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Bulls offense less Hoiball more like ‘Oy’Ball

like ‘oy, it’s a lot of turnovers’...ok so was this headline

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NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Chicago Bulls Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns, who, like the Bulls, are a very young team not exactly trying to win just yet (the kids call it ‘tanking’), still managed to feel enough shame to fire their Head Coach already. Phoenix has gotten demolished in two of their three losses, with a paltry offensive rating of 91.6

The Bulls are below them at 90.4

Thanks to The Athletic podcast for that tidbit, and another saying that this is currently a historically-bad offense for as long as basketball-reference has been tracking games.

Of course, this has been just a two game-season so far. Here was Fred Hoiberg after the Spurs loss:

We had 20 turnovers that led to 23 points…that’s what kills you. A team goes on a run and they get easy ones, pick-sixes, you’re all of a sudden in a big hole.

Indeed the Bulls are 3rd-worst in the league with a Turnover rate at 17.5% of their possessions. It isn’t just those live-ball turnovers though, starting point guard Jerian Grant has really struggled to simply initiate the offense.

Warning: this is a difficult watch

Another: NSFW?

Grant was competent last year alongside more ball-dominant players like Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade, but seems mis-cast as a primary ballhandler. He’s actually had a high assist mark (averaging 6 of them in his 30 minutes per game) but is a primary contributor to the Bulls not running an offense with any flow.

His individual turnover percentage is at 20.1%. Kris Dunn should be back this week, and as early as the next game, though his TO% in over 1300 minutes as a rookie (that some Bulls observers will erroneously call a ‘redshirt year’) was 20.8%. And it’s natural to figure that the point guard can only be as good as who he’s passing to, with their best shot creators Nikola Mirotic and Zach Lavine still weeks away from playing, things may not improve very much. There was hope that the Bulls offense could simply jack up enough three-pointers to create some high-variability in their scoring outputs, but that’s seemingly stayed in preseason.