The Bulls entered Saturday as the NBA’s best offensive rebounding team and second-best rebounding team.
The offensive rebounding has allowed the Bulls to win the second-chance points battle 15 of 22 times with one tie.
“It’s one way we can manufacture some points,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Robin Lopez ranks third behind the Heat’s Hassan Whiteside and the Hawks’ Dwight Howard with 3.9 offensive rebounds per game.
“It starts with Robin and Taj (Gibson),” Hoiberg said. “(Rajon) Rondo has always been a very good rebounder for his position. Jimmy (Butler) same thing; he’s capable of getting you double-figure rebounds as well. We’ve done a good job of establishing physicality for our team.”
Rebounding isn’t pretty, and it isn’t all chaos. The Bulls work on not sacrificing floor balance and defensive transition, even while crashing the offensive glass. If Butler or Dwyane Wade drives to the basket, Rondo has to get back.
“Rondo has terrific instincts as far as when to go in there,” Hoiberg said.
The big men such as Lopez and Gibson crash every time.
“I’ve always liked that part of the game,” Lopez said, smiling.
Rotation roulette: Cristiano Felicio’s re-emergence has dropped 2015 first-round pick Bobby Portis out of the rotation for now.
“We’re still confident in Bobby and believe that he’s got a heck of a future,” Hoiberg said. “He’s a young kid, still learning his way out there. He’s had some really good moments for us in the year-plus that we’ve had him.”
If Portis gets another crack, Lopez offered some friendly advice for any times he struggles.
“My mentality in those situations was always try to get some offensive rebounds, try to crash the glass on both ends, try to get some blocks, set a good ball screen,” Lopez said. “If you set good ball screens, you’re probably going to get the ball back.”
Layups: The Bulls recalled Jerian Grant and Paul Zipser from the Windy City Bulls. R.J. Hunter remained with the Development League team. Grant sank a buzzer-beating game-winner Friday night to defeat Canton. … There remains no timetable for the return of Michael Carter-Williams, whose left wrist will be re-examined next week. Carter-Williams suffered a bone bruise in his left knee Oct. 31 that has since healed and sprained and incurred a bone chip in his wrist on the same play.