The Chicago Bulls found success running their offense through Joakim Noah last season, but will that trend continue when Derrick Rose returns? Noah led the Bulls to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference by dropping dimes from the high post.
The Bulls should continue to let Noah operate in that role when Rose returns next season. Tom Thibodeau likes to let Rose play the two-guard and operate off the ball. This shifts the defense and allows Rose to focus on scoring instead of trying to facilitate. Rose plays well off the ball because his speed is hard to match on the court.
Rose slashing and cutting off Noah in the fourth quarter would give the Bulls’ offense some variety late in games. When Rose was healthy, their late-game offense usually consisted of giving him the ball and standing around waiting for him to make a play.
With Noah facilitating the Bulls won’t have the option of standing around, because Noah is not going to score on the block consistently. Players moving around the court will create gaps for Rose and everyone else to be effective.
When Noah is distributing, his defender has to come away from the basket in an attempt to take away his passing angles. With one less defender near the rim, Rose and Jimmy Butler would have more space to drive and finish.
The defense will key on Rose no matter where he is on the floor. The team is that much tougher to defend when the basketball and Rose are on opposite sides of the floor. Noah took his game to another level, and showed he can get the most out of players who are true scorers.
How far will the Bulls go when the Noah the world saw last year gets to play with a dominant scorer like Rose?