Bulls Have No Go-To Scorer? Better Go To Offensive Boards

MILWAUKEE – When a team doesn’t have its go-to scorer, it needs something to go to down the stretch. In the case of the Chicago Bulls, that means having guys go to the offensive glass.

When the Bulls beat Milwaukee Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, they shot just 39 percent (32 of 82) compared to the Bucks’ 43.2. They had 16 turnovers worth 15 points to Milwaukee compared to 10 and 7 by the home team. Yet Chicago beat the Bucks with some Chinese water torture – they made 25 of their 26 free throws vs. Milwaukee’s 7 of 10 – and by dominating them inside for second opportunities. And third. And fourth.

Bulls’ offensive rebounding
Season OREB% Rank 2CPTS% Rank
2010-11 29.4% 4 15.2% 3
2011-12 32.6% 1 16.4% 1
2012-13 30.5% 6 16.2% 3

Through Saturday, 11/24
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive
rebounds obtained
2CPTS% = 2nd chance points / Total points

The Bulls outrebounded the Bucks 54-40, including a 20-10 edge on the offensive end. Seven of those came in the fourth quarter and most of those came in the final minutes, when Chicago broke an 81-81 tie with a 12-5 run over the final 5:22.

It was a statistical edge and a psychological bonanza, as the Bucks had to stay in and reset their defense for a half minute, sometimes a minute at a time. The Bulls shot a lousy 31.8 percent (7 of 22) in the quarter, same as the other guys, but got eight second-chance points. They dominated that category, 25-5, even more starkly than the boards.

“There’s a lot of things that can break you,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Sometimes you can block out great and the ball takes a funny bounce, you don’t get it. Or maybe it’s a result of, you get broken down off the dribble, you get help, rotation, now the ball’s up…

“So offensive rebounding. Defensive transition can break your spirit too. Those things reveal a lot. It tells a lot about the character of your team. People talk a lot about fast breaks, but the second shot is another part of easy baskets.”

By the second shot, a defense might already be broken down. By the third or fourth, a backup screen-setter can seem as dangerous as a missing MVP candidate named Derrick Rose.

For Milwaukee, it was starting center Samuel Dalembert who was missing. He was a late scratch prior to tipoff, with whispers that he might have arrived late to the arena, though coach Scott Skiles called it simply a “coaching decision.” Then there was rookie power forward John Henson, who had grabbed 18 rebounds off the bench in 27 minutes Wednesday at Miami. Henson logged only 1:18 vs. Chicago.

Mostly, though, it was the Bulls’ relentless work at chasing down their own misses that left Milwaukee in shambles late, as surely as if the guy in the No. 1 jersey had been doing the attacking. The Bulls rank fifth in the NBA in offensive rebound percentage (30.5). And this is despite the loss this season of backup center Omer Asik, whom NBA.com’s John Schuhmann shared had an offensive rebounding percentage of 14.2 over the past two seasons, best on his team.

“[Getting beat on the offensive boards has] happened to us before,” said Chicago forward Carlos Boozer, who got eight of his 19 rebounds on the offensive glass. “It’s kind of demoralizing, especially when you’ve played good defense for 22, 20 seconds. The shot goes up – they get the ball back! That’s tough.

“The more you go, the more you get.”


  1. Dawson Darrelson says:

    I wouldnt let Derrick Rose come off an ACL injury and play with this group of garbage players and risk stressing his body.

  2. bulls for the win says:

    the bulls are a solid team right now. they need rose back 100 percent healthy but we also need that one extra piece. if rip and boozer were in their primes this team would still be first in the conference. but we need someone like mayo or harden. if noah could give us 17 a night and deng 22 this wouldnt be a problem. we need our bench to step up and we need our star back

  3. bob says:

    The heat will not make it to the finals

  4. mike says:

    thats crazy i dont even like the bulls but they need rose back

  5. W/E says:

    THe bulls are so bad offensively, they got no talent but they can win some games in the playoffs by playing defence but thats all, D.Rose cant help much cause this team is weak,they gotta rebuild as quick as possible cause D.Rose has no chance winning anything with this weak Bulls roster considering the competition got even stronger.

  6. cool says:

    cooler than cool

  7. unkown says:

    heat rock with allen because of game wining shots and sometimes because of wade

  8. unkown says:

    the start of 2013

  9. Andrew Millis says:

    The Bulls will most likely get back to their dominating ways when they get Derrick Rose back. Who needs a go to scorer when they have a defense that they do. They also rebound great on the offensive end so they have more second chance points than their opponent.