With the recent absence of Derrick Rose, the Bulls have needed others to step up. In the past week, the Bench Mob has fulfilled the role. Kyle Korver is one member who has stepped up nicely.
Chicago Bulls swingman Kyle Korver is known for his exemplary shooting ability. In an interview conducted for the Bulls official website, Korver’s father Kevin revealed that “Korver” means “basket maker.” Although the original meaning had no connection to basketball, it is coincidental that the name belongs to one of the league’s three-point specialists.
In the past two games, Korver showed why he truly is a “basket maker,” as he scored a combined 31 points off of 11-16 shooting. Eight of the 11 made shots came from three-point field goals. It only makes sense for his three-point field goal percentage to be high. In this case, it is an impressive 72.73% (for the past two games).
Scoring is not the only offensive area Korver should be credited in. In Tuesday’s game versus New York, he was a plus-15. The more notable statistic though is Korver’s plus-24 game against Miami. His offensive presence has provided more than just scoring. Others are now able to flourish because of him. His shooting ability spaces the floor and attracts defenders in ways other players cannot. Even so, offense is not the only area Korver should be recognized for.
In the offseason, Korver knew he had to work on his defense, and the work is finally paying off. Coach Tom Thibodeau recently mentioned that Korver’s game against the Knicks has been “his best defensive game that he has had with (the Bulls).” He was hustling consistently as he dove for loose balls and went up to get three blocks. He also grabbed seven rebounds, the majority of them defensive. This improvement has come from all the effort Korver puts in outside of the gym.
“(Korver) puts a lot of time in.” Thibodeau said. “He studies. He watches a ton of film. He knows his opponent. He’s done a great job for us.”
Although Korver is known as a “basket maker,” he deserves recognition in other aspects of basketball as well. He hit vital three-point shots in the games against New York and Miami, but he had key hustle plays, rebounds, and assists that contributed to the wins as well, not to mention the effect his presence alone serves. Often Korver is associated only with shooting, but he has become much more than that.