Once Tom Thibodeau became the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, he changed the culture of the team. With a defensive mentality, Thibodeau’s stingy defensive schemes have been beneficial to the Bulls. Defense can lead to offense, but that has not been the case for the Bulls. Their lack of perimeter scoring and shooting should be Thibodeau’s main focus going forward in the young 2013-14 NBA season.
Oct. 29, opening night against the back-to-back defending NBA Champs Miami Heat, the Bulls fell behind early because they failed to make perimeter shots. As a team, Chicago shot 7-26, 27 percent from behind the arc. The low shooting percentages from three have been a trend in the immature season: 21 percent against the Philadelphia 76ers and 33 percent against the Indiana Pacers. In their only win of the season the Bulls still only managed 21 percent against the New York Knicks.
The three-point shot has been a very important part of the NBA game. Surrounding great players with good role players has proven successful as of late. The Heat went out and signed Shane Battier, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to assist LeBron James. Chicago tried the same thing this season by signing players like Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy. On paper, it has worked out — Hinrich is shooting 45 percent from three and Dunleavy 36 percent.
But all the other perimeter players for the Bulls have struggled horribly. Loul Deng is shooting 6 percent from three and Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler are both only managing 25 percent as well.
A 1-3 start is not the way Chicago wanted to start the 2013-14 NBA season. Thibodeau’s perimeter players need to do a better job hitting outside shots so that they can help spread the floor. Spreading the floor can help Rose get to the bucket more, could get Joakim Noah more offensive rebounds, and could help the Bulls half-court offense.
Scoring has been a struggle for the Bulls, and until they can hit a consistent perimeter shot, teams are going to load the paint and not let Rose get in the paint to create for his teammates.