Some wacky numbers for the Bulls this season

Some wacky numbers for the Bulls this season

As everyone knows, this season has had its ups and downs for the Bulls, and with just one game remaining, coming tonight against Atlanta, it's time to go through some of the wackier numbers for Bulls players this season, which includes Joakim Noah's passing, Kirk Hinrich's weird effect on winning and losing, and Nikola Mirotic looking like... James Harden?

First off is Joakim Noah's assist numbers. At 4.7, Noah remains an elite passer from the center position, having collected 312 on the year. Not since Vlade Divac from 2002 to 2004, has a center compiled over 700 assists over a span of two seasons. Noah is at 743 dimes in his last 147 games, beating out Divac's 706 in 161 games. Overall, Noah has struggled this season. His scoring is is down across the board as he's at career-lows in points per 36 minutes (8.5), free throw percentages (60.3%), field goal percentage (44.5%) and TS% (482%) - So Noah has relied on rebounding and passing, as both areas have similar rates as last year.

Let's move on to Hinrich. During the 66 games he's played, Chicago's record has been 37-29, meaning his absence has resulted in a winning record of 12-3. He's supposedly out tonight against Atlanta, so that record changes to either 12-4 or 13-3. Either way, Hinrich's absence, at worst, have the Bulls winning at a 75% clip, and at best 81%, both huge numbers.

When comparing that to players who have missed a similar amount of games, such as Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah, Hinrich is the lone player whose absence allows for a winning percentage above 75% - Butler (58.8%), Dunleavy (47.3%), Gibson (60.0%), and Noah (71.4%) are obviously a lot better players, and a lower winning percentage should be expected, which is why Noah's number is somewhat worrying. However there is a reason for this comparison, seeing as Hinrich is within five minutes played a game of both Dunleavy and Gibson, and even ahead of Aaron Brooks. At 1,610 minutes, Hinrich is within just 12 of Nikola Mirotic despite having played 15 games less. This, naturally, is a kind of way of saying his minutes peers have wielded better results, and as such, Hinrich's 11 minutes a night during April, would be a significantly better approach to his minutes in the playoffs.

Finally, there is the Rookie Of the Year runner-up (well, likely), Nikola Mirotic. Before we can get to him, let's talk briefly about James Harden. The Rockets All-Star has canned 206 three-pointers and 707 free throws this season, which is worth 1,325 out of his 2,201 points, or better yet, 60.2% of his entire scoring offense. For comparison's sake, LeBron James is at 42.2% and Russell Westbrook at 42.4% - and then there's Mirotic who's at 62.8%. Basically, Mirotic is playing much the same way as James Harden, as he has a free throw attempt rate of 45.7% and a three-point attempt rate of 49.8% - His 153 two-point field goals, worth 306 points, takes up just 37.2% of his total scoring.

Mirotic's non-two-point rate is even higher than that of Stephen Curry's, who is in front of Harden at over 61% and is doing it primarily from downtown as opposed to free throws.

It's unknown if Mirotic's small sample size of 822 total points will have a similar breakdown in the future, but given he's played 81 games and is sitting at 1,622 minutes on the year, it's plausible to expect at least a similar shot distribution in the future. Volume, however, always changes percentage effectivity, so whether or not Mirotic can keep up, or even advance, his scoring efficiency, is the question mark.


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  • So if we bench Klank and Noah we will be unstoppable right? :-)

    Jimmy Butler playing vs not playing has a surprisingly little impact on winning. That one stood out the most to me. It was probably the play of Snell that buoyed them but still shows how overvalued the Loul Deng role is in our offense. Begs the question does a guy who arguably has little to no impact on winning really deserve a max deal?

  • Nice article. Interesting numbers.
    It will be interesting to see what kind of effort Atlanta makes v. the Bulls tonight. I would think they would prefer to see the Bulls lose so that Atlanta would get the winner or Tor/Wash in Rd 2 instead of the Bulls.

  • In reply to piggy7:

    Interesting point and I agree. People seem to think Atlanta's just going to be resting guys but this is probably there most crucial game of the season. This game will potentially decide who their 2nd round opponent is and if they're smart they would try to win this game to avoid the Bulls, especially not having Thabo to help defend Rose. For the Bulls it really doesn't matter all that much. They're either gonna face the Wiz, Hawks, Cavs or Bucks, Cavs, Hawks; pick your poison but all roads lead down the same path for Chicago.

  • Interesting point on Niko. I'd assume his 3 pt rate would actually go down with more playing time at his natural position. He is often the 3rd scoring option right now in most lineups and when playing small forward all he does it set up at the three point line and wait for a kick out. We've seen that he's got a great post game and a variety of post moves when given space to work at power forward. I think all those minutes at SF have greatly increased his 3 pt rate.

  • Here's a fun fact. Hollinger uses a statistic called "Estimated Wins Added" or EWA. Hinrich has an EWA of -2.9. Meaning the Bulls have lost three more games this season with him in the lineup than your typical "replacement player." Rodney Stuckey who was picked up off the scrap heat by the Pacers has a EWA of +4.1. If the Bulls had signed Stuckey instead of re-signing Hinrich the Bulls would have had seven more wins this year.

    This is an imperfect measure, of course, because Hinrich and Stuckey play for different teams. But consider this. Seven more wins would have made the Bulls an elite team this year. Even with all the injuries and uneven play, the Bulls would have been the third best team in the NBA after the Warriors and the Hawks.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Shouldn't Memphis have the best record in the league, instead of collapsing down the stretch from 2nd in the west to 6th since John Hollinger and his infallible algorithms are running the team. Oh, wait, this isn't baseball where you can just pile up the best individual stats and hope for the best, its a team game especially on the defensive side of the court, you know the part that ultimately determines who will be champion.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    This is perhaps your most idiotic post of the past month (and that's saying something). As even you perhaps know, Hollinger is not in the starting line-up. The validity of his algorithims has nothing to do with his team's performance on the floor. This is just your way to inject bias into the conversation.

    Before Hollinger worked for Memphis he was a well-known sports statistician, who I believe worked for ESPN. Many NBA teams incorporated his methodologies into their scouting and player evaluation systems. Funny how NBA executives value his insights over yours.

    Team defense is indeed calculated in advanced statistics. For example, the legendary sports statistician, Bill James, developed the concept of "win shares." This has been adapted for basketball where they developed the concept of "defensive win shares." The impact of the player on team defense is an integral part of the calculation. Obviously, you are not aware of this which permits you to spew your ignorance on this board on a daily basis.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Are you just trying to be stupid for stupids sake, some kind of Forest Gump thing. Where did I state that John Hollinger is a player. As anyone with half a functioning brain cell knows, he is an executive in charge of player personnel. Thus with his gargantuan knowledge and best in the world algorithms he should easily be able to assemble the best roster in the league by swindling everyone else in trades with knowledge that only he can see through his calculations. I guess your motto is, when in doubt, obfuscate, or better yet just make up stupid shit.

    You know who/what created the financial crisis of 2008, Wall Street hired boatloads of guys like Hollinger(only about 10,000 times smarter) from MIT, NASA and Russia. So if they can fuck up the entire world economy with their algorithms, I imagine that "the Professor" isn't exactly infallible. I believe that he was actually a college professor(math, maybe) while working his way into ESPN. What's that they always say about academics and the real world. Oh yea, those who can, do, those who cannot, teach. You'er not a teacher, are you, I can tell by your demeanor that you might work for the CPS.

    As for your personal animus toward me and my opinions or should I say those who don't agree with yours(typical left wing fanatic), as I've stated a number of time before when people like you want to get personal, I will gladly compare CV's with anyone who posts on this site. People who have an inordinate need to prove how smart they are usually aren't.

    Just as the playoffs will prove that I'm right about the true essence of Pau Gasol as a player and you and your Hollinger spread sheets are wrong. Heck, last night against Atlanta was a good preview.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Given his team has the sixth best record in the NBA and doesn't have a superstar, I'd say Hollinger's done pretty darn well.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not sure how many of the top guys are actually his(prolly not Gasol, Randolph or Conley, or even tony Allen). Plus, thats exactly my point, if he is so brilliant and knows more about player value than anyone else because of his algorithms, then he should be stealing everyone else blind and acquiring all the best talent. But he did get Jeff Green this year, so he's got that to put on his resume.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    This is great. I wasn't aware of this stat. Some other interesting notes:

    Jimmy Butler tied with Blake Griffin at #15 at +13.3 (despite the above insinuation)

    Joakim is tied with Josh Smith, Andrew Wiggins and Joe Johnson at 4.9 only a hair under Niko and Kyle Korver at 5.2

    So I'd want to look into the methodology for both the Hinrich and Hollinger comparisons here..

  • It's always nice to look at player and team numbers at season's end before the playoff push beings. Unfortunately good old windows updates just disintegrated my post so let me just say the following.

    With all the "advanced" statistics which some yes make sense and are useful, but here's what I look at. Case in point, 34 year old Mike Dunleavy. OK what's the number one stat you look at to determine the stars or really good players on the best teams in the NBA? Points per game. It's not rocket science. Sure your rebounders and defenders in guys like Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green matter too, but they are in their prime and superior nonetheless in offensive efficiency.

    The top teams in Golden State, San Antonio, and Cleveland look at their team stats page(Basketball-Reference etc.) Their core rotations generally consist of a 28 Minutes Club. Guys like Danny Green, J.R. Smith, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, at the middle or lower end of the 28 club all display things you just won't see with 34 year old codger in Mike Dunleavy. Most of these guys score 12ppg basically or higher. And if they don't then their rebounding, assists, steals, and ultra high efficiency dwarf the Artful Codger Mike Dunleavy. At 9.5 ppg, 3.9 rebounds, .468 two point F.G. percentage, 1.7 assists you'll find no lower numbers in the 28 minutes club.

    Go look at Danny Green or J.R. Smith's superior volume of impacting threes in similar minutes per game. Go look at Harrison Barnes or Draymond Greens superior rebounding rates and ultra high scoring efficiency. Guys in the 28 minutes club are, wacky and crazy notion, in their athletic primes! It's startling that notion of not being a 34 year old un-athletic codger garnering 28 plus minutes a game isn't it??

    Which brings us to Tom The Dolt Thibodeau. Only Thibsy post Wizard's series no less, fails to see the long term and playoff winning futility of allotting 28 Minute Club court time to a vastly INFERIOR producer in ppg, rebounding, steals, assists, efficiency, volume threes you name it!!. Guess it was too much of a strain on the hall(videotape) monitor's brain to take a gander at other winning team's roster production. And come post season Bulls fans will suffer for it while Thibsy walks off into the sunset well paid and likely coaching in the warm climbs of say Orlando. Too f-ing much.

    Post script: any Wins Added or lost statistics that don't confirm Mike Dunleavy's terrific cost in production relative to wins for this ball club are either highly flawed or somewhat rendered irrelevant by elite team, post season success arenas. Because Mike Dunleavy's sorry ass numbers are WINS LOST.. and then some. Your only chance was playing and developing Nikola in the 28 Minutes Club(and yes to a lesser extent Tony Snell). And you Klank Chokbricking, Mike Dunleavying imbecile chose slow death in a pair of 34 year old clunks. I have only one thing left to say. Well played sir!!

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    So, basically, Dunleavy does not start for a typical championship team. And Kirk does not log big minutes for a championship team. Thus, playing those guys the way Thibs does most likely will not produce a championship team!

    The other problem is that the Bulls are a player shy of a championship roster. That player is either SG or SF. On some teams those are almost interchangable. Like Butler, Snell, or Dunleavy could each play both.

    Thus I wanted the Bulls to get Afflalo near the trade deadline. O well. That probably would not have done it anyway, so I get the FO not wanting to give up assets for a few months of a rental player.

    Plus both Noah and Mirotic are usually playing out of their best position! Circumstances are partly responsible for this, but it reduces the efficiency of both players, which is counter productive.

    Well, the Bulls may still have a chance. Why?
    1) They now seem able to ratchet up their D at will.
    2) Rose may be getting his mind as well as his body into games.
    3) They have the shooters. If the shooters are on, they can beat anybody. They don't have to be on every game, only 4 out of 7 games!

    Might be an interesting ride ahead.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Dunleavy has an EWA of +1.2 (see above). This is below average but certainly not as bad as Klank. Hypothetically, if the Bulls traded Taj for Thaddeus Young (as I humbly proposed) the Bulls could have had Young at SF with a 6.3 EWA and Niko at PF with a 5.2 EWA. (Taj has a 4.0 EWA). That would have been a swing of 6.3 more estimated wins projected over a full season. Together with Stuckey instead of Hinrich, that would have meant 13.3 additional wins. The Bulls would then have had, theoretically, over a 60 win season.

    Of course, the TWolves and Bulls would have both wanted to make this deal, which obviously they didn't want to do.

    Also, consider this. Pau has an EWA of 15.0, the highest of any Center or Power Forward in the league-except for Anthony Davis. That's right, higher than Cousins, Aldridge, Duncan, Jordan, M.Gasol, etc. Digest that fact, Pau bashers.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Some more information regarding Estmated Wins Added (EWA). The NBA leaders, in order:

    Anthony Davis
    James Harden
    Stephan Curry
    Chris Paul

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Sorry, hit wrong button; Leaders in order:

    Anthony Davis
    James Harden
    Stephan Curry
    Chris Paul
    Russell Westbrook
    LeBron James
    Pau Gasol

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    and yet there isn't a single person associated with the NBA that would trade any of those guys for Gasol.

    and double yet somehow despite all that he still only ranks 77th in RPM (which is actually used to calculate some of those wins stats), which makes him about the exact the average starter in the league(150 total starters), and still below several of his teammates.

    and triple yet his RPM is just under 2 which is below the Bulls average margin of victory of 3 ppg, which seems to make him an average if not below average Bulls player.

    Most of the stats that you've highlighted are volume based, thus Gasol's "ironman" status has elevated his standing in overall league rankings. I give him credit for that, what's the old saying about being successful, showing up is half the battle.

    In a league where the new norm is for guys and teams to take games off even when not injured, being healthy and playing for Thibs is going to give your stats a jolt. Like everyone always making a big deal out of Luol Deng and then Jimmy Butler leading the league in minutes played, never really thought that was an all star qualification. As I said early in the year, being healthy and available has been his number one contribution on a team that always has chronic health issues(that and winning the opening tip). Somebody has to eat up the minutes.

    It would be interesting to see where he ranks in total minutes played among big men, it wouldn't be shocking if he were in the top 3, if not first, although he did miss a couple of games early in the season.

    I guess we can agree on some things though, I threw out a Taj for Young trade on a number of occasions in the past. The biggest problem with Young is that he has always been a tweener, and his teams seem to always end up playing him as a undersized PF rather than at SF, so he might not have been a good fit for our team with a much bigger need at SF.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    More illogical, biased nonsense. For example:

    1. Gasol is significantly older than anyone on that list. Of course, the Pelicans wouldn't trade Anthony Davis for Gasol. Does that detract from Gasol's performance this year? Of course not. This is just your biased way of denigating Gasol.

    2. OK, show me where Real Plus/Minus is used in calculating win shares?

    3. Of all the so-called advanced statistics, Real Plus/Minus is without a doubt the weakest. Does anyone really think Kyle Korver is better than Jimmy Butler on defense? Or better over-all?

    4. The whole idea of my suggesting the Young/Gibson trade was for Young to replace Dunleavy at SF. Young is a better SF than PF, IMO. He only played PF at Minny because Flip wanted to play Wiggins/Muhammed at the three. I believe Young started out playing the three in Brooklyn and then they moved him to PF (and demoted Plumlee) to give Lopez more room in the middle.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    It is almost not worth responding since as you clearly demonstrate on a daily basis you are smarter than everybody anywhere at any time in the history of the world, including anyone that has ever worked in the NBA. The fact is that Young has ended up playing PF on every team that he has ever played for, with the reasons being nothing more than an excuse for losers. They all thought that he could be a SF, but somehow, without a single advanced stat, they all decided he was better at power forward. I guess that they all have eyes and brains. I too would have wanted him to play SF, but since I never watch him play(other than against the Bulls) I would have to defer to the dozens of guys who have coached him and decided that he was a better fit at PF. Maybe John Hollinger can pull an algorithm out if his ass that "proves" that he is a better SF and everybody that has ever coached him is a dumb ass, just like I am. Clearly even when someone throws out an olive branch you'd rather disagree just to be disagreeable.

    maybe you want to get into a debate about what a great game your butt buddy Gasol had against Atlanta, after all he must have put up a PER of at least 22-23 with his awesome stat line (18 & 13 with 2 blocks), while Horford ran circles around him on both ends of the court(actually Horford didn't have to try that hard he actually only walked circles around him on both ends of the court). But Horford only had 14 & 7(albeit in only 22 minutes, while Gasol played 37) gee, maybe volume does matter. Of that 7 rebounds, 4 were offensive leading directly to at least 10 points(at least 2 3's).

    the KKP also "dominated" Niko stat wise (11 & 6 on 3-9 from the field), yet anyone with glaucoma and half a functioning brain cell could see who was the vastly more impactful player last night, as the game turned with Niko's presence on the court(plus 22, while the Bulls starters not named Butler were a combined minus 23), with a nice assist from Brooks offensively, even if he couldn't stop Schroder individually or in pick and roll with his buddy Gasol "helping".

    So if all you do is watch the box score and masterbate to advanced statistical anal-ass-is the guy who put up 18 & 13 is a much better player than the guys that put up 14 & 7 or 11 & 6 regardless of how they actually impacted the game which was obvious to anyone watching with open eyes and an open mind.

    Last night was a perfect example of the Krispiest, Kremeyest, Panseyest performances ever by a supremely talented 7 ftr. It was the essence of what Gasol truly is as a player.

    More to come in the playoffs, I'm sure, as I can't wait for every coach/team with half a functioning brain cell to run pick and roll at the KKP every single time down the court until Thibs is forced to make an adjustment or his reinforced concrete skull explodes because he simply cannot make the only adjustment possible, sitting the KKP for someone who can defend pick and roll and is willing to try to do so.

    Heck, even Sam Smith who spends almost as much time as you do on Gasol's payroll had to call out his "effort" against Horford last night. Of course that didn't stop him from tallying up his "record setting" 54rth DD of the season, even though it actually isn't a Bulls record(which would actually be held by Artis Gilmore). That would have been a beautiful thing to see Artis Gilmore going up against the KKP, I wonder how long it would have taken for Artis to make Pau cry and go home. Dennis Rodman against Pau would have been fun too.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    By the way, I was on Stuckey instead of Hangdog this past offseason, and I didn't even have to look up one single stat, advanced or otherwise. I've just been watching the game with a really good eye for the past 45 years. However, congratulations on your nearly perfect after the fact 20/20 vision, and it only took a half a forest worth of trees for you to figure it out.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    While I think that everybody would agree that Dunleavy shouldn't be a starter, to be fair to Thibs, he really doesn't have any other options and that's mostly on management. Nevermind the fact that everybody on the team is on board with the theory that Dunleavy just makes the team function better with some mysterious pixie dust.

    The only other option would have been starting McDNP, and he simply hasn't shown that he belongs on the court never mind as a starter. The Bulls, had they wanted to, could clearly have picked up a better starting wing or SF during the season, likely without even giving up Taj, but they clearly didn't think that they needed too. Maybe, this years playoffs will finally awaken them to address this glaring need.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bingo. Who else should Thibs play, Snell? He tried Niko at the 3 and we've all seen it doesn't work. Kirk is a different story because there are viable alternatives.

    Also, "50% of success is showing up."

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Does that apply to playing defense in the NBA, or as Bill Clinton might say, that depends on what your definition of showing up is, is.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I really don't see how playing McDermott would have been worse than staying with Dunleavy. At least McDermott has an upside. The fact that Thibodope has got NOTHING out of a high draft pick and has overly relied on poor playing 34-year olds should be reason enough to launch his stubborn, myopic arse. My pessimism on the playoffs is almost totally based on of the poor coaching and roster mangement of "one of the best coaches in the NBA".

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Thibs has a pretty damn good record with young players. How many guys picked in the first round, ever, has he not gotten to at least good NBA starter by their 2nd or 3rd season? Teague is the only one... Doug is his first go with a guy who was even drafted in the lottery for Christ's sake. The NBA rate of "becomes a good starter" for guys picked where Taj and Butler were is awful. I mean if Thibs playing Mirotic as much as he has(with Taj Gibson and co completely healthy) hasn't provided you with a reason to trust his judgement, I don't know what will. I would have liked to see Doug more too, but Thibs' record with Jimmy Butler, Taj, turning Deng into a player we weren't all praying would be traded daily, Asik, and now Mirotic... paired with his ability to turn previously below average mini point guards into top 3 backups in the league at their positions; speaks volumes about his abilities to develop players and put them in places to succeed. The truth is Thibs will probably be gone soon, and while I wish this wasn't the case, you're probably going to miss what he was able to do with players young and old. GarPax didn't all of a sudden turn into these excellent scouts. Thibs played a huge part in making them look good, and that trumps anything that Doug McDermott could have given us in his rookie year. He'll be back next year, I just wish Thibs was going to be there to give him the thing he's seemed to give every single non teague-bum player they've drafted, a sophomore season awakening and a solid NBA career. But yeah bring on the next Vinny Del Negro/Scott Skiles/oh great fred fucking hoiberg! yay! I'll paraphrase here because I'm not an ignorant jackass "The fact that Thibs has got NOTHING out of a high draft pick and has overly relied on poor playing 34 year old should be reason enough to launch his stubborn myopic ass" ...

    Thibs has a history of not playing rookies, yes, but he also played the hell out of the guy who should be the rookie of the year, THIS YEAR. Yet in regards to Doug McD, Thibs also has a history of turning those same guys he denied playing time as rookies, into good to borderline great NBA players shortly after we all get done bitching about them not playing their first year. You, GarPax, and Fred destroy my bracket Hoiberg are going to have a horrible couple years together, enjoy partaking in the biggest mistake of the Chicago Bulls organization's life.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    "Thibs also has a history of turning those same guys he denied playing time as rookies, into good to borderline great NBA players". No. Thibs has a history of not playing young players until his veterans get hurt and then realizing that some of them can actually play. But go ahead and cheer for a guy who has been outcoached every year he has been in the playoffs. Just one question. What has he ever won?

  • Here are my advanced numbers: Hinrich blows!

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    C'mon no one could figure that out without the Cray XK7 Titan supercomputer and years and years of rigorous study, while of course working off all the callouses on both their hands. Even John Hollinger is still out on this debate, he just hasn't had time to tabulate all the variables.

  • Wow, apparently even Thibs recognizes a Krispy Kreme Pansey performance when he sees one, as he takes Gasol out with 4.5 minutes to go in the first(a first on the season, I believe) and replaces him with Mirotic, interesting. Jeez. WWJHD(what would john hollinger do)

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Of course, we actually need the KKP to play more not less so that we can get the 4rth seed instead of the 3rd, even though in that case we would see this Atlanta team sooner in the playoffs.

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