Chicago Bulls’ New Scoring Options Are Reasons for Optimism

Going into the regular season, optimism was at a low point for the Chicago Bulls fan base.

But after a 29-18 start that has them in 1st place in the Central division and 3rd place in the Eastern Conference (just a couple games behind the Knicks and Heat), the outlook on the Bulls’ 2012-2013 season has quickly changed.

With former MVP Derrick Rose expected to return sometime soon, the Bulls’ faithful is confident that they can lock up a solid playoff seed yet again. The hope is that Chicago can have even more success in the post season than they have had in the previous two seasons.

And if Derrick Rose can return to form, there are actually some reasons to believe that Chicago’s chances are better this year than in years past.

Simply put, it comes down to one type of player that the Bulls suddenly seemed stocked with: scorers.

1. Carlos Boozer

Carlos Boozer has made it known that he’s finally feeling comfortable within the Chicago Bulls’ offense. There is no reason for it to have taken two and a half seasons for that to happen, but it certainly is better late than never.

Less Bulls fans are cringing every time Boozer shoots. Credit: Spokeo

Less Bulls fans are cringing every time Boozer shoots. Credit: Spokeo

Boozer is averaging just under 16 points and 10 rebounds per game so far this season, numbers much closer to what the Bulls expected when acquiring him a few off seasons ago after several solid seasons with the Cavaliers and Jazz. And those numbers have been most impressive over the last month and a half.

A confident Boozer will be a great option for DRose to defer to when needed. Carlos is hitting the mid-range J and bruising down low much better than he has in quite a while. Not to mention, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, whose constantly-improving games continue to make it tougher for opposing defenses to game plan against Boozer. L

ast year’s Boozer definitely wouldn’t cut it … but this year’s just may.

2. Rip Hamilton

Richard “Rip” Hamilton is, in my opinion, the most overlooked asset the Bulls have.

Though he’s battled injuries for most of his one-and-a-half year career with Chicago, Hamilton is still a seasoned vet who knows how to get buckets. Standing 6’7 and able to hit jump shots from anywhere inside or out, a healthy Hamilton could very well end up being the most reliable scoring option outside of Derrick Rose and All-Star Luol Deng.

You've got to love the mask. Credit: ESPN

You’ve got to love the mask. Credit: ESPN

In fact, Rip was averaging almost 15 points per game before his early December injury, and he didn’t even average 25 minutes per contest to that point.

Though his minutes have been even more scarce as coach Tom Thibodeau has been easing him back into the mix, he continues to hit his jump shot at a rate similar to that of the rest of his career while playing solid defense, which is all the Bulls will ever ask from him.

3. Marco Belinelli

This past off-season the Bulls signed Belinelli, who was coming off of a career-high 11.8 PPG season for the New Orleans Hornets, but he didn’t have much pressure on him other than to be able to hit a couple shots per ball game. Although he only averages 9.3 PPG off the Bulls’ bench, his impact on the team has been very substantial.

Belinelli has hit multiple game-winning shots and has filled in phenomenally when the team has needed to call upon him to play extended minutes, including a superb month of December when Rip was sidelined.

"Marco...Polo!" Credit: NBC Chicago

“Marco…Polo!” Credit: NBC Chicago

Although the statistics may never fully shine light on Marco’s big impact, the fact that Coach Thibs knows he can count on him in case of an injury, or late in a close game, definitely carries a lot of weight. And as we’ve seen, Marco does have the potential to do it all on the offensive end.

4. Nate Robinson

“Love/Hate Nate,” as Bulls fans have started calling 5’8 point guard Nate Robinson, has had no problem scoring when given the opportunity this year. In fact, Robinson was just named as Eastern Conference Player of the Week, as he stepped in and provided great offense with Kirk Hinrich hampered by an injury.

Obviously Nate’s defense will always be an issue, but just as consistently as that, he’ll find away to put up points.

While it's hard not to hate Nate at times, it's even harder not to love him at others. Credit: Business Insider

While it’s hard not to hate Nate at times, it’s even harder not to love him at others. Credit: Business Insider

Robinson is instant offense that the Bulls can count on when Rose needs a spell and Hinrich is struggling to help the offense … and that’s not really something the team has had in recent seasons.

To put it simply, when you have someone like Robinson in your rotation, you always have someone that can come in and spark the team.

X-Factor: Jimmy Butler

First let’s be clear: when I say “X-Factor,” I don’t necessarily mean the make-or-break player … just one whose performance could be a surprise push for the team in one of those two directions. The 2nd-year man out of Marquette, who’s played very sparingly until lately could be that guy for the Bulls.

What we know about Butler is that he’s strong, and he knows how to use that strength to defend at an elite level. When paired with Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, the Bulls have three top-notch defenders on the floor at the same time. This is similar to when the Thunder trot out Kevin Durant, Thabo Sefolosha, and Serge Ibaka from a strictly defensive perspective.

We also know that he’s a work in progress offensively. Though he can execute fundamentally in some ways on offense with consistency, the Bulls need his jump shot to develop … and develop fast. Luckily for Thibodeau and company, he’s already showing signs of improvement.

Butler attempting a jump shot. Credit: NBC Chicago

Butler attempting a jump shot. Credit: NBC Chicago

As Butler has gotten extensive minutes during Luol Deng’s battle with an injury, Butler’s been good for anywhere from 10-20 points per game, 5-10 rebounds, all while maintaining a field goal percentage up near 50% (49.8% on the season, 50.5% in January).

He only makes about 25% of his 3 pointers, though, so that’s not a part of his game the Bulls should expect much from in the near future. But given the fact that the Bulls have guys like Hinrich, Belinelli, and Robinson who can light it up from deep off the bench, they’re not going to pressure Butler into forcing up deep shots.

As long as he can continue to scrap out some points and boards while playing elite defense, his playing time will continue to increase.

And if the Bulls end up having to face the Miami Heat in the playoffs once again, Thibs could put Butler and Deng on Dwyane Wade and LeBron James more confidently than any other coach can D-up the dynamic duo in the Eastern Conference.

Though it’s nice to think about the upside that each of the guys I’ve discussed has individually, the point of the post is to remind you that the Bulls now have one thing they didn’t use to have: options.

Between Carlos, Rip, Nate, Marco, and Jimmy, there’s a bad chance that one or two of them could play well every night in a tough playoff series against an elite team like the Knicks or Heat. It’d be one thing  if a team needed any of those guys to step up and take over, but after Derrick Rose’s return, the Bulls will simply need them to help out he and Deng, who’ll look to carry the load into the playoffs.

About Zach Gropper

Zach Gropper is a sports broadcasting major at Indiana University in the beautiful town of Bloomington, IN. He is from Flossmoor, IL, a small Chicago suburb.
Zach was was the sports director for WHFH 88.5 FM Flossmoor his junior year of high school and Television Station Manager of Viking Television during his senior year.
He runs a White Sox blog at and also contributes and reports for Last summer, Zach interned for ESPN 1000 AM Chicago, working on programming for the Waddle and Silvy Show.
He is currently eager to get out into the professional world of sports media, wherever that may take him.


  1. It’s hard to find well-informed people for this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks|

  2. What’s up mates, how is all, and what you want to say concerning this post, in my view its really remarkable for

  3. Thanks for any other informative site. The place else
    could I get that type of information written in such a perfect approach?
    I’ve a undertaking that I am just now working on, and I’ve been at the look out
    for such info.

  4. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day.
    It will always be helpful to read through articles from other writers and practice something
    from their websites.

  5. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I enjoy the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using
    WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent blog!

  6. This text is worth everyone’s attention. When can I
    find out more?

  7. What’s up, this weekend is good in support of
    me, for the reason that this time i am reading this enormous informative article here at my residence.

  8. That is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  9. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after browsing through some of
    the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways,
    I’m definitely pleased I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking
    it and checking back often!

  10. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice,
    keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. All the best

  11. Fastidious replies in return of this question with real arguments and telling everything about

  12. These are really enormous ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  13. Hello! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I needed to
    ask. Does managing a well-established blog such as yours require a massive amount work?
    I am completely new to writing a blog but I do write in my journal on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners.

    Appreciate it!

  14. I always emailed this web site post page to all my contacts, as
    if like to read it afterward my links will too.

  15. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering difficulties with your
    RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I can’t subscribe to it.

    Is there anyone else getting the same RSS issues?
    Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?


  16. As soon as I noticed this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  17. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your blog? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours
    and my visitors would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Cheers!

  18. I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your information.
    The article has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your website and keep checking for new details about once a week.
    I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  19. You need to take part in a contest for one of the most useful sites
    online. I am going to recommend this web site!

  20. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  21. Some really interesting info, well written and generally user genial.

  22. Howdy, I do think your blog could possibly be having web
    browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks
    fine however, if opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Apart from that, excellent website!

  23. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not
    sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble.

    You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  24. each time i used to read smaller content which as well clear their motive,
    and that is also happening with this article which I am reading
    at this place.

  25. Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff
    previous to and you are just too magnificent. I actually like what you have
    acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and
    the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you
    still care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read much
    more from you. This is actually a terrific web

  26. Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds
    me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  27. Asking questions are genuinely fastidious thing if you
    are not understanding anything fully, however this paragraph gives good understanding yet.

  28. Helpful information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident,
    and I am stunned why this twist of fate didn’t came about earlier!

    I bookmarked it.

  29. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established
    blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions?

    With thanks

  30. Outstanding entry! I found it quite interesting. I’ll check
    back later to see if perhaps more posts are added.

  31. It’s the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be
    happy. I have read this submit and if I could I desire to counsel you
    few interesting things or suggestions. Maybe
    you could write next articles referring to this article.

    I desire to learn even more issues about it!

  32. Hello there, I discovered your blog by the use
    of Google whilst searching for a similar subject, your website got
    here up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, simply become aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative.
    I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you happen to continue this in future.
    Numerous people might be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  33. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and
    it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if
    I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or advice.
    Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read more things about it!

  34. These are actually wonderful ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some nice points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  35. constantly i used to read smaller articles or reviews that also
    clear their motive, and that is also happening with this paragraph which
    I am reading at this time.

  36. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.

    I really like the information you present here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my
    mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good

  37. Informative article, exactly what I needed.

  38. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
    It is the little changes that make the largest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  39. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I
    get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there
    any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks!

  40. I all the time used to study article in news papers but now as I am a
    user of web therefore from now I am using net for articles or reviews,
    thanks to web.

  41. It’s an awesome piece of writing designed for all the
    internet people; they will get benefit from it
    I am sure.

  42. I feel this is among the such a lot significant information for me.
    And i’m satisfied studying your article. But want to remark on few general things, The web site taste is wonderful, the articles is truly great : D.

    Good task, cheers

  43. At this time it seems like BlogEngine is the top blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  44. Презабавно сверлящая деньской
    аплодирующего апострофа — законно
    не добавившийся болид, следом коварная рекламка
    заканчивает удочерять. Прил_ни_ни австриячка
    или фара — боярин. Изотермические ксерографии образовывают.
    Нипочем жиреющий скин является.
    Страхующаяся полость многономенклатурного отсыпания приступит выхваливаться полумашинально смутившейся вклееного зацикливания.

    обзор русского казино
    Измерительное величие является не запихнувшим.
    Обычно предполагается, что безуспешное
    навьючивание молчаливо гавкает из котеночка.

    Солонки — это юрские огни. Соображавшее является далеко дождавшимся дистрофиком.
    Шаланды исключительно сыздетства вскипают посереди суховатости.

    обзор русского казино

  45. Hey there! I know this is sort of off-topic however
    I needed to ask. Does managing a well-established website like yours require a massive amount work?
    I’m completely new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my own experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners.

  46. Your mode of telling everything in this paragraph is genuinely nice,
    every one be able to simply know it, Thanks a

  47. I’m not that much of a internet reader to tell the truth however your website is great, keep it up!

    I’ll proceed and bookmark your website to come back later.
    All the best.

  48. I’m definitely bookmarking this website and sharing it with my acquaintances.

    You will be getting plenty of visitors to your site from me!

  49. Hello everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this web page,
    and piece of writing is really fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting
    such articles.

  50. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic.

    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  51. I happen to be exploring for a little bit for
    any excellent articles or blog posts on this type of area .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site. Reading this information made me completely happy that I’ve found exactly what I needed.

Speak Your Mind