5 Reasons the Bulls underperformed and missed playoffs this season

Jimmy Butler, Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler, Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images) /
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Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls
Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images) /

3. The Bulls severely lack shooting on this roster

As I said before, the Bulls struggled mightily from long range during the play-in, shooting just under 28% from deep in the two games. This was common throughout the season, as Chicago made the least threes of any team on the season, with just 854 (10.4 per game). For reference, the Golden State Warriors hit 16.6 threes per game on the season, which means that the Warriors scored almost 19 more points per game from three-pointers.

This led the Bulls to an offensive rating of 113.5, which was the 7th-worst in the league this season. This was a stark contrast to the team’s expectations at the beginning of the year, which was that the Bulls would be an offensive-minded team that would struggle on defense. This was not true, as the Bulls did have a top-10 defense on the season.

The Chicago Bulls’ current roster construction does not maximize its offensive potential. This season, Zach LaVine was the only player that averaged 2+ threes per game, and just three other qualified players hit more than one per game — Coby White, Patrick Williams, and Nikola Vucevic. The league has shifted, becoming much more three-pointer centric, but the Bulls seem to be stuck in the 90s and 2000s era, which was the Golden Age of the midrange jumper.

This may be a symptom of the Bulls’ offensive approach, which revolves around DeMar DeRozan and a slow pace of play. Chicago saw difficulties with this scheme, especially in close games. This season, the Bulls went 15-23 in clutch games, which was the 4th worst mark in the NBA. This was one of the biggest factors that led them to miss the playoffs, as the team could not get the job done down the stretch. With the addition of more shooters, the Bulls will have more options and win these close games.