Here’s what the Chicago Bulls need to break their five-game losing streak

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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chicago Bulls, Donovan Mitchell
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Bulls’ defense is atrocious. To give you some perspective, the Bulls rank 24th in the NBA in points allowed per game (114),19th in defensive efficiency, and 26th in opponent field goal percentage (47.6 percent).

The Bulls finally have some personnel on the team to be active on the defensive side of the floor. Daniel Theis is an avid defender of the paint, Troy Brown Jr. is a big and athletic defender, Al-Farouq Aminu has been a perenially solid defender his entire career, and Vucevic can also defend the paint.

So, what’s the problem?

One problem is the drop coverage in pick-and-roll situations. Under head coach Billy Donovan’s defense, the defender guarding the screener drops back to protect against the roller and the ball-handler. Most times, this causes the ball-handler to have an open jump shot, or it creates an uncomfortable two-on-one situation.

The ball-handler in these situations scores 41.8 percent of the time, ranking 18th in the NBA and in the 56th percentile of that defense. The Bulls give up 20.8 points per game to the ball-handler in PnR situations, ranking 21st. Worse off, the Bulls give up 8.7 points per game to the roller, which ranks 25th in the NBA.

What’s the solution?

One solution to solve PnR situations is by forcing the big man to hedge, or flash defense against the ball-handler while the other defender runs back in position.

The others solution is to mix up the defense. Bulls fans have seen flashes of the Bulls and Donovan using a 2-3 zone. Maybe it’s time to mix up the defensive presence and force opponents to think about what they need to do each possession.