Chicago Bulls Offense Needs to Run Through Their Big Men

By Justin Ullestad
Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images
Jonathan Daniel – Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls offense is set to look a lot different than it has over the past five years in 2014-2015. Before Derrick Rose suffered his multiple knee injuries, the Bulls offense basically ran through him; lots of pick-and-rolls plays and isolation basketball. For the past two seasons, the Chicago offense has been forced to run through Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. Although both those players are capable of directing an offense, the pieces weren’t in place for the offense to be effective as the team was built around Rose being the centerpiece (worst offense in the NBA during 2013-2014 season).

With the pieces the Bulls have added over the past few weeks, this team looks and will operate much different then it has in recent years. Carlos Boozer, one of the highest paid players on the roster, has been told that he will not be with the Bulls next season, whether by trade or amnesty. Last season, he split minutes with Taj Gibson, a defensively gifted true power forward whose offensive game has come along over the past few years. Basically, Gibson has become an upgraded version of Boozer who can actually play defense.

Now, with the recent addition of Pau Gasol, the Bulls have a Three-headed Monster of a frontcourt. The pairing of Gasol and Noah could be devastating for opposing teams. Add the rotation of Gibson, and teams in the East are terrified.

With Derrick Rose coming back from injury, and still some inexperience and uncertainty at the wing position, the Bulls offense should be worked from inside-out. With Noah and Gasol both able to play on the block and the elbow, the versatility of the team’s offensive sets and pick-and-roll plays are virtually endless. Noah and Gasol are two of the best passing big men in the game, plus both are 6-foot-11 and 7-foot, respectively. Size, skill and a winning mentality are just three of the things this pairing gives the Bulls. And with adding shooting and good health, their role in the Bulls offense could be devastating to opposing defenses.

Aside from the new three-headed monster in Chicago, the addition of Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott give the Bulls flexibility at the “four” spot, scoring, and overall offensive skill that the Bulls have lacked over the past few season. Between these five players, along with second-round pick Cameron Bairstow, the Bulls frontcourt rotation could be one of the best in the NBA. And if Rose is able to give some of the offensive load to his big men, the Bulls offense will be drastically better than it was last season.

Justin Ullestad is a Chicago Bulls writer for Follow him on twitter @justin_ullestad. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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