The on-line hoops community today is strife with the sort of non-basketball ‘pseudo basketball analysis’ that does not really succeed in advancing a better understanding of how the game is actually played best, in the NBA.
Exhibit A – A Rose does not Equal Love – Revisited
How did Chicago do this? The front office essentially followed a very good formula: keep all of the team’s good players from 2009-10 and get most of the good players from Utah. This formula has produced a very good team.
Unfortunately in the NBA, all of the regular season awards are individual based. This means Derrick Rose will get the credit for what was essentially a team effort. While it is worth virtually nothing, I would like to award the Chicago Bulls with the Most Valuable Team award this season and reiterate that Rose is not the MVP.
One last note…
Some might argue that Chicago’s players are essentially “not bad” because of Rose and/or Coach Thibodeau. But if we look at the productivity of these players this season and what these veterans did in 2009-10, we see that this team’s results are not surprising. As the following table indicates (numbers from NerdNumbers), most players on this team are offering essentially the same production seen last year.
The primary exceptions – Derrick Rose, Ronnie Brewer, and Carlos Boozer – are easy to explain.
- Rose is young, and young players get better.
- Brewer is essentially offering what he did prior to 2009-10
- And Boozer – who has been hurt – is offering less this year
In sum, we don’t need to argue that this team is succeeding because of its dynamic point guard or amazing coach. The Bulls story is really about choosing productive players. And the Bulls – as the study into “bad” players indicates – have been very good at making these choices.
The Chicago Bulls are not being propelled to 1st place in the Eastern Conference standings this season because they have the most non-bad basketball players on their roster, in comparison with the other teams in the league.
re: Rose is young, and young players get better.
Do ALL young players get better, according to a simplistic metric like WP?
If not, then, it is simply fallacious to assert that THIS is THE reason for the improvement which Derrick Rose has shown THIS season.
re: Brewer is essentially offering what he did prior to 2009-10
Did the Utah Jazz teams that Ronnie Brewer played for prior to THIS season reach the heights that THIS season’s Chicago Bulls are approaching?
If not, then, it is simply fallacious to assert that THIS is THE reason the Bulls, with Ronnie Brewer on-board, are playing outstanding basketball THIS season.
re: And Boozer – who has been hurt – is offering less this year
It is simply fallacious to assert that THE reason the Bulls are playing outstanding basketball THIS season is because they have kept ALL of their “good” players from last season AND added most of the “good” players from the Jazz – i.e. Boozer, Brewer and Korver – while, SIMULTANEOUSLY, characterizing one of those three key players as, essentially, providing LESS production THIS season than he did last year for Utah.
The fact is …
This is what the Bulls’ rotation was last season when they were eliminated from the 1st Round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, in Game 5, by the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Rose [PG] + Hinrich [OG] + Deng [SF] + Gibson [PF] + Noah [C]
Murray [PG/OG], Warrick [SF/PF] and Miller [C]
Vinnie Del Negro
In comparison, this is what the Bulls’ rotation was two nights ago, when they dismantled Kevin Love’s Minnesota Timberwolves:
Rose [PG] + Bogans [OG] + Deng [SF] + Boozer [PF] + Thomas [C]
Watson [PG/OG], Korver [OG, Brewer [SF], Gibson [PF] and Asik [C]
… with Joakim Noah [C], Chicago’s 2nd most valuable player sitting out this game …
on their way to winning Game 54 THIS season.
Keith Bogans [from Orlando] was not obtained from the Utah Jazz.
Kurt Thomas [from the scrap heap] was not obtained from the Utah Jazz.
CJ Watson [from Golden State] was not obtained from the Utah Jazz.
Omer Asik [from the Euroleague] was not obtained from the Utah Jazz.
Tom Thibodeau [from the Boston Celtics] was not obtained from the Utah Jazz.
The Team Defense, and TEAM REBOUNDING, and Team Offense, and TEAM UNITY, and Team CRUNCH TIME Performance, etc. – i.e. Ubuntu! – which the Bulls have shown, thus far, THIS season were not obtained from the Utah Jazz.
It truly makes the stomuch turn, over and over again, to read ‘pseudo basketball analysis’ that looks like THIS … which, unfortunately, proliferates the internet today and is, basically, a regurgitation of select stat categories, manipulated to achieve a desired outcome … in place of actual Basketball Analysis which is focused on Individual Match-ups, Coaching, Part and/vs Whole Team Construction, Team Chemistry/Cohesion, Skill Sets, X’s and O’s, Strategies & Tactics, etc.
From the perspective of this corner:
* Derrick Rose SHOULD earn his 1st MVP Award THIS season … for THE WAY he has performed on the court WHILE becoming THE unquestioned Leader of the Chicago Bulls, who are currently in 1st Place, in the Eastern Conference;
* Tom Thibodeau SHOULD earn his 1st COTY Award THIS season … for the fantastic TEAM ETHOS he has instilled in THIS specific collection of players on the Bulls’ roster, and the commitment this team has towards DEFENSE, REBOUNDING and SHARED TEAM OFFENSE;
* The management tandem of Gar Forman + John Paxson SHOULD earn their 1st EOTY Award THIS season … for constructing a REAL TEAM, which plays the game the ‘right way’, courtesy of a series of inter-related – and absolutely terrific – personnel moves, predicated on a highly accurate understanding of what their team’s specific strengths and weaknesses have been for the last several years.