Chicago Bulls: 3 Issues the Team Must Overcome Before the Postseason

James Tillman III@@JTILLMAN9693Analyst IMarch 13, 2013

March 10, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau watches game action against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the recent news surrounding the Chicago Bulls pertains to the not-so imminent return of Derrick Rose.

After all, it is only natural for the outside world to wonder when a player possessing Rose’s skill set will step back onto the court.

However, there are obstacles facing this team that are larger than whether or not Rose chooses to return this season.

Let’s take a quick look at a few of them.



Aside from Rose, several players have dealt with some form of injury this year, including Kirk Hinrich, Rip Hamilton and Taj Gibson.

While Gibson is expected to be back within a week or so, it is uncertain as to when Hinrich and Hamilton will return.

Hinrich’s absence is significant because he can play both of the guard positions and his 5.4 assists per game average indicates how well he runs the team's offense.

Although Hamilton is past his prime, he is capable of being an effective scorer when healthy.

That being said, the Bulls will need both players to some extent in order to finish the season on a strong note.

Offensive Struggles:

The Bulls are a strong team from a defensive standpoint and it is their third-ranked defense that keeps them in a lot of games.

However, the offense is ranked near the bottom of the league at 92.3 points per game and they are only shooting 43 percent from the field.

No matter how well the Bulls play defensively, they have to find a way to be more efficient on the other end.

If they continue to struggle in this area, it will be tough for them to win games, even against inferior opponents.


Short Rotation:

One of the key ingredients of a good team is depth, and this is something the team lacks right now because Tom Thibodeau has a tendency to rely on his starters to win games.

This is especially true with Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, who are both averaging close to 40 minutes per contest.

I don’t normally question Thibodeau’s methods because the players respect him and they give their all on a nightly basis without complaining.

But in order for the Bulls to be a formidable playoff team, Thibodeau will need to give his starters some rest and trust that his reserves will produce when he calls their number.