Chicago Bulls winning is dependent on team assists
Going over the Bulls winning games where they blow out teams below .500 or playoff bound teams, there is one common denominator that proves Hoiball does work. When the team hits 25 or more assists per game, big scoring wins follow.
The Bulls are historically unstoppable when they are up by 21 points after three quarters.
Dwyane Wade may have been snippy about sharing the ball to win, but stats prove that the Chicago Bulls win in spectacular fashion whenever they move the ball around and find the best scoring option.
Jimmy Butler has also been criticized for holding on to the ball too long and opposing teams get to trap him into awkward corners and force turnovers or bad shots from him.
Too much has been said about the backcourt of the Bulls not being a threat from 3-point range and this may have been amplified by the Atlanta game where Chicago was leading by 10 points going into the last three minutes and lost.
But these games happen only if the team cannot score and the opponents make a run. The consistent bottom line here is that scoring is easy when the team shares the ball enough that Hoiball works by itself, building big leads and building onto leads off easy scoring.
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This generation’s NBA is rolling its dice on teams who can shoot the lights out and run the floor. The clear-path-to-the-basket, foul protection rule guarantees that forever. Sharing the ball allows a free guy a clear path to the basket. Or an open 3 in-rhythm which is what passing the ball around creates – shooting rhythm.
Which brings us to the Bulls’ woes on offense. They have been hovering around last place in the league in 3-point shooting for a while, then suddenly they get games where they can’t miss. What gives?
Sharing the ball.
In games where team assists run up to 22 or more a game, the Hoiball system turbocharged, the team does win in All-Star fashion against the weakest teams and against the strongest teams too. It is not a matter of schedule, the Oklahoma City Thunder are tough to beat no matter if they are coming off a back-to-back or are well rested. The Sixers came off games where they upset stronger teams, too, before playing the Bulls.
Against the Thunder, the Bulls had 25 team assists, and won 128-100 against one of the highest scoring teams in the Western Conference. Jimmy and Dwyane had a good 12 assists combined. Previous to this, they had 29 assists against the Philadelphia Sixers, winning 121-108. At the start of the season they blew out the Brooklyn Nets 118-88 on the road with 28 assists.
Fred Hoiberg’s team has been an enigma for the first three months, winning big in prime time games then having a tough time against weak teams in their second and third matchups. The Bulls even struggled to beat the Nets again, leaning on 40 points from Jimmy Butler.
If the coaching staff, the Three Alphas, and bench mob have one thing they can count on, if not the scouting reports, or the player mismatches, it is sharing the ball.
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No matter what anyone else claims about inconsistency, this team can shoot the lights out. If Jimmy Butler or Dwyane Wade learn anything out of their hissy fit with teammates who care about winning, they’ll have to score 40 points each, which Butler has done multiple times this year, or they won’t get the win. The Bulls have shown that they can score big and beat anybody when they share the ball.
The Bulls are 220-0 when leading by 21+ points after 3 quarters in franchise history.
— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) February 2, 2017
Between now and the trade deadline, Hoiberg’s team need to win consistently and win big just by sharing the ball. No one will be moved if the next few games show that everyone on the team has each others’ back. The Bulls won’t even trade Rajon Rondo despite public opinion if they remember that the system Fred is running depends on guys like him making others a threat on offense.
Share. The. Ball. Just like Hoiberg preaches.