Scoring is a premium in the NBA, and the Chicago Bulls could use all of the offense they can get. Thus far, the Bulls have moved the ball well, but without many scorers, they have had some trouble finding the basket.
It is time for the players on the Bulls’ roster to bring out their best offensive moves. The Bulls will need their players at their best going forward.
Looking at the Bulls’ roster, beyond Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton, there are not many proven scorers. The Bulls struggled offensively during the preseason and have had some scoring droughts in the early stages of the season.
Until Rose returns or the Bulls trade for another scorer, the struggles will continue.
Whether the offense comes from Boozer, Deng or someone else is irrelevant. The Bulls need offense from everybody.
Here is what each Bull does best.
Despite his brief, unimpressive performances in a Bulls uniform, Vladimir Radmanovic is a reliable three-point shooter from the corner. A career 38 percent shooter behind the arc, Radmanovic has punished opposing defenders with the long-range shot.
It has a high release point that forces teams to play him carefully. Once Radmanovic sets his feet, it is lights-out.
Radmanovic’s best season from the three-point line was the 2005-06 season, in which he played for both the Seattle Super Sonics and the Los Angeles Clippers. He hit 138 threes, and he shot 39 percent.
Jimmy Butler’s development is currently underway. With an offensive game that needs polish, Butler’s points come from hustle plays more often than stylish plays. That said, his putback dunk is his best weapon.
What makes that offensive move his best is that it not only energizes the crowd, it gets the team excited as well.
Nothing can pump the fans faster than a powerful slam, and Butler definitely adds the "oomph" in his putback dunk.
His timing for the rebound is impeccable, and his leaping ability always leave fans wanting to see more.
Bulls’ fans may not get to see Marquis Teague much this season. That has more to do with him learning the NBA game and less to do with his talent.
He has the speed to compete with the defenders in the NBA, but he must learn the nuances of how they defend. Fans will not get to see his dangerous jump shot off the dribble.
It is Teague’s best shot.
With his quickness, he can get it off at any given time during his dribble. The high-arching shot is hard to defend as long as Teague shoots it with confidence.
Bulls’ fans must root for blowouts if they want a chance to witness it.
Nazr Mohammed shooting his jump shot from the elbow.
Most fans know Nazr Mohammed for his rugged, defensive play. His elbow jump shot comes as a surprise.
The 14-year center has never scored points at a high volume. His offense will sneak up on a defender if they allow it to happen.
Put Mohammed in a game. If you do not pay any attention, he can score 10 points in the small amount of time that he has been on the court. Out of those points, two may come from an offensive rebound, and the remaining eight points come from the elbow jump shot.
The Bulls signed Marco Belinelli as a replacement for the departed Kyle Korver. Belinelli’s task is to provide as much scoring as he can while playing reasonable defense.
Belinelli is an unknown entity after playing for the New Orleans Hornets, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. The casual Bulls' fan may not be familiar with Belinelli or the way he plays, but that is because he has yet to show his quick release jumper.
Belinelli can create his own shot from anywhere on the basketball court at any time. He catches the pass and unconsciously releases his jumper with great results.
Now that Taj Gibson has signed his contract extension (via NBA.com), he can continue to sign his posters, featuring the foolish defenders who challenge him when he dunks. Gibson dunks the basketball with such ferocity that fans cringe when they see the replays.
These dunks have two effects: They ignite the fans, and they make defenders shy about guarding the post.
Gibson changes the complexity of the game whenever he is able to unleash his dunks on an opponent. The Bulls usually go on a stretch run afterwards. The dunks become energy boosters on both sides of the floor for the Bulls.
Nate Robinson does not dunk the basketball as much as he used to, but when he does, there are few players as exciting above the rim. His throwdown dunk is one of the best slams in the NBA.
The three-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion has played calm and under control for the Bulls thus far. He has been distributing the basketball more (5.3 APG), and he has not forced his shots.
Bulls’ fans may get to witness Robinson unveil his best offensive move at some point in the season. It is safe to say that they prefer Robinson helping the Bulls notch victories instead of providing highlight reel dunks.
There is nothing flashy about Kirk Hinrich’s game. He does not have an array of circus shots, nor does he "wow" anyone with great vertical leaping ability. What Hinrich has in his arsenal as his best offensive move is an old-school layup.
If you had to use one word to describe Hinrich’s layup, "textbook" would be the perfect description.
Hinrich’s layup is hard to block because he turns his body into the defender as he throws the ball off the glass. Unless he is fouled, the layup always goes in.
As much as Bulls’ fans are unwilling to admit it, when Carlos Boozer’s fadeaway jump shot is falling, it is one of the most unstoppable offensive moves in the NBA.
It is a low-arching shot. The trajectory of the release makes it easy to block. As long he gets a little bit of space and shoots it fast enough, he scores with it regularly. Boozer has tried to perfect his fadeaway jump shot over his career, as his athleticism has declined.
The Bulls are relying on Boozer to make his shot while Derrick Rose continues to be on the mend.
As the season progresses, Boozer’s low-arching fadeaway may prove to be the Bulls’ best source of offense.
Richard Hamilton will run his defender into constant screens while chasing him around the basketball court. Right after his opponents tired themselves out from chasing him around, Hamilton shoots a deadly pull-up jumper.
The pull-up jumper has been Hamilton’s go-to offensive move during his entire career. Hamilton has a career scoring average of 17.4 PPG, primarily using the pull-up jumper.
When Hamilton is not running around screens, he lulls defenders to sleep with a subtle dribble and his quick release.
Joakim Noah has three offensive moves: the whirling jumper, the left-handed layup and his two-handed power jam.
Noah’s best move of the three is the power jam.
When the ball is in Noah’s hands, good things happen. He is an excellent passer and ball-handler. When he catches a pass in the low post, he throws down a monster dunk and shouts out his battle cry.
Noah’s offense has improved this season, and opposing teams have taken notice. His jump shot is falling with more regularity, causing teams to guard him honestly and not sag on him. This will give Noah more opportunities to drive past defenders for more dunks.
The mid-range jumper has been one the NBA’s most reliable shots. Several players from the past, including Dale Ellis, Ricky Pierce and Bob Love, have used it as their primary shots.
The mid-range shot is an offensive move that Luol Deng has perfected. His mid-range jumper is arguably one of the best in the NBA.
There is a work of art to Deng’s shot.
Deng gets his feet set along the baseline to await a pass. Once he receives the pass, he takes a step forward and tosses a high-arching shot. The shot’s high release lessens the possibility for it to be blocked.
Before his ACL injury, Derrick Rose was becoming a complete offensive basketball player. Rose was shooting and making his three-point shots during clutch moments (via ESPN.com). His post-up game was also showing improvement.
Before Rose was able to rely on those shots, he used a running layup in the paint as his best offensive move. That running layup is what I call “The Floating Dagger.”
“The Floating Dagger” could come at any given point during a game, from any angle on the basketball court. When he used it, the shot either began a scoring run for the Bulls or ended a scoring drought. It also ended the hopes of the opposing team.
What makes “The Floating Dagger” dangerous is that Rose added a different wrinkle to it every time he used it. It always kept defenders antsy, as they never knew when Rose would pull up and take the shot.