- Bradford Doolittle, ESPN Staff Writer
On the surface, the Chicago Bulls have a lot working in their favor on the offensive end, even without Derrick Rose. In fact, the Bulls do all the things coach Tom Thibodeau emphasizes in his well-rehearsed responses to media queries regarding his attack: They play inside-out, swing the ball and get second shots.
Let's address those in order:
The Bulls run many of their half-court sets through the post, whether it's Joakim Noah in the high post or Carlos Boozer on the low block. According to Synergy Sports, just six teams get a higher portion of their shots from post-ups. Because of Chicago's emphasis on pounding the ball inside, the Bulls rank 10th in the rate at which they draw fouls. They swing the ball, too, leading the league in percentage of field goals coming off assists. Finally, the Bulls crash the glass, ranking ninth in offensive rebounding percentage.
You'd think that with all those factors, the Rose-less Bulls would be holding their own on the offensive end. They're not. Entering Friday's game against the Miami Heat, Chicago ranks 23rd in points per possession. The coach can praise the offense if he wants, but Chicago's winning record is almost entirely due to Thibodeau's fourth-ranked defense.
The Bulls' problem, as you no doubt have guessed, is shooting. And it's not just percentage. Chicago stands 24th in raw field goal percentage and 26th in effective field goal percentage, which gives extra credit for 3-pointers. Accuracy certainly has been an issue. Compounding that problem, however, has been the quality of the shots Chicago has taken. In effect, the collective location from where the Bulls get their typical shot ensures an inefficient offense before the ball ever leaves the shooter's hand.
Bradford Doolittle says the Chicago Bulls' poor shooting and shot selection expose just how much they miss Derrick Rose's attacking style.