Friday, June 10, 2011
Bulls Review: Kyle Korver
By Nick Friedell
Kyle Korver had an inconsistent shooting season, but still connected on 42 percent of his threes.
Over the next few weeks, we'll take a closer look at each player on the Bulls roster and see where they fit in for the future. Let's take a look at a player that never made quite as many shots as Bulls fans would have liked ...
Season recap: Korver was pretty much the kind of player the Bulls thought they were getting. He was a streaky shooter all season who struggled at times defensively. He hit some big shots throughout the course of the season, including several huge three-pointers in the first round against the Indiana Pacers, but he also went through one of the toughest stretches of his career in late December/early January where it seemed as if he couldn't buy a basket. Some fans clamored for Korver to be in the starting lineup, while others wished coach Tom Thibodeau would keep him on the bench. Korver would be the first to admit he could have shot better this season considering he shot 42 percent from three-point range on the season, compared to 54 percent from beyond the arc in Utah in 2009-10.
Season highlight: Korver had 13 points and was 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, drilled several crucial threes, in a Game 1 win over the Pacers in the first round. He also went off for 22 points in a Bulls' victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January.
Season lowlight: From Dec. 22 to Jan. 14, Korver was a combined 18-for-61 and continuously struggled to find any kind rhythm with his shot.
Final grades: Regular season -- C | Postseason -- D
Notes: As Thibodeau mentioned repeatedly throughout the season, even when Korver wasn't making his shots he was still an asset for the Bulls offensively. Defenses had to account for his ability to knock down shots and his presence created even more space for Derrick Rose, who loved having him on the floor because of that ability. The pair should be able to develop even more chemistry next season. Korver will continue to struggle for minutes under Thibodeau because his defense isn't up to the veteran coach's standards most of the time. That's not to say Korver doesn't try hard on that end of the floor, it's just that he is always the guy opposing defenses key in on when they need a basket.
What's next?: If Keith Bogans doesn't return, Korver will be in the mix for the starting two guard position with Ronnie Brewer, as long as the Bulls don't decide to pick up another perimeter player in the offseason. The key for Korver is to continue to work on his foot speed and show Thibodeau that he can improve defensively. Considering he's been in the NBA for close to a decade, that may be an issue. But Korver knows that's where he must get better, and he will work on it during the summer. As long as his shot becomes a little more consistent next season, the Bulls will be happy.