After watching the game last night, I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t pretty bummed out. We found out an important thing last night: the Indiana Pacers are the real deal and are going to be a tough squad to take down this year. They solved their big issue of having a weak bench this past offseason by adding Scola and Watson, and their superstar Paul George seems to just keep getting better, showing no signs of slowing down. Oh, and I forgot to add Roy Hibbert is just incredible at protecting the rim. Now, I am not saying that the Bulls can’t take down this Pacer team, but I did notice a few problems that Chicago may run into in the future.
Problem 1: The three point shooting has been very poor thus far
Through the first 4 games of the season, the Bulls have shot a miserable 25% from beyond the arc. The league has become much stronger from three-point range the past couple of years, meaning we will have great difficulty to keeping up with good teams this year. Now this low shooting percentage could very well be due to rust, because it is only the first four games. Hopefully, we will start to hit more threes as the season goes on, because this will only lead to more driving lanes to Rose and our slashers. If we don’t, it will only make it harder to contend with the powerhouses of the East.
Problem 2: We lack a consistent secondary go to scorer
Carlos Boozer showed us the first few games that he could possibly be the secondary scorer we needed him to be this year. Unfortunately, he went back to his old ways yesterday, scoring only 6 points and making the offense for the Bulls very average. Obviously, Rose is the focal point of opposing teams’ defenses, so it is imperative that we have a secondary scorer (who creates their own shot) to take the work load off Rose, as well as not allowing defenses zone in on him only. Getting someone like Gary Neal this past offseason would have been huge, or even being able to find a way to keep Nate Rob around (sadly we had no moneeyyysss). Jimmy Butler is capable of taking that next step, but he still might be a season or so away.
Problem 3: Zero Big Man Depth
It’s not a good sign that Noah has already had some injury setbacks so far in the season. Our team will most likely go as Noah goes, because we don’t have any Big Man depth. Although we are way more well off than the New York Knicks, it still creates a huge problem if our All-Star big man is dealing with injuries all year. There is no chance that we will be able to keep up with the Heat, Pacers, or Nets without Jo. But since our backup center is old man Nazr, Thibs is pressured to play Noah heavy minutes. By midseason, we need to find a serviceable big man to lower Noah’s minutes so he can be at full strength come playoff time.