Bulls Season In Review: Kyle Korver

By Randy Holt
Chicago Tribune Photo (Nuccio DiNuzzo)

In the somewhat mass exodus that took place out of Salt Lake City last summer, the Bulls wound up with three former members of the Utah Jazz’s roster. While the biggest name to come out of the three was Carlos Boozer, the Bulls’ signing of Kyle Korver was also a noteworthy one.

Korver was brought in for one purpose: to shoot the basketball. His career with both the Jazz, and the Philadelphia 76ers prior to his Utah days, demonstrated that Korver was an exceptional guy to have hanging out behind the three point line, whenever someone needed to hand it off.

Coming in with a career shooting percentage that hovered around the 40’s, Korver brought that same accuracy to the Bulls, even if it wasn’t always so obvious.

He did struggle a bit, just as Ronnie Brewer did, to not only fit with this Bulls team, but actually make his shots as well and demonstrate consistency. While the 42% he shot from beyond the arc this year is about on par with his career totals, it doesn’t quite match up with the 54% he dropped with Utah the previous season.

Korver did prove to be a key player for the Bulls, at times. He wasn’t a completely integral part of their offense all the time, but Korver proved to be a big part of the Bulls’ runs over the course of the 62 games they won, dropping the big shots from deep to put the proverbial dagger in the opposition.

He proved to be big time in the first round of the postseason, against the Indiana Pacers. Korver didn’t light up the scoreboard by any means, but he hit big shots in the fourth quarter throughout the five games of that series, as the Bulls never actually put away the Pacers in a convincing manner.

But after those shots against Indy, Korver was more of a negative aspect of Chicago’s series in the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat.

He shot just 7-of-22 in the series, including shooting 1-7 in Game 2. But perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Korver’s play in the postseason was the fact that Tom Thibodeau left him in in key moments to play defense on Dwyane Wade, even when Korver was failing to make shots.

However, despite his horrid performance against Miami, Korver can still be an asset to the Bulls, at least offensively. His shooting ability opens the game up for the Bulls’ no. 1 scoring threat, Derrick Rose. While his defense is nothing to write home about, he will continue to be a part of this Bulls offense, as long as he doesn’t endure the types of shooting woes he struggled with during the winter months.

Much of what Korver’s involvement with the Bulls will be in 2011-12 depends on what the Bulls do in addressing the two-guard. With Keith Bogans possibly departing as a free agent, Korver and Brewer would be the two options for the Bulls at shooting guard, meaning more minutes for Korver than last season. Of course, all signs point to them making some sort of move in regard to that spot. Stay tuned.

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