Monday, January 23, 2012

Yes, Bulls

This Bulls post is long overdue. This is what happens when one starts a new job, generating new business models, and thinking about ways I could use my Ka-Bar on my next camping trip. Ayways, this season is going by quick and it seems like the Bulls are playing almost every night (hooray!) which is a blessing because I was getting maxed out on YouTube videos — The Wire clips (Omar listenin'!), Marketplace Whiteboards (more Junk Bonds, please!), and Brules Rules (foryourhealth!) can only do so much.

(yes, this is what I do in my free time — God, help me)

Luol Deng
In the first game against the Lakers, after a horrendous third quarter (where I believe the Bulls shot an abysmal 18%) I tweeted the following:

Although DRose made that unbelievable floater over Gasol, the player of the game was really Luol Deng:

We saw the benefits of a healthy Deng last season, producing a 9.9 Win Share — the second highest of his career (he had an 11.3WS in 06-07):

I wrote last season that as Luol Deng and the Bench Mob goes, as goes the Bulls. I think Deng (Dengbang, anyone?) is the most important player on this Bulls team. I won't change my stance on this. He can do a lot of things: defend, score, rebound, pass and I do not think that we have the depth at the 3 to compensate him going down for an extended period of time (though I yearn for Jimmy Butler). Let's hope he stays healthy the rest of the season.

Which brings me to my next point...

No DRose? We'll be aaaiiight... For a little while
With Derrick Rose being shelved for turf tow toe, C.J. Watson and John Lucas III have seen increased playing time. This got me thinking about the Bulls output at the point with DRose sitting on the bench. The results are, for the most part, encouraging:



The Basics - PPG, Assists Per Game, Turnovers Per Game




The Percentages - Turnover%, TrueShooting%, EffectiveFieldGoal%




Win Shares - Offensive, Defensive, Total
This is a team that, despite Rose being hurt, continues to find ways to win. Most teams in the NBA would be envious of the Bulls depth. And this is exactly why a trade DOESN'T need to happen — because every night, a trade of sorts happens, and that is playing some of the guys on the bench who would be starters for other teams.

With Rose out, we'll survive and we'll find ways to win. And if I'm Coach Thibs, I rest Rose for as long (and often) as possible — this season is a season of attrition — the team with the most depth, less injuries, best coaching will win the NBA championship.

Boozer and Joakim
Last month I talked about the Narrative Ninja associated with Carlos Boozer and it's true; Boozer gets blamed for everything:

Boozer has a win share of 2.1 and is tied for second on the team with Luol Deng.

But Joakim? That's a different story. It seems like our center is getting off to a not so good start.

More Butler, Please
Yes, I know he's a rookie but, as a Marquette Alum, seeing Jimmy Butler on the bench is absolutely killing me!

My Pick
I have the Bulls meeting Oklahoma City in the Finals — Bulls in 6.

Man, it's good to have the Bulls back.

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