DEERFIELD, Ill. – The 3-point shots are not falling thus far, so logically, the strategy moving forward will be to keep shooting.
With Derrick Rose's return, Jimmy Butler's promotion to the starting lineup and Mike Dunleavy's addition, the Bulls expected to take advantage of some outside shooting this season, but so far nobody’s aim has been true. Don’t expect the Bulls to abandon the plan now.
After three games, the Bulls are 29th in the 30-team league in 3-point field-goal percentage at .232. Only the Oklahoma City Thunder is worse at .221 percent. In addition, the Bulls are just 22nd in 3-point attempts at 18.7.
“The shots we want are inside-out,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We measure when the ball hits the paint and when we’re getting them (outside to shoot). We have to step up and make shots. We have to put the work into shooting.”
Dunleavy is shooting his 3-pointers at a 33-percent clip in the early going. Nobody on the team is better with Rose at 27 percent, Butler at 22 percent and Luol Deng at a rock-bottom eight percent.
“We’re giving up too many and not making enough,” Dunleavy said. “We have to do a better job of that. As far as why that’s happening, it’s a lot of different things on the defensive end. Offensively, you have to get into a rhythm get better shots and knock them down.”
There isn’t much the Bulls are doing right when it comes to their long-distance shooting game.
“I think we’ve had some good looks, they just haven’t gone down,” Dunleavy said. “There are cases where you have to be a little bit more selective. Hopefully we can improve on that as the season goes on.”
Against the Indiana Pacers' tough interior defense on Wednesday, the Bulls are going to need to score over the top.
“You need shooting; that’s important,” Thibodeau said. “We have to take the right shots, play inside-out. I think Carlos (Boozer) and Taj (Gibson) have done a good job establishing us in the paint. Now we have to hit our perimeter shots.”