With the playoffs just around the corner, there is one major issue the Chicago Bulls must solve: their stagnant offense.
The Bulls have a perfect system for the playoffs. They have one of the best defenses in the league and their half-court style of offense usually prevails during the playoffs.
Unfortunately, their offense is inconsistent at times, forcing their defense to do all of the work. While their defense can keep them in games, their inability to put points on the board stops them from taking over games.
The Bulls have to be more aggressive offensively to get easier scoring opportunities, and it starts with getting their two best offensive players involved early and often.
Carlos Boozer is a great post player who can be very effective when he attacks the paint.
Boozer's ability to shoot the ball is what separates him from other big men around the NBA. But his combination of size and quickness might just be as dangerous to opposing teams.
For the Bulls' offense to gain some consistency, they need to get easier looks at the basket. And in order to get those looks, they have to be more aggressive. Using Boozer's unique mixture of size and speed to get easy shots will give the Bulls an option in their half-court sets.
There are games where the Bulls don't look for Boozer in the post. However, in games where they go to him repeatedly, their offense runs like a well-oiled machine.
An aggressive Boozer will take the Bulls a long way, but they'll need more than one scoring option come playoff time.
That's where Luol Deng comes in.
Deng is a big component of what the Bulls do offensively. He might not be the most gracious scorer, but he's strong enough to get inside and is a pretty good finisher around the rim.
Deng gets a good chunk of his points from cuts to the basket, and it's an effective method, as he averages 1.2 points per attempt (per Synergy).
When opposing defenses can contain the Bulls' ball movement, however, Deng will settle for long jumpers, which aren't always the best option.
One way the Bulls can use Deng to make their offense more consistent is by posting him up.
He's not going to hit any MJ-like fadeaways, but he is strong enough to work his way into the paint. He has a crafty set of moves and fakes and is a solid finisher inside.
He does a good job setting up his hop step with a series of hard backdown dribbles and then is able to get defenders in the air with a pump fake.
If the Bulls establish Deng as a post presence, it could open other opportunities for them, especially out in the perimeter where the Bulls don't have a lot of success.
According to TeamRankings, Chicago averages 40.2 points in the paint per game. It's a good number considering the Bulls score about 93 points per game. But when looking at their low field goal percentage, it's clear that they're not being very efficient.
With Derrick Rose still out and no word on when he could return, the Bulls have to rely on their best players to score with the same kind of aggression he had.
The Bulls already have a great system and their ball movement is impeccable. If they can add some consistent, one-on-one scoring closer to paint, they will be one of the tougher playoff opponents.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!