The three-point shot in basketball can be a very dangerous weapon. It can solely win a lot of games for you throughout the season or it can really hurt a team by not making enough. The old saying is “you live by the three or you die by the three.”
The Chicago Bulls lack of knocking down three-pointers is doing neither.
The Bulls came into this season thinking they had enough perimeter scoring to keep defenses from packing in the paint. They signed veteran Mike Dunleavy Jr., and drafted two rookies in Tony Snell and Erik Murphy to help stretch the floor. The Bulls were pretty dreadful from three-point territory last season, ranking 29th in three-pointers made and attempts and 21st in three-point percentage. So adding these acquisitions should be alleviating some of those issues. Well it hasn’t quite worked out yet.
Dunleavy hasn’t quite found his rhythm with the team yet. He’s getting open looks, just been unable to knock them down consistently. Snell and Murphy are not getting any time on the floor, so they can’t contribute. The Bulls perimeter starters are struggling as well. Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Luol Deng are a combined 12-for-62 from behind the arc, which is 19 percent in six games. Shooting that horrific won’t win you many games.
It does make Bulls’ fans wonder, should they have kept Kyle Korver who is one of the best shooters in the game. Also, they let go of solid perimeter guys like Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson. Will letting those players go backfire on the Bulls? Only time will tell.
So the question remains, do the Bulls have enough shooting to contend? These guys can actually shoot the basketball and it can’t get any worse. Dunleavy was brought in to be that three-point specialist and eventually he will find his shot. The rest of the players have to keep shooting if they get open looks and those shots will fall. Coach Tom Thibodeau likes to play inside-outside and let’s D. Rose penetrate in the paint and dish outside. That type of offensive attack can work, but the Bulls have to start knocking down shots so this offense can start clicking.