The Chicago Bulls currently hold a 32-23 record, good for fifth in the Eastern Conference. Now that the second half of the NBA season is among us, the Bulls might have to make certain changes to continue their success.
Chicago has already made one huge adjustment, and that was playing without its superstar point guard Derrick Rose. There are always areas to improve on, though, and the Bulls have a few, especially offensively.
The Bulls don't score a lot of points; they average just 92.9 points per game, ranking them 28th in the league.
One major adjustment Chicago must make is re-establishing Boozer as the focal point of the offense.
He is the Bulls' best scoring option and is their most skilled offensive player. According to Synergy, Boozer averages a solid .9 points per play, the second-highest among the starters.
During the month of January, Carlos Boozer put forth some of his best games as a Bull, posting averages of 19.5 points per game. Recently, however, his scoring has decreased; over his last 13 games, he has averaged just 13.4 points per game.
Establishing Boozer makes the Bulls offense better and helps with another offensive deficiency: points in the paint.
According to TeamRankings, Chicago ranks 19th in the league with 40.3 points in the paint per game.
It's hard for the Bulls to attack the basket since they don't have an elite perimeter player who can create his own shot, but they do have exceptional ball movement and a great post player in Boozer.
Per Synergy, Joakim Noah and Boozer combine for an average of 1.08 and 1.21 points per play on cuts to the basket, respectively. It's a testament to how good the Bulls' interior passing has been all season.
Noah has the highest assist percentage in the league for a center (according to basketball-reference.com).
Moving the ball doesn't always work against teams that pressure the ball well, though, and that's when Boozer comes in.
He is strong and quick enough to get by most of his defenders, but too often he'll settle for a mid-range shot instead of trying to get in the paint.
When he is aggressive, not only does he get easier looks, but he also draws contact and gets to the line more often.
When Boozer gets going early, he's hard to stop, and it opens up opportunities for everyone else when he draws in extra defenders.
Re-establishing Boozer as a focal point of the Bulls offense would make it more efficient. Such a move would open things up for those around him and allow the Bulls to control the pace of the game.
If the Bulls want to build on their success so far, they have to continue making Boozer the No. 1 option offensively.
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