Bulls

Paxson: We’re Not Sacrificing Defense

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Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson. (Getty Images)

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson. (Getty Images)

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(CBS) With the Bulls’ offseason roster shuffling nearing completion, we know this much.

Chicago has improved its shooting and gotten deeper, which means coach Tom Thibodeau will have more options at any given time. New additions such as Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott will lead to many new looks.

What won’t change, though? The Bulls have no intention of sacrificing any of their defensive tenacity that’s become their identity for the sake of offense.

“What you say to yourself is you want to be a better offensive team,” Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said over the weekend in an interview with David Schuster on 670 The Score. “I don’t think we have to sacrifice at the defensive end. The reality is this: I don’t know exactly the statistics, but we looked it up and were talking about it through this whole free agency process. The teams that have won championships ever since 2001 have all been a top five or top seven defensive team. So you’re kidding yourself if you just think every night that you’re going to go out and outscore people. (Relying heavily on offense is) a recipe for success, but I’m not sure it’s a recipe for championship success consistently.

“I still believe — and Tom obviously believes and (general manager) Gar (Forman) believes you have to be able to defend. But we do want to get better offensively. We have to. It’s been pretty glaring at times and was obvious in our series against Washington.

“Assuming we’re healthy, we’re going to put a really good team on the floor.”

Paxson addressed many topics in his interview with Schuster, including the criticism that the Bulls can’t land big free agents. Listen to the full interview below.

John Paxson with David Schuster

670 The Score
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