Analyzing the Bulls record

How good does the Bulls 15-8 record really look? 

Let's break it down by grouping.   For the sake of argument, we'll call good teams those with an over 60% winning percentage, poor teams those with under a 40% winning percentage, and average teams the ones in between.

  

Against the good (4-8)
0-2 against Boston
0-1 against Orlando
0-1 against New York
1-1 against Denver
1-1 against Oklahoma City
1-1 against the Lakers
1-0 against Dallas
0-1 against San Antonio

Against the average (3-0)
1-0 against Indiana
1-0 against Portland
1-0 against Phoenix

Against the bad (8-0)
1-0 against Cleveland
1-0 against Detroit
1-0 against Washington
1-0 against Minnesota
1-0 against Golden State
1-0 against Sacramento
2-0 against Houston

What does this tell us about our floor?

First, and most importantly, the Bulls have not played down to their competition.   They've won every single game that they should have won this year.   They haven't lost to a clearly inferior opponent all season.  Early on, we thought the Knicks were such an opponent, but at 16-9, that's no longer a fair statement to make.

While that streak won't last forever as all teams have off nights or play a worse team that has a hot night, the Bulls have proven to be a good team.   Average teams don't beat every other average team and bad team they play.

What does it tell us about our ceiling?

The Bulls have a lot to prove against the best teams in the league.   The good news is that they've won their last two games against top flight competition by knocking out Los Angelas and Oklahoma City.   Also, of their eight losses to quality competition, six of them were on the road.  

It's tough to beat a top flight team in its building.   The Bulls are 3-2 against that competition at home and 1-6 on the road.   Also, the Bulls are 2-2 in those games since Carlos Boozer came back with the two losses coming in his first two games with the team.

There's plenty of reason for optimism that their record against the top notch teams in the league will improve as Boozer integrates, and they get more home games against those opponents.

Final thoughts 

This looks like an awfully well coached team.   Without one of their best players, the team still found a way to win all the games it should win and some of the games that were really tough.  They haven't yet hit their peak in terms of continuity due to the Boozer injury but are still ranked up there with the best teams and haven't left much on the table in terms of wins.

The Bulls are presently on pace to win 53.8 games this season, but the unbalanced schedule and early season injury means things are actually looking much better than that.  As long as the team doesn't suffer a significant injury, a 55 win season seems like a reasonable guess as to where the Bulls are headed this year.

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  • The Bulls record against the good teams is saying the the Bulls fall into the good to average team category. This is where their record against good teams will be a problem in the playoffs, especially in the second round and depending who the Bulls play in the first round that might not be an easy series either. This is why the Bulls whether it be this year or next will have to separate themselves either with good draft picks or by trades. I'm not knocking the Bulls but they still have to improve the team to get to elite status.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    But seeing it that way is ignoring the most important facts. The Bulls only have 8 losses, and they have come with some combination of being on the road against good (or better) teams, Boozer not being in the lineup, or Boozer being in his first game or two back. The two games the Bulls have faced elite teams at full strength - the Lakers and the Thunder - they won.

    It seems some will only be satisfied with an undefeated record. The Bulls are off to their best start in a decade and are only getting better.

    Mark my words, the Bulls will win 54+ games and grab a top 4 seed in the East. What more could you ask for?

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    No, I'm not ignoring facts but its who the Bulls are at the moment. Sure they can improve over the rest of the season but until they prove they can beat the better team in the east at full strength they are who they are, a good to average team. I know Boozer was hurt at the beginning of the season but he has to show he can come up big against the elite teams. The Cleveland game was a perfect example, Jamison of the Cavs had his way with Boozer, so he needs to show that he can slow those type of players down or show he can play a good game against those type of players. Like I said... not knocking the Bulls but improvement and focus has to be there against the better teams in the east.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    How many 4's can knock down the trey like Jamison. Not many. Jamison was also shut down in the 4th period.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I call for 60 wins!!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    None of us likes Bogans. But I get the impression from Thibs that Bogans is going to continue to start - for a long time...

    IMO, Bulls are a good team, perhaps even very good, but often rely upon greater effort, energy, and execution to defeat their opponents - as opposed to simply being more talented. Rose calls the team "grimmy" meaning their intense effort and gutting out wins.

    It can be difficult for this type of team to elevate their play to another level in the playoffs. And so teams with a more talented roster may give the Bulls problems in a playoff series, such as Magic or Celtics, because every team becomes "grimmy" during playoff time. Especially after the 1st round.

    I agree with Reese1 that Bulls still have to make roster improvements to be elite in the playoff sense of the word. But Bulls regular season record will likely soar over the next couple months. However, the Bulls roster weaknesses will show up primarily against the 2 or 3 best teams in the East as they don't matchup well with those teams due to their 'holes' which are SG/shot creator and another 7-footer to compete with the big/elite teams.

    That's my opinion.

  • In reply to Edward:

    My fear for this team is that "Keith Bogans is our starting 2-guard" will become the Bulls' equivalent of "Rex Grossman is our quarterback".

  • In reply to saigman:

    Yes you're right cause in the playoffs it's a half court game and teams have to be able to score from the perimeter.

  • In reply to saigman:

    The difference being that the Bulls don't really rely on Bogans for... well... anything. Which is quite unlike your starting QB in football.

    That said, bench Bogans, start Brewer. Then, based on matchups and/or the flow of the game, work Korver in there with the starters too.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    No, I'm not ignoring facts but its who the Bulls are at the moment. Sure they can improve over the rest of the season but until they prove they can beat the better team in the east at full strength they are who they are, a good to average team. I know Boozer was hurt at the beginning of the season but he has to show he can come up big against the elite teams. The Cleveland game was a perfect example, Jamison of the Cavs had his way with Boozer, so he needs to show that he can slow those type of players down or show he can play a good game against those type of players. Like I said... not knocking the Bulls but improvement and focus has to be there against the better teams in the east.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    I found this pretty interesting:

    "Keith Bogans leads the NBA in starts with 0 points this season (five). The next three (Z.Ilgauskas-4, J.Anthony-3, C.Arroyo-3) are with MIA"

    I think it's time for a change! But the Bulls have really played well the first month and a half, you really can't complain about it. And as bad as I want the Bulls to make a move, like Brent Barry said last nite, there really isn't a major move to make. Brent Barry suggested making a small move to tweak the roster and going to get another PG. The only move that I'm hoping the Bulls make is to acquire OJ Mayo.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    That shows why Bogans really isn't that big of a deal. As long as he isn't playing 30+ minutes or averaging 20+ points, the team isn't relying on him for anything other than defense. The bulls are averaging ~100 pts/game. It'd be nice to have somebody more potent, but Bogans gives Thibs the flexibility to play straight up and then adjust with either Brewer for more defense or Korver for more offense.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Don't forget, against the top flight, I can remember we played the following teams without Boozington:
    Boston
    New York (maybe?)
    Denver
    Oklahoma City
    Lakers
    Dallas
    San Antonio
    7 out of a possible 12, plus the fact that Booz wasn't aquainted with the team yet in the losses against Orlando and Boston (2nd game). Seeing a better overall team with Booz, there is good things to be taken from Doug's breakdown.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    8/12 I can't count

  • In reply to Reese1:

    good-average? Come on bro. And we are a long way away from the playoffs, will be a lot better by then.

    With exception of the Orlando game, we were in every other of those games against great teams. While most of those great teams have been playing together for years, we are still a new team ironing out the kinks, trying to find our cohesiveness.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It's my opinion BRO...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    obviously Broseph, but its how you support your opinion

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    just curious, where would you currently rank the Bulls amongst the rest of the NBA?

    where do you figure they'll rank in 4 months when the playoffs start?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The thing about our record..

    Orlando was our only real lost in my eyes where we were just flat out out played..

    New York had a impossible game.. no one.would've beaten them with every shot that was being made..especially the 3s..
    Should've beaten san Antonio and lost to Denver at the buzzer..

    Another note... we didn't have boozer at full strength vs anyone we lost against..

    This bulls team is legit.. were 3 role positions away from contending..

    Watson,bogans and asik need to step it up..

    Oj mayo is really available.. thing is do we have the pieces..

    Taj isnt that important in their eyes.. and is our front office willing to spilt with 2 1st,taj and maybe asik and filler for mayo & thabeet?

    I still rather trade for.rudy or afflalo in my opinion

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I agree with Dan Frystak, this is by far the best team the Bulls have had since 1998 by far, why can't we be happy?

    We have a top 5 player and another all star down low. We also have 2 borderline all stars in Deng and Noah.

    Yes I would love to get Carmelo and I would trade Noah in a second for Melo but I am loving this team.

    If the Bulls don't make any moves we could very easily make the Eastern Conference Finals. Other than Boston, LA and Miami the Bulls are just as talented as all teams. And Boston/LA are old and the Bulls are deeper than Miami. If they don't make a move I will be fine and enjoy this season.

    Let's stop complaining!

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    Just trying to figure out ways to make the team better. Rabbid fans complain.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I understand that broham, it is my opinion and if you don't agree thats your opinion, I'm good either way. And I would probably rank the Bulls maybe 5th or 6th in the NBA behind L.A. MIAMI BOSTON ORLANDO OKC but not in that order.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    In 4 months they may have a chance to maybe get to no higher than 4th. All depends on injuries and Rose had better be more careful, Taj needs to take care of his feet Noah needs to watch his minutes and we all know about Boozers history with injuries and lets not forget about Dengs past with injuries as well. If they all take care of themselves I would still say no higher than 4th but I hope they prove me wrong and surprise a lot of people.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    and 5th or 6th in the NBA is good to average? I guess Spurs and Dallas who arent even on your top list here are average to bad teams then....wow

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The current ESPN power NBA ratings has the Bulls in 6th. place HOWEVER have the hardest strength of schedule.If knucklehead hadn't of slammed his fist into the wall and broke his hand the Bulls could have beaten both San Antonio and Dalls on the circus trip. With Boozer back and starting to get into a rhythm the Bulls should begin to do better against the upper echelon teams, especially at home. BTW, what's gotten into Noah lately?

  • In reply to cleansupwell:

    I think he has to used to playing along side Boozer cause he takes up a lot of ground under the basket.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    thats the first thing i have agreed with you on so far. Noah is feeling slightly out of place. I also think he is a little tired. Playing way more miutes than he ever has.

  • In reply to cleansupwell:

    I predict 72-10. But only if we trade JJ for Nick Young and Melo.

  • In reply to Davidmon5:

    lol... i would be for that, maybe they will throw in a 1st for us to sweeten the deal a bit

  • And they earned that record with Bogans starting every game. The thing that is keeping the bulls from being elite is Rose's game management abilities. Does he need to be spectacular for the Bulls to win, or can he pull the right strings and put guys in position to make plays. It seemed like last night he was pulling the strings down the stretch.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    He does what he feels the team needs. He is great at that. Do you really think he needs to improve in that? He will though, as he is only 22

  • I was not saying Cleveland was an elite team, I was using them/Jamison as an example as to how Boozer did not have a good game. Ok and what about the laker game last week, again Boozer did not have a good game, I understand the fact that "he's coming off an injury" but he's the one who said his conditioning is where it's suppose to be so defensively he should've been better. All I can say is I want the Bulls to do well but until they beat the elite teams in the east they will be a good to average team to me. I have my own opinion, I am a fan of the Bulls not a homer fan like some of you which is OK TOO.

  • Again... we all have our own opinions and they have beat some average teams in the east and on the circus trip which makes them a good team, but YES... against the elite teams in the east they have not fared too well which is why I call them a good to average team cause up until now they have not fared too well against the elite teams in the east. The elite teams in the east is the measuring stick cause that's who they have to go through in the post season. The season is still early so we will all have many more chances to see if the Bulls can improve against the good teams while becoming a very good team against the elite teams in the east.

  • I have not once mentioned Melo in this thread, you're the one bringing him up, I'm good if the Bulls can bring in a shooting guard to help out on the perimeter and finish at the rim. I don't know at this point who that will be but they still need help at the 2 position. Melo to me is almost a lost cause IMO cause there aren't any reports of the Bulls trying to make any moves that anyone know of. I still have a little hope of it happening but it's slim. Like I have said... the Bulls still have many more chances to prove they can beat Orland, Boston, and Miami so until then I will be going off of what I have seen so far which is the Bulls have not played Miami yet and I know "BOOZER WAS INJURED" but they lost to Boston and Orlando. They need to get things together before they play these teams again. Again, this is my OPINION...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Then there's no better "available" fit then rudy fernandez... could be a 40% 3 point shooter and played in a dunk contest.. a high energy player who needs to be in a system where he can play off ball and go through screens and go.for back door lobs.. you think the bulls f.o didn't know this already?

    I'm confident our front office knows and will gets us our 2 guard..

    Preferably rudy.. no melo.. no need to break ul our team because of what the barely can beat good teams and haven't won a championship heat did in the summer

  • Look Sir, we have been through this before, I have said it's my opinion so don't take it so personal. I understand you are passionate about the Bulls and I am a fan too but I'm just stating my opinions and those are the Bulls are a good to average team TO ME but they still need to make improvements to be a contender.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    It is your opinion... However, the only 2 people I hear saying the Bulls are average are you and Mr. Happy.

    My opinion, we're pretty damn good and getting better.

    For the record, I would love a sharpshooting 2 guard.

  • In reply to Dileg:

    I would love for the Bulls to prove myself and MRHappy wrong but until then to me, they are a good to average team. When they beat Boston and especially Orlando and they haven't played Miami yet, I will change what I say... and Again it's just my opinion.

  • Good comparison to the Lovie Rex statement Tootie Fruitie. We definitely got to the dance despite Rex's performance. Our chances with Cutler compared to Grossman aren't even comparable.

    What about starting Luol at the 2 and Taj at 3? I think Lu actually could gaurd most 2s. I like Taj's boost from the bench, but we would likely be a better starting rebounding team, longer, better defensively. Just throwing it out there.

    Thibs seems to have picked up on the gaining Brewer love, but doesn't seem to care. Maybe Thib's is defiantly starting Bogans to show Chicago that he knows what he's doing. Thib's keeps discussing being careful with Brewer coming back form injury. I don't know whether that's a legit concern of his or a cover.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    Deng is not a 2, he is barely a 3 anymore, as he seems to be transitioning to a stretch 4.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    As I said in the preseason, Thibs v. Del Bimbo alone made us a 50 win team, so the addition of Boozer(along with the continued improvement of Rose and Noah) had to push us into the 55-60 realm

  • In reply to Crowned:

    You can see the Thibs v. Del Bimbo effect in the Bulls record(undefeated) against bad or average teams. We are no longer losing games against teams that we should beat, even if we are struggling to win some of those games.

  • That's ok too just so long as they get something done at the 2 spot or they do something about my slim hope.

  • Exactly, they just need to prove they can beat the elite teams in the east sometime this season and especially in the playoffs.

  • the Bulls don't just need to upgrade Bogans they need to shoot him(O.K. just in the hamstring), whatever it takes to get him off the floor.

  • I disagree upgrading SG would make a big difference offensively. You don't upgrade offensively by upgrading your 5th option, you upgrade offensively by getting more efficient production out of your 1st and 2nd option. If we want to be a good offensive team it's on Rose to find a way to convince the refs to send him to the line, and for Boozer to get back to top form.

  • I'm not a believer in who you getting your wins against counting, other than for predictive purposes early in the season when strength of schedule hasn't evened out. Come playoff time everything is reset, the only value of your wins is that the more you have the more you play on home court.

    Take the 55 win team from last year, the Mavericks. The had a 3-1 record against the Spurs in the regular season. Didn't help them much in the playoffs.

  • I'm basing my opinion on the games the Bulls has played so far against Boston and Orlando, you know the elite teams that are in the east. That's all I really need to see cause as of now the Bulls have laid some pretty bad eggs against both teams. Proof is in the pudding, all they have to do is prove me wrong which I want them to do.

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