It’s been a rough start to the NBA season for the Chicago Bulls.

Wednesday’s OT loss to the Phoenix Suns without Devin Booker dropped the team to 3-6. So far this season, the Bulls have wasted one of two Alex Caruso masterclasses in the Suns game (at least they came back and won the Raptors game), a Zach LaVine 51 point game (loss at Detroit) and a Nikola Vucevic 20/20 game (loss at Dallas without Kyrie Irving). And these have been winnable games where the Bulls fail to close. Against Brooklyn at home in the in-season tournament, a ton of bad shots and failed defensive rotation showed the issues this team has in roster construction, coaching, and basketball IQ missing their point guard.

The season is still young. But with this iteration of the Chicago Bulls on the clock, as many NBA fans point to them as the next team to blow it up and start a rebuild, Arturas Karnisovas and Billy Donovan have some moves they have to make to try and save the season (and unfortunately, I don’t believe Karnisovas plans on one of those moves being to fire Donovan, so we are stuck with him).

Switch Patrick Williams with Torrey Craig

Luckily this move has already been made. It’s been clear that offensively, Williams just doesn’t work with the other Bulls starters. He plays much better on that end when he plays with the bench units, and that has proven true so far in a small sample size. Craig fits with the starters much better, as his defense is just as good as Williams’ if not better, and he has shown to be a better off-ball offensive player and 3 point sniper.

Use the last roster spot (or 2) on a wing and a big man

The Bulls have had three main problems: low basketball IQ decisions in crunch time, getting outscored a lot from 3, and getting outrebounded. They can’t completely fix these things without a big trade, but they can at least give themselves more options to fix those on a night to night basis. Some free agents to consider include Derrick Favors, Danny Green, Terrence Ross, Jaylen Nowell, JaMychal Green, Terence Davis, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Nerlens Noel, and TJ Warren. I would grab Robinson-Earl and one of Noel or Green.

Preach crashing the glass, moving for 3s, and pushing the pace

It may seem obvious, but I don’t see anybody besides Alex Caruso and Jevon Carter consistently do this. Don’t jack up threes just to say you shot more than 30, but we need to run better offense to get good threes off, rather than iso turns between DeRozan and LaVine. Get Vucevic to set a good screen, feed him the ball, force the double, swing it back out top for an open 3. Run the offense more through Vucevic and cut, and we will get more threes off and more will fall. Also crash the glass, as we aren’t going to outrebound teams often.

The Bulls also have taken advantage of turnovers a lot against the Jazz and Suns, their last two games. Every time they force a turnover they need to go on the fastbreak, because their halfcourt offense is struggling a lot right now. With Coby White, Jevon Carter, and Ayo Dosunmu, this should be posssible.

Play Coby White less, play Jevon Carter and Ayo Dosunmu more

The latter two have shot better than White, and played much better defense. Neither is a great playmaker with the ball, but White is only slightly better at that. Donovan made a huge error in the Dallas game, closing with a struggling White over a hot Carter. There’s no reason why White should be playing ~32 minutes a game compared to Carter playing ~16 minutes a game. It should be closer to an even split. As for Dosunmu, he has played great in his limited role of just ~10 minutes a game. He should be getting close to ~16 minutes a game, as he can do some of the things Patrick Beverley and Lonzo Ball have done for this team, pushing the pace, playing strong perimeter defense, and hitting open threes.

Run the offense through Vucevic more

Vucevic is a poor man’s Nikola Jokic. As is Jusuf Nurkic. The Suns have run a lot of action through Nurkic this season so far, and it’s worked very well, for a team also lacking a point guard. Granted, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker are a better pairing than DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, but to minimize turnovers and maximize offense, Vucevic needs more touches down low, to force double teams so you get open perimeter or midrange shots, or to get easy short buckets. It cannot just be LaVine or DeRozan getting screens from Vucevic, then not hitting him on the roll and taking a contested midrange shot. The offense doesn’t have to be this bad, even without the 3 point shooting and offensive rebounding.

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