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The Bulls Offense Needs More McDermott

Chicago's offense is stagnant and lackluster, featuring more Doug McDermott could help.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Doug McDermott needs to become a constant fixture within the Bulls offense. Pegged to be the perfect coach for McDermott, under Fred Hoiberg thus far, he's merely been relegated to being a simple spot-up shooter. For a team that's struggled immensely on the offensive end this season, Hoiberg has failed to adequately use McDermott's skill-set to the team's advantage.

This isn't meant as a plea for McDermott to get more shots, rather it's a plea to have him more "involved" in the offense. When you look across the NBA landscape, elite shooters such as JJ Redick, Klay Thompson and Kyle Korver are used in such ways that bend defenses, that open lanes and opportunities for teammates. Up until this point, McDermott has done well in terms of "spacing" the floor for the Bulls as a spot up shooter, but his skill-set, much like the aforementioned players, can be utilized in a similar fashion.

Where most of McDermott's scoring opportunities and involvement in the offense come from are as a spot up shooter. According to's player tracking stats, 30.1% of McDermott's offense is coming from spot up situations, and he's been effective in that realm, scoring 1.05 points per possession, and ranking in the 79.9th percentile. This is exactly what McDermott what brought in for, to space the for the floor for the likes of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler:

At 43.1% from three this season, McDermott is one of the top shooters in the league, one in which defenses should be accounting for on a nightly basis. Hoiberg has done a decent job of calling out set plays to get McDermott open looks, more so with the second unit, but those have come sparingly. However, when ran, McDermott's been ready and able to convert:

But those plays are far and few between for McDermott, as Chicago's offense has been geared back towards "Thibs Ball" to accommodate specific players. The Bulls offense this season has been reverted back its stagnant and predictable form in years past. Where most of the movement comes in the initial action to make the first pass, it often results in a high pick-and-roll, Pau Gasol post-up from 12-15 feet or an isolation. Chicago's offense isn't hard to defend when it's results are the following:

Who's to say that the Bulls offense couldn't start with a double-staggered screen for McDermott? Or a pin down? Instead of that simple entry pass to the high post and cut to the corner we see so often? Guys such as Redick, Thompson and Korver are used in manners as such to ignite their team's offense in the halfcourt, and push the defense back on its heels. Those midrange post-ups with Butler or high PnR's with Rose aren't terrible plays, but if you were to combine those with the action of McDermott's movement it can open up everything so much more offensively.

The off-ball movement is the more critical aspect where McDermott continues to be so underutilized. More times than not, McDermott will stand waiting in one of the corners, big man standing at the elbow or the short corner. There's no instinct or emphasis from either the big man nor McDermott to set up a possible staggered, pin down, or flare screen. In terms of off-ball screens, per's player tracking states, Redick, Thompson and Korver's frequency on this specific play is above the 30% threshold. McDermott? 12%. As a team, Chicago ranks 27th in this category, at 3.1% overall.

And this isn't overly complicated stuff either:

Butler pushes McDermott through to receive the ball in an iso situation in the previously presented clip, as he pushes him through this could've been an opportune time for Bobby Portis and Gasol to set a double-staggered screen for Doug. All eyes are on Butler, but setting up weakside action with McDermott could've free'd him up for a jumper at the free throw line or a curl to the basket.

Here, instead of the entry pass to Portis on McDermott's side, why not have Kirk Hinrich enter it to Gibson, then join Portis to set another double-staggered screen for McDermott?

In the fourth quarter last night on this Butler post-up, as the ball is entered, every defender's head from Utah is lock in on Jimmy. This could've been an opportunity for Gibson and Rose to free up McDermott for a possible shot at the top of the key.

There needs to be more emphasis from Hoiberg, and at the same time there needs to be more assertiveness on McDermott's part. You want to see "Hoiball?" This is the first step.