Alex Caruso recently pointed to unselfish ball movement as a key reason for the Bulls' cohesive offense and their blistering start to the 2021/22 NBA season. The Bulls currently hold third place in the stacked Eastern Conference with a 12-6 record.
Chicago made key changes in the offseason, acquiring the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Derrick Jones Jr. Players such as Ball and Caruso have had an immediate impact with their elite defense and superior playmaking ability. Having unselfish players such as the two has allowed Billy Donovan the freedom to install a free-flowing offense that lets every player get a touch, hence masking their individual inefficiencies by finding better looks.
Alex Caruso, in an interview with HoopsHype's Bryan Kalbrosky, recently pointed to their free-flowing offense and selflessness as key reasons for them playing this well. He added that it was easier for them to play well with the ball moving as it leads to easy buckets in transition since it finds the open man. Here's what he said:
I think we have a good flow within our offense. We don’t have anybody that’s selfish so the ball hops around, the ball is moving, the ball finds energy. When you do that, it’s easy to play together. The ball is finding the open guys. I think in transition, that is where I’m at my best as an offensive player because of my ability to read defenses. I can make the right reads and find open shots for guys.
Acquiring guys like Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball, who are elite playmakers and are really good at making the right plays in transition, helps make coach Donovan's offensive system run smoothly. That, combined with having players such as DeRozan and Zach LaVine whose gravity pulls defenders away and helps free up their teammates for open buckets, makes Chicago's offense deadly to defend against this season.
The Bulls look like they could make some serious noise in a loaded Eastern Conference.
Can Alex Caruso and the Chicago Bulls make a deep playoff run this season?
The Chicago Bulls have come out of the gate guns blazing and currently sit in third position in an Eastern Conference that features loaded rosters such as defending champions Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets. The Bulls look solid at both ends of the court, with their off-season acquisitions looking like they are paying off.
Chicago has looked dominant and less reliant on superstar and franchise cornerstone Zach LaVine. With DeRozan lifting a lot of the offensive burden off his shoulders and Ball taking over playmaking duties, LaVine now has a lot more room to concentrate purely on scoring and playing good defense. He's averaging 25.9 points, 3.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 18 games this season and has been clutch for his team, hitting big-time shots whenever they need him to.
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However, the Bulls have come this far due to their stellar defense and their ability to out-hustle their opponents. Alex Caruso has been key on that end, pressuring elite ball handlers and using his superior basketball IQ to jump passing lanes and cause turnovers leading to easy transition buckets for his teammates. Caruso has picked up from right where he left off with the Lakers and looks set to make a playoff run with the Bulls.