The Surprise Shooting Successes of the Chicago Bulls
I’m not going to sit and here and tell you that I didn’t have my doubts. To be fair, it is VERY early in the season, but could it be true? As a team the Bulls are fifth in the league in 3-point shooting percentage at 39%, and the team is boasting three players who are shooting over 45%. Doug McDermott is shooting 46.2%, which isn’t a massive surprise considering many expected him to step up as the team’s marksman after the departure of Mike Dunleavy. The other two players who have been knocking down the three-ball at a high rate are Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler. You read that right, the two below average career shooters were both shooting 47.6% from beyond the arc heading into Monday night’s contest with the Orlando Magic. It’s hard to not get excited by these numbers, trust me I know, but these statistics must be taken with a grain of salt.
Last year, a season in which the Bulls missed the playoffs, Chicago finished third in the league in 3-point shooting percentage but 21st in three-pointers made per game. Similarly, heading into Monday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, the Bulls were fifth in the league in three-point percentage but only 15th in three-pointers made per game, at 8.9. Following Monday’s game those numbers fell farther as they now sit at ninth in terms of three-point percentage and 20th in threes made per game.
So what does all of this mean? Well the two teams who made the NBA Finals last season, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, finished one and two respectively in three-points made per game last season. While it’s certainly not a necessity that teams shoot the three ball well, most if not all of the elite teams in the NBA excel in that department. It’s important to remember that it’s way too early to judge whether or not the Bulls will be a good shooting team over the course of this season, but this start could possibly be a sign of positive things to come. Or, you know, it could be incredibly misleading and Chicago will end up regressing into exactly what we all expected them to be. But hey, at least it will be fun while it lasts.