The Chicago Bulls Defense: A breakdown of mishaps and fixes

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Closely behind the drop coverage issue for the Bulls is paint presence on defense. The Bulls allow 50.4 points per game in the paint, which is 27th in the NBA. The Bulls do produce 51.2 points in the paint on their own but don’t be fooled, their offense is much better than their defense.

The Bulls have minimal presence in the paint, and this has to change quickly.

One big straggler in this area is Nikola Vucevic. It’s obvious if you have watched him play on the Bulls that he struggles to defend his assignments in the paint.

Refer to 0:24-0:29 in this video for some evidence. Jonas Valančiūnas is an excellent center in the NBA and is arguably having one of the best offensive seasons of his career.

But, Vucevic will see centers like him all the time for his assignments, and in this particular game, he let him have 26 points on 12/15 shooting.

Vucevic isn’t the only issue. Lauri Markkanen is a large defensive liability. He’s so much of a defensive liability in the paint that Donovan has tried him at the #3 spot in games.

This needs to change quickly. However, over time and with experience and practice in the defense, newcomers like Vucevic and Daniel Theis should be able to get a better grip on the defense.