Ever since Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls engineered a championship-caliber team, the constant pressing question has always been about finding a consistent secondary scorer to play on the floor next to Rose. But maybe the problem isn’t as pressing an issue as we think.
It’s true, there is only one player on the team who can consistently create their own shot, and that’s Derrick Rose. However even with that limitation, the Bulls can still have an above-average offense with a three-tiered approach.
Arguably the biggest misconception about Rose is that he takes too many shots. Within the context of the offense, this is untrue.
When Derrick Rose attacks the basket, the whole defense is forced to adjust to him. Even if he misses the shot, he sets up the rest of the offense by drawing the defense in and bringing the opportunity for offensive rebounding and tip-ins by the Bulls’ frontcourt. The Bulls are an excellent offensive rebounding team, so they are able to take advantage of these opportunities.
According to Basketball-Reference, the Bulls lead the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage over the last two years. They can use these extra opportunities to dominate teams in second-chance points.
Last season, the Bulls struggled mightily in the fast break. While Kirk Hinrich has many strengths, pushing the ball in transition is not one of them. When the Bulls pushed the break, awkwardness ensued. I can remember distinct times that Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer fast breaks ended with disastrous and hilarious consequences.
Enter Derrick Rose.
Rose is one of the best players in transition in the league, and he’s already proved that during preseason play. Jimmy Butler is also a hyper-athletic shooting guard who runs the floor well. Joakim Noah will complement Rose and Butler on the fast break. With a defense as strong as Chicago’s, transition should be one of the key aspect of their offensive game.
This is by far the best plan Chicago has. The Bulls have arguably the best passing frontcourt in all of basketball with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, and they create opportunities for each other. Jimmy Butler and Luol Deng are also above average passers for their position. Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy come off the bench and can also augment the ball movement.
One of the Bulls’ biggest strengths is their passing and versatility, and their offense can take advantage of this. The San Antonio Spurs run an offensive system that is predicated on passing, and Chicago is attempting to implement a similar system to take pressure off of Derrick Rose and the offense.
Chicago is a team that may not have a whole lot of individual offensive talent, but that does not mean they don’t have talent. The combination of shooting, passing and offense from defense can make Chicago into a more than capable offensive team to complement their elite defense.