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C.J. Watson: Why the Chicago Bulls Do Not Need Another Backup PG

Backup point guard CJ Watson is coming off an impressive performance against the Dallas Mavericks. Watson had 13 points and 2 assists.
Backup point guard CJ Watson is coming off an impressive performance against the Dallas Mavericks. Watson had 13 points and 2 assists.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Bob BajekAnalyst IIINovember 22, 2010

There has been a bit of a movement between sportswriters and Chicago Bulls fans that the Bulls need a better backup point guard than C.J. Watson.

During Friday's 88-83 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, Watson dispelled that idea with a solid performance off the bench.

Even though power forward Taj Gibson had 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds and Derrick Rose had 22 points and 6 assists, Watson provided a spark off the bench to give the Bulls a half-time advantage.

Watson played sizable minutes in the second quarter. He had some big shots and provided tight defense on the Mavericks' star point guard Jason Kidd to give Chicago a 39-35 edge going into the half.

When filling in for Rose or shooting guard Keith Bogans, Watson scored 13 points on 4-for-9 shooting, had two assists and two rebounds in only 17 minutes and 33 seconds of action.

He had some nice moves on Kidd for a couple baskets, including a nice running hook for nothing but net.

Watson provided some decent passing too, as passing is his biggest weakness as he is a shoot-first point guard. He did have 2 turnovers, but he could have had a couple more assists if Noah and Gibson would not have bobbled tight passes down low that cost two easy jams.

When Rose was in the game with Watson, the two combined into a formidable duo. Rose and Watson were extremely fast in transition and opened up scoring options for their teammates.

Watson's crucial role in Friday's victory should not come as a surprise. When the Bulls acquired him by trading a future second round pick to the Golden State Warriors, it was regarded as a steal.

In 2009-10, Watson averaged 10.3 points and 2.8 assists in 27.5 minutes a game. He has a career shooting average of 45.6 percent to give Chicago a possible offensive spark off the bench they have been lacking in recent years.

The 26-year-old Watson can also go on scoring binges, as he did last year.

Last December, he scored 10 or more points in nine out of 10 games, averaging 13.2 points. Between February 10 and March 11, he poured in double figures in 12 of 13 games, including six nights with 20 or more points and 40 points against the Sacramento Kings.

This is not too shabby for a backup who is replacing an ineffectual Jannero Pargo.

And that's all Watson has to be, Rose's backup. His role on the team is to play 10 to 12 minutes a game to spell Rose and provide an offensive spark.

With Rose and Watson leading the offense, upgrading the point guard position is not a high priority.

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