arguably the best starting unit in the NBA.
To go with those five, Coach Thibodeau has the "bench mob" at his disposal. The bench is made up of several players who have been starters or would be starters on many other teams around the league.
C. J. Watson has started 33 games over his five-year career and has shown he can fill in nicely for Derrick Rose. Over the past two games he has averaged 20 points while Rose has been out of the lineup.
Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer have started over 300 games including Brewer starting 10 games so far this season in place of Hamilton.
Taj Gibson started 89 games over his first two season with the Bulls including 70 his rookie season. Gibson along with backup center Omer Asik have been key in the Bulls' fast start. Numerous times they have replaced Boozer and Noah in the fourth because of their defense.
Let's also not forget John Lucas III and rookie Jimmy Butler.
The Bulls have the depth to outrun everyone in the league because there isn't a huge drop off between the starters and bench.
This goes a bit with the depth of the team, but the Bulls only have four players on their roster over the age of 30.
Carlos Boozer just turned 30 while Rip Hamilton will be turning 34 next month. The other two are "The Human Victory Cigar" Brian Scalabrine and recently signed guard Mike James.
Kyle Korver will make it five in March, but that will leave nine players under the age of 30.
The Bulls are extremely deep and have young, fresh legs and would be best suited to use that to their advantage against teams with a strong interior defense.
We all saw the effect Javal McGee had on the Bulls' half-court offense a week ago. With possible playoff matchups against the Knicks and Magic, having an up-tempo offense would allow them to attack the basket before Dwight Howard or Tyson Chandler could set up shop down low.
No Post Presence
I think we all know what the Bulls are going to get out of Carlos Boozer.
He is going to score 15 to 20 points a night with the majority of those coming from 15- to 20-foot jumpers. Not really the post presence the Bulls were expecting when they signed him in the summer of 2010.
Besides some dunks from Omer Asik and Taj Gibson, the Bulls score very little in the lane and Boozer isn't the only reason why. Joakim Noah has seemed to settle far too much for his "tornado" jumper and we have seen far less tip-ins and post ups.
The Bulls' four bigs move well up and down the court and would be best suited to run. More often than not they would be able to get down the court much faster then the players meant to guard them.
It would sure be nice to see Derrick Rose start hitting his bigs for some alley oops on the fast break.
Sometimes the best offense is a great defense and the Bulls have that for sure.
So far this season they are allowing the fewest points per game and the seventh lowest field goal percentage in the league.
For all the reasons I stated before with them being young, athletic, deep and lacking a true post presence, it makes it ideal for them to turn this great defense into some easy baskets.
They are a fantastic rebounding team on both the offensive and defense glass. They are second behind the Lakers in rebounds per game and allow the fewest on average. Also they are fourth in the league in blocks.
The only thing they don't excel in is stealing the ball.
Coach Thibodeau would be wise to tell his rebounders to look up the court the second they come down with the ball.
In a half-court set teams are able to collapse on Derrick Rose.
However in the open court there are few players in the league who can even keep up with the speedy guard.
If the Bulls became a more up-tempo team they would be able to avoid having guys like LeBron James and Joe Johnson line up on Rose.
Rose is dangerous cutting through traffic but he is even more so when he is one-on-one in the open court.