The Bulls entered Monday last in the league in 3-point percentage, 3-point attempts and 3-pointers made — and not by a little.
Their 30.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc lagged well behind the 29th-place Grizzlies’ 32.1 percent. Their 19.6 attempts per game were almost two behind the 29th-place Pistons’ 21.5. And the Bulls’ 5.9 made 3s per game were 1.5 behind the 29th-place Pistons.
Asked about the poor numbers, coach Fred Hoiberg sounded almost wistful in answering.
“In today’s era, you look at all the analytics, the 3-point shot is a very important component,” said Hoiberg, noting the Rockets took a record 62 3-pointers Friday and 51 on Saturday. “And they’ve had several games in the last couple weeks where they made over 20. All that stuff helps when you’re struggling to score.”
Earlier this season, the Bulls were not only shooting a higher percentage from beyond the arc, but also making an offensive living from the free-throw line and off second-chance points. They remain first in offensive rebounding.
But their offensive numbers have slipped badly, falling to 23rd in scoring and 16th in offensive rating, which measures the number of points per 100 possessions. Getting outscored from beyond the arc in nine straight games before Monday is a big reason.
“The last couple games, teams have really packed in the paint, almost daring us to shoot some,” Hoiberg said.
Fire away: Doug McDermott is the team’s best 3-point threat on paper but was shooting just 32.4 percent entering Monday and admitted to passing up some recent opportunities.
“I just haven’t really gotten into a great rhythm,” McDermott said.
Worse, McDermott had attempted just 34 3-pointers in 14 games. He missed 12 games because of two concussions.
“Right now he’s in a little bit of a hurry, almost predetermining his move at times,” Hoiberg said. “We have to have him knocking down shots. It’s a confidence game. When Doug has one where he goes out and hits four or five, I think he’ll be off and running. Guys do have to continue to look for him.”
Ballot box: The NBA announced players can have a say in All-Star voting for the first time. Fan voting, which begins Christmas Day, will now represent 50 percent, while players’ votes will represent 25 percent and a media panel’s the final 25 percent.
“It sounds like a good combination,” said Robin Lopez, who added he planned to cast a ballot.
Players can vote for themselves and teammates.