The Bulls shoot 55 percent in the restricted area (29th in the NBA) and 32 percent on 3-pointers (28th in the NBA).
That’s a bad combination, and it goes a long way toward explaining why Chicago scores just 95.7 points per 100 possessions, the league’s third-worst mark.
But if there’s a bright side for the Bulls, fixing either their outside or inside issues could help the other area.
Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau, via Sam Smith of Bulls.com:
“Offensively, we can play better; we’ve got to make shots,” coach Tom Thibodeau said after practice Tuesday. “We got some extra work on our shooting today. We did work on our layups, so hopefully that will be better. We shot a very low percentage in the restricted area, so that’s something we have to improve.’’
“I think people are collapsing right now because we’ve got to make perimeter shots,” said Thibodeau. “That will improve the spacing. You have to be able to make some threes. I think if we do that, that will open things up.”
But how do the Bulls make more perimeter shots?
Based on their career 3-point percentages, Chicago should have made 10 more 3-pointers this season if each players stuck with the same number of attempts. Kirk Hinrich, who’s missed seven more 3s than expected, is the biggest culprit.
Perhaps, it’s just cold shooting in a small sample. But the absence of Derrick Rose hurts here.
When sharing the court with Rose this season, Hinrich made 43 percent of his 3-pointers. Without Rose, Hinrich has made 28 percent of his 3s.
Rose is Chicago’s primary ball handler when he plays, and he allows Hinrich to spot up beyond the arc. Now, Hinrich is handling the ball more, and that limits his ability to find good 3-point attempts. The same is true, to lesser degrees, for several other Bulls.
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The Bulls’ offensive rating is 28th this season and was 24th last season. In Rose’s last healthy year, 2011-12, is was fifth.
Thibodeau has yet to implement a scheme that successfully spaces the floor without the dynamic Rose dominating the ball. Granted, that’s not an easy task. But, unfortunately, it’s still necessary.