Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Motion Offense

I was watching the Spurs/Nuggets game last night and I felt deeply unsatisfied with the way both teams played offense. It was, frankly boring to watch. Basically they both run a lot of isolations (especially Denver) and try to go one on one with their best matchup and then crash a boards. It's not particularly beautiful basketball to watch. And it made me realize that as stagnant and aimless as the Bulls offense can look during in spells, particularly when they're not hitting their mid-range jumpshots, they play a basic motion offense that is, when it's clicking really quite extraordinary. Again, without a certifiable interior scorer, it hinges on them stroking their jumpers somewhat consistently, but as the players on our squad become more confident and consistent (Lu, most notably) the motion offense begins to become very, very difficult to stop. More than that, though, it makes for very entertaining basketball. My brother remarked to me this weekend that the Bulls play like an "All Star College Team," which I think is a pretty apt description. Aside from the reliance on the pick and roll (which you don't see as much of in college) they really don't play typical NBA style half court sets. I think that's part of what makes them hard to figure out both as a spectator and for the defenses.

3 Comments:

Blogger Eloy said...

I agree with you, watching Spurs/Nuggets game last night was boring. I know the NBA is a league of stars and if you have a big time star you can win games. But, watching one on one basketball over a seven game series is not my idea of entertaining television. Some of the most pleasurable basketball I seen the past years was Final Four Illinois team. Watching the Chicago Bulls somewhat reminds of the that Illinois team with the fluid player and ball movement.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has an interesting article about the Bulls offense.

The Bulls' draw-and-kick offense that utilizes many wrinkles, including screen-and-rolls and pick-and-pops, is rendering this series one less about matchups and more about movement.

In other words, it doesn't matter if Eddie Jones guards Ben Gordon or switches onto Luol Deng, or if the Heat counters with the more physical James Posey on Deng. If the Bulls continue to get such fluid player and ball movement, swinging the ball from strong to weak side, somebody's going to be open.

"And our guys are good enough shooters that they'll knock down their fair share," lead assistant coach Jim Boylan said.


Yes, it all depends if the Bulls continue to hit their open shots. With the addition of Big Ben, if the team misses shots they have a good chance on getting a second or even a third try at the basket. This is killing teams, they play defense only to have the miss shot tip to a Bulls player or rebounded by Big Ben.

3:17 PM  
Blogger BenGo07 said...

Nice post, Noce. You should use your keys to the blog more often.

We talked about this earlier in the season during the whole suspenseful Pau period, but I'm not convinced the Bulls need a big-time low-post scorer. The more this team matures, the more consistent they'll be at hitting those medium-range jump shots---just look at Deng's improvement---and you've gotta figure the less we'll see of those infamous offensive lulls. (Or if they do crop up, they won't last for half a period at a time.)

How this series plays out will be really telling on that front: If they can knock off the defending champs without a dominant low post threat, then I'd be fine with them essentially standing pat and addressing their low post needs through either the draft or a mid-level free agent.

5:32 PM  
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3:54 AM  

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