Monday, Nov. 29, 2010
By Mark Schanowski
That's the question being pondered by fans and media members around the league. Where do you weigh in? Will Carlos Boozer's presence force Derrick Rose to dramatically reduce his shot attempts per game or will he continue to attack the basket at every opportunity? Will the Bulls struggle for awhile trying to adjust to having a low-post scorer on the court? Please post your comments in the section below.
Personally, I think the Bulls might struggle a bit over the next few weeks trying to work Boozer into their offensive and defensive schemes. Rose has never had a low post scorer on his team to work with, and given his unselfish nature, I would expect he'll go out of his way to make Boozer more comfortable by getting him more touches on the block.
In case you haven't noticed, Rose has moved all the way up to number two in the league scoring race, and has the look of a player who could get 25 to 30 points every game if that's what the coaches want him to do. But he's always said winning is the only thing that matters to him, and if that means fewer shot attempts, I'm sure that won't be a problem.
So far, it's been nothing but praise for the equal opportunity offense introduced by Tom Thibodeau, but if Boozer's return means a less effective Rose, that could be a problem for the Bulls. It's become abundantly clear the Bulls are D-Rose's team, and without him attacking and pushing the tempo, they're much less effective.
Boozer did a good job co-starring with point guard Deron Williams in Utah, and he should thrive in screen and roll situations with Rose. But until those guys actually get into game situations and see what works and what doesn't, we won't know for sure what the Bulls offense will eventually look like.
Let's be clear. Signing Boozer was a great move, and eventually his scoring and rebounding ability should make the Bulls a threat in the Eastern Conference playoffs. But in the short term, the players and coaches will have some adjustments to make, so don't expect instant success once number 5 takes the court.
CIRCUS TRIP REVIEW
Let's hope the Bulls finally got the "circus trip" gorilla off their backs after going 4-3 on the annual November tour out west. Rose was spectacular, averaging 30.5 points per game, along with six assists and five rebounds. And, Joakim Noah continued his All-Star level play, consistently putting up double-doubles and making important hustle plays all over the court.
But let's not forget about the rest of the team. Luol Deng played heavy minutes at both forward spots, and did some of his best work late with games on the line. The Bulls also got a huge performance from Taj Gibson in the win at Dallas, and we saw signs of what the bench will eventually contribute with the performances of Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Omer Asik.
Watson did his best D-Rose impersonation in Denver, scoring 33 points, and almost singlehandedly carrying the Bulls to an unlikely win before Carmelo Anthony's buzzer-beater saved the day for the Nuggets. Watson may not be a true point guard, but he can score points in bunches, and might get more chances to play with Rose depending on match-ups.
Korver had his best game in a Bulls' uniform in the double overtime win in Phoenix, and it looks like Thibodeau is feeling more comfortable leaving him in games for longer stretches. Korver provides the 3 point threat that's so important to this offense with Rose attacking the paint, and forcing opposing defenses to collapse.
Thibodeau insisted his guys just focus on the next game, and not worry about the past history of futility on the circus trip. It's an approach that should serve this team well over the highs and lows of a long NBA season.
So, how many games do you think the Bulls will win over their 16 game schedule in the month of December? Should Gar Forman stand pat with the roster, or do the Bulls need another shooter to join Korver? And, how will Boozer's return affect D-Rose?
As always we appreciate your comments and feedback. Hope to see you out at the United Center this month. We'll be doing our pre-game shows live from the U.C. concourse on December 1st, 10th and 28th. Stop by and say hello.
Mark Schanowski hosts our Bulls pre- and postgame studio coverage with 15-year NBA veteran Kendall Gill. You can also watch Mark on SportsNet Central, Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 10 p.m.