The Chicago Bulls didn’t do well in the 2022-23 season.
They not only ended under .500, but, also, as shown on NBA.com, they ended with an offensive rating of 112.8.
In comparison to the rest the league, that left the Bulls offense as 24th out of all 30 NBA teams.
To put it frankly, the Bulls offense was bad. But how did it get to that point?
For some, hearing that the Bulls have issues scoring is baffling.
How? They have two elite scorers in DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine? How can they be struggling to score?
Well, despite the successes of those players, the Bulls’ total amount of points per game was at the bottom of the league.
Specifically, as shown on RealGM, the Bulls scored a total of 113.1 points. That’s 22nd in the league below teams like Portland and Washington, both of which didn’t make the playoffs.
That shows that they had major issues offensively, especially when LaVine and/or DeMar were out.
Also, they didn’t give themselves enough chances to set up themselves after bad possessions.
When looking at the offensive rebounding stats, the Bulls were 28th in the league with 8.5 rebounds per game.
Basically, they couldn’t recover quickly enough after bad possessions and allowed the opposing team to gain possession instead.
Another issue that the Bulls had was their assist numbers.
For fans and analysts, this issue is much more understandable because of the Bulls’ lack of shot creation.
Mainly, they left those responsibilities to their stars: LaVine and DeRozan.
As shown on ESPN, LaVine averaged 24.8 points and 4.2 assists on 48.5% from the field and 37.5% from 3-point range.
These numbers were really good from an individual standpoint, but, as shown by his four assists, LaVine would likely take the shot when he gets the ball.
DeRozan’s a different case.
DeRozan averaged 24.5 points and 5.1 assists on 50.4% from the field.
What makes his case different is how he plays. His game has an old-school 90s spark to it.
He constantly takes dribbles, pump fakes, and finishes tough mid-range shots and lay-ups. Those basketball moves are amazing to watch but they tend to take a while. Thus, they didn’t usually lead to many assists from teammates.
As shown on RealGM, the Bulls averaged 24.5 total assists (20th in the league)
And on NBA.com, their assist percentage was 57.5% (23rd in the league)
Essentially, the Bulls’ assist numbers took a hit because of how reliant the team was on LaVine and DeRozan. Of course, they were amazing, but they didn’t seem to have many consistent weapons besides them.
One of the more glaring, and possibly more important problems the Bulls dealt with was 3-point shooting.
As show previously, the Bulls were highly reliant on the offense of DeRozan and LaVine, both of which aren’t prominent 3-point shooters.
LaVine was decent from three taking 7.1 and making 37.5% of them.
That’s about 1% above the 36% league average so he was a respectable threat.
DeRozan was a bad 3-point shooter taking only 1.9 and making 32.4% of them.
That’s 4% below the league average and well below the average amount of 3-point attempts.
Essentially, more often than not DeRozan wouldn’t take many threes, and was highly likely to miss them when they did.
As shown on ESPN, besides LaVine, there were only a few other players with more than three 3-point attempts:
-Coby White (4.6 attempts)
-Nikola Vucevic (4.2 attempts)
-Patrick Beverley (3.7 attempts)
-Patrick Williams (3.4 attempts)
Many of those listed above weren’t even efficient besides White (37.2%), Williams (41.5%).
Every other Bulls player didn’t attempt many threes or didn’t get much playing time in general.
The Chicago Bulls had a bad offense due to 3 main factors: scoring, assist numbers, and 3-point shooting.
Despite how amazing they played, constantly leaning on LaVine and/or DeRozan offensively caused the overall offense to take a hit. It may have worked in late game situations but, without accurate talent around them, it doesn’t work.
Hopefully, over the course of the off season, the Chicago Bulls will make some moves to change that.
Stay tuned for more NBA content, including midseason moves, contract updates, and more pieces about every team.
Featured image courtesy of Benyame Kidane-sportingnews.com
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