I'm not sure if this is some kind of psychological coping mechanism, or early onset senility, but I'm feeling pretty good about our bulls right now.
We're a jump-shooting team. We've known that for some time now. We've also known that when jump-shooting teams get cold, they can look downright awful. And we have: looked downright, godforsakenly awful. When you shoot .378 from the floor, and .294% from 3, you aren't going to win much of anything.
But shots are going to fall. Specifically Luol's, and Gordon's, and Hinrich's. What this cold snap has demonstrated isn't that our shooters are crappy, but what we already knew: they're streaky, and when the jumpers aren't flowing, the Bulls don't have a viable inside option to get easy buckets. The hope was for Luol to provide a post option, but thus far he hasn't. And on a side note, that may be a reason for Luol's surprising struggles: he's being put in a more central offensive role this year, one that requires him to create for rather than compliment the others. Most of the time, that creative role - breaking down defenses, dishing - was filled by Kirk. But as we've all noticed, he's been on the bench with that Danny Ainge (which is to say whiny) look on his face.
As a result there's been a lot of pressing. Gordon barreling into traffic and forgetting his limbic center at the top of the key. Nocioni with that feral, I'm-gonna-bomb-away look in his eyes. Luol slashing less and posting too often. For a team with so much supposed continuity, the Bulls look like they've lost their roles. But as you might remember from previous years, this is an annual event.
Relax. Tyrus is playing well, and Joe Smith might not be half bad in the post. We have an athletic seven footer who has yet to play. The defense remains stout (opponents shooting .386 from the floor) despite the functional absence of Big Ben, whose improving health may give us the rebounding needed to compliment our defense.
And the shots (we hope) are going to start falling.