Take a team that is one scorer away from competing for an Eastern Conference title and add arguably the best scorer in the NBA – no-brainer, right?
Former NBA coach and Executive Vice President of the NBA Stu Jackson talked with Tom Byrne and Stacey King on SiriusXM NBA Radio about the various reasons why Carmelo Anthony to the Chicago Bulls would be a natural fit.
“The pitch is really simple,” Jackson said. “The Chicago Bulls were on the bottom three or four teams in the NBA in terms of offensive efficiency. If you look at someone like Carmelo, he’s exactly what the doctor would’ve ordered for the Chicago Bulls in that he gives them an offensive impact that most teams don’t have, especially one that you have as the shot clock is winding down. And as you watch the Bulls play, which I’m sure they’ll show Carmelo, they play great defense, they do a good job of rebounding the basketball, they grind out games. But over the course of the season, that in it of itself takes its toll on the team, and that’s why their performance is about one out of every five games they get a poor performance. By adding Carmelo, it just eases the burden for the rest of your basketball team in terms of trying to score the basketball, and that has to be appealing for Carmelo.”
Those that don’t see Anthony working in Tom Thibodeau’s Chicago system point to the free agent’s history as a one-way player; “Melo doesn’t play defense,” and, “Thibodeau preaches defense.” Jackson pointed out that Anthony has shown the ability to defend the basketball, though, and argued that Anthony would further improve his “D” if he were to sign with Chicago.
I think also if you’re being open with Carmelo, they’re going to need from him a commitment to improve himself defensively, which I happen to believe Carmelo would gladly do. There have been times here back in New York if you watch Carmelo play, especially when they had Jason Kidd two years ago, where I thought Carmelo played well defensively, in terms of giving effort, trying to focus on the gameplan execution, and he was a decent defender. He has the ability, as most great players do, they have the ability to play all facets of the game, so if they get that kind of commitment from Carmelo to improve defensively, I think that the Bulls’ pitch is, “You’re tailor-made for our basketball team.”