The Bulls’ biggest need: to hit some shots

The 2009-10 Chicago Bulls offense. So far.

The 2009-10 Chicago Bulls offense. So far.

Through three games, the Bulls’ shooting has been terrible. Maybe even worse than terrible. Chicago currently ranks 26th in Field Goal Percentage (.413), 29th in Effective Field Goal Percentage (.427) and 30th (a.k.a. dead last) in Three Point Percentage (.163). Not to state the glaringly obvious, but being one of the worst shooting teams in the league is never a good thing.

And the problem isn’t limited to jump shooting. The most depressing number of all is this: the Bulls have missed 37 layups in their first three games (or an average of 12 missed bunnies a game). No, really. They’re 32-for-69 so far this season when trying to lay the ball into the hoop: 8-for-19 versus San Antonio, 10-for-21 versus Boston and 14-for-29 versus Miami. Good teams — heck, even average teams — should probably be able to hit at least 50 percent from point-blank range…right?

The kinda-sorta good news? The Bulls have faced some stiff defense. In fact, the Heat and Celtics currently rank first and second in Field Goal Percentage Defense (.386 and .391, respectively). So maybe things aren’t as bad as the early returns make them look.

Still, if Chicago develops a reputation as a team that can’t shoot, opponents are going to clog the lane (which will greatly diminish Derrick Rose’s effectiveness) and dare the Bulls to beat them with outside shooting. Which is already happening to an extent…and it hasn’t been working out very well for the Bulls.

Let’s hope the Bucks — currently ranked 19th in Field Goal Percentage Defense (.447) — can help the Bulls up their shooting a bit tonight at the United Center.

5 Responses to The Bulls’ biggest need: to hit some shots

    Russell November 3, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    The Heat and Celtics are leading in opponents field goal percentage because…they’ve both faced the Bulls who are shooting terribly…because they’ve faced the Heat and Celtics who are leading in opponents field goal percentage because…

    Tony C. November 3, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    I certainly agree that they need to shoot better. At the same time, though, the team’s most pressing need is a new coach. Seriously.

    Matt McHale November 3, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Russell — I hear what you’re saying, but the Celtics also held the Cavs to 41 percent shooting in Cleveland. Of course, the Heat have played the Knicks and Pacers, so they might have pumped up their numbers by playing lousy teams. Obviously, any stats presented now are based on a very small sample size.

    Tony C. — I’m not necessarily going to disagree with you. However, the Bulls have missed a lot of wide open shots so far this season, not to mention 37 layups. You read that correctly: the Bulls have missed 37 layups in three games (32-for-69). What can coaching do about that?

  4. Bradon Buerger November 3, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    Most of those missed layups are redirrected tips at the basket that taj and Noah get and aswell as all the blocked shots that have occured

    Matt McHale November 3, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Bradon Buerger — I did a little research for you. Taj is 4-for-7 on layups this season, and Joakim is 7-for-14. So that’s a total of 10 missed layups between them, five of which were the result of blocked shots.

    That still leaves 27 missed layups among the rest of the team…which is still almost 10 per game.

    Bulls’ opponents have blocked 18 shots this season. I’m going to have to go back and check the play-by-plays to determine how many of those happened on layup attempts. But even assuming that all 18 were blocked layups, that leaves 19 missed layups that weren’t the result of blocked shots. That’s still an awful lot.

Designed by Anthony Bain