Kyle Korver, Chicago Bulls' Secret Weapon: Closing the Deal Kyle Style

Taurean BaxterContributor IApril 20, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 13: Kyle Korver #26 of the Chicago Bulls tries to get a referee to make a three-point call after a shot against the New Jersey Nets at the United Center on April 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Nets 97-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When a team features the league's MVP, it's hard to see what others bring to the table.

Unless you're a true fan, what teams do starts and stops with their superstars. Derrick Rose has been at the forefront of Chicago's stampede to the top of the standings, but he has had a little help from his friends.

Perhaps buried under the hoopla of the 2010 offseason was the player brought in to quell one of the team's biggest problems.

That problem was perimeter shooting; the player is Kyle Korver.

The Bulls may have struck out on the LeBron/D-Wade sweepstakes, but shored up its weaknesses with the additions of sharpshooter Korver and low post presence Carlos Boozer.

The reality is, they never needed a home run hitter. They needed guys to step in and do what they're good at. Korver hasn't had a stellar season in terms of individual stats, but he has shown up in a big way.

While Derrick Rose averages more than 37 points in the matchup against Indiana, it was the stroke of Korver that set the table for each of the team's two playoff wins.

Kyle has been pretty special late in games this season, which is exactly why he was brought in. Last season, he led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage.

This year, his percentages took a bit of a hit, but it hasn't stopped him from making a significant mark for the team with the league's best record. Kyle Korver is no Kobe Bryant, but steps up under the bright lights and delivers late in games.

During the season, Korver made 56 three-pointers in the fourth quarter or overtime, by far the most in the NBA. He's also quietly the Bulls' fourth scoring option, occasionally exploding on offense.

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Korver is known to be a bit of a liability on defense, but he is a willing defender under the guidance of coach Tom Thibodeau. Maximum effort is all a coach can ask for. And with Thibs, it's the expectation.

With Rose and Boozer demanding double teams, it's key to have a dead-eye shooter ready to fire.

Korver will be huge moving forward because he will benefit from the attention paid to Rose and others. As clutch as Korver has been, the knock on him is that he passes up good looks at times for fear of disappointing the team.

I believe it serves him well to shoot the ball any time a defender gives him airspace, especially a shooter of Korver's caliber—a guy with game-changing ability from the outside.

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