Why is Pargo ahead of Acie Law?

These are the type of questions that can drive me insane.   I am not a basketball coach, now I know many fans think they could coach (it’s just managing timeouts and rotations right?), but I’m not one of them.   Still, I do think every team needs to hire a “captain obvious” to point out things that my eight year old daughter would notice, but somehow the coach does not.

Acie Law not playing over Jannero Pargo is one such thing.

Look I get it, coaches don’t like guys who make mistakes.   That must be why Acie Law isn’t playing.  Look at their per 36 minute numbers, Pargo over the course of the season, Law for the past six games since the Bulls started playing him. (please note, the first game in Law’s  selection is by FAR the worst, but I didn’t want to cherry pick).

Acie Law 6 94 6.92 13.85 0.50 1.15 3.46 0.33 6.92 8.85 0.78 1.15 3.08 4.23 3.85 0.77 0.00 3.85 3.08 21.93
Jannero Pargo 52 649 6 17.3 0.349 1.7 6.3 0.272 2.1 2.2 0.925 0.3 3.1 3.4 4 1.4 0.1 2.6 3 15.9

The turnovers is the only explanation I can give.   Their assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks are all fairly similar, but the turnovers is the one area Law has struggled in, largely due to two games where he really struggled. Law is giving you 6 more points on 3.5 less shots per 36 minutes.   That’s absolutely ridiculous.

Now that would be a somewhat biased figure as it doesn’t really take into account possessions.   Factor in TOs and possessions used to get to the foul line, and it’s a bit closer.  Law is using 21.7 possessions per 36 while Pargo is using 20.9 possessions.   Still, the gap between their scoring ability is so vast that that the efficiency difference is greater than the difference between the best team and worst team in the NBA (that gap is 15 points per 100 possessions, their gap is 25 points per 100 possessions).

We’ve now factored out the only thing Pargo had going from him in the equation, and the numbers still support Law playing more (by a huge margin).  

Unfortunately, 82games.com doesn’t have Law’s stats tracked accurately, so we can’t go look up how the two fared defensively using +/-, point differential while on the floor, opponent point differential, or opponent PER (all of which are kind of dicey, but at least give you something), however does anyone here really believe that Pargo’s defense is keeping him on the floor?  

For Pete’s sake, Law’s even shooting a better percentage from the three point line even though Pargo is the “shooter”. 

This is a classic case of coaching blinders.  A coach just gets in his head that one guy is ahead of another guy and despite the overwhelming evidence that this should not be the case and can’t manage to bust out of the mentality.

However, acknowledging that neither guy gives you much outside of scoring, look at the scoring..    Even if you want to say Law’s extra turnovers create easy baskets, you could take away 2.4 points from the differential (assuming a made layup on each additional Law turnover) and it’s still not close.

As the Lenox financial guys, it’s the biggest no brainer in the history of the world.   Play Acie Law.   Jannero Pargo is not helping you.  He’s proven he’s not helping you.  He’s playing at a “I don’t belong in the NBA” level right now.   He’s not going to be here next year, Law might.  He has no headroom to improve, Law might. 

Look, I don’t know if Law can keep this up, but I do know that Pargo can keep up his win-destroying style of play.   When a guy is playing as bad as Pargo then you should be desperate to try anything else, and when something else works why would you ever go back?

About the only reason I can possibly figure this makes sense is if the Bulls quietly figured they want to keep Law and don’t want him to raise his contract value to over the vet minimum where another team might take him.   An idea that’s absurd given VDN is fighting for his job while the Bulls are fighting for a playoff spot.  However when decisions this obviously bad are made, you have to come up with the wild conspiracy theories because rational thought simply isn’t going to cut it.


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  • Or it might that VDN thinks it really doesn't matter in terms of wins/losses on whether Pargo/Law plays. Or it might be a hope that Pargo might get hot(I remember he did once during the season) and got 12/14 points in a matter of few minutes.

    Also, one more thing is how fans/coaching staff think the new kid in the block is better than the old kid on the block. I am talking about Joe Alexander and James Johnson. Both are similar players and haven't accomplished much. But JJ because of his familiarity with the system(I guess) gets more opportunities

  • Vinny Del Negro doesn't like to be questioned. He's stubborn.

    If you go on CSNChicago and listen to his post-game comments after the Dallas game, he was asked about Acie Law deserving more playing time. Both times Vinny Del Negro was just looking for EXCUSES not to play the kid in his responses.

    Production aside, which you layed out nicely Doug, the question is, "Who has the better chance of being hear next season?"

    In my opinion Jannero Pargo is as good as gone, while Acie Law can actually stick with this team as the back-up PG, if given ESTABLISHED MINUTES and an HONEST OPPORTUNITY.

    PG - Rose/Law...looks solid to me.

    I don't get this staff or management at all. It's Derrick Byars all over again.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Jesus... Byars again?

    As for your very first comment, I have a hard time coming up with any coach in any sport that likes to be questioned. VDN is in good company.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    We don't know what goes on behind the scenes, like JJ always being late (now we know).
    Law's body language is one of disinterest and laziness! Everyone can see that. Maybe the players don't want him out there. Kirk is guarding his man full court and fighting over screens, just to watch Law jog around?
    VDN is constantly talking about effort and defense. Law doesn't give either of those, so you lose a team when you play that guy. Pargo has struggled, but I never get the sense he doesn't care.
    Also, this isn't the first team Law has been on and has sat. This guy may just have a poor attitude. We don't know, but that's my guess.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Amen, Doug....I've been asking this question to my friend for the last two games. Law strung a couple of solid games together...which is 2 more than Pargo has managed. My God, I am tired of shitty coaches with shitty substitutions.....Why isn't Gordon playing? Why isn't Tyrus playing? Why isn't Noah playing? From Skiles to Boylan to DelSucko....

  • I'm going to have to disagree Doug. He's not playing at a doesn't belong in the NBA level, he's playing at a doesn't belong in the D league level. ;)

    I don't see how this can just be a coaches preference. I think Skiles is a good coach, but his love of Chris Duhon was strange. However there's a difference between playing a guy who at least gives you something, and playing Pargo.

    I just can't see how it can happen. Statistically Pargo is a train wreck. Visually Pargo is a train wreck. He appears to have absolutely nothing going for him. He must be the best locker room guy in the world or something.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Apparently he tells real funny jokes

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    This reminds me of last years playoffs between the lakers/jazz, when jerry sloan decided to never play Ronnie Price over Brevin Knight in the series except for the last game when Ronnie Price almost single handedly brought them back to win. Then later in the post-game conference he admitted that he shouldve been playing Price over Brevin Knight from the beginning and now where's Brevin Knight?!? NOT EVEN IN THE LEAGUE lol!!


  • Like you, Doug, I don't feel I'm qualified to coach. However, we've all played on some type of team in the past. Maybe Pargo is that guy who is always busting his butt in practice. I don't know if these guys run sprints in practice or things like that, but maybe Pargo is always first and Law is last. Maybe Pargo is first to practice and always a pro, while Law is less than a pro.
    Pargo may be earning his minutes behind the scenes. And VDN is rewarding that professional attitude. VDN's teams play hard (maybe not lately), and maybe that's a result of him playing the guys that earn minutes during practice.

  • I wanted to pull my hair out when Pargo was playing ahead of Law, especially in a blowout. When Pargo takes the court an angel loses its wings. Seriously.
    There seems to be a recent history of this with the Bulls, esp. under VDN's leadership. I have to say, I tried the like the guy and mostly do, but its the little things like this that make it hard to argue wanting him to come back. No.

    Also, it drives me nuts when the Bulls refuse to milk a hot hand. Its almost like clockwork, someones going off (in this case Rose...again) and he sits his ass and they difer the offense away from him till he cools. Dengs Hot? Sit him. Law's doing well? Play pargo.

    Yeah I guess its time for another coach...Vinny seems like a nice enough guy though, Id imagine Bulls make him upper management anway : )

  • The first thought that came into my mind is that the Bulls were trying to lower his value...makes no sense given that we aren't eliminated from playoffs.

    Second was that Pargo seems to be trying harder this year than I remembered in years past on defense and is being rewarded.

    Third is the practice hard reward, which I gotta think is the real answer or that Pargo actually makes his shots in practice. It is the cornerstone of the Bulls' culture.

  • With Rose and Kirk back, Law played 4 minutes and Pargo 11. Honestly, I'm not going to make who the 4th guard in our rotation is a referendum on Vinny or the organization's competency.

    Acie played relatively well (certainly better than Pargo) when given a large role, but it's not as if the team was winning. And to me, what he does in that role (a fill-in starter) is not the same as what you want from your 4th guard. Based on practice, familiarity, and games, VDN may want Pargo's D and ability to run routes off the ball more than what Acie brings.

    Pargo's probably my least favorite player on the Bulls, but from what I can tell he does understand our defensive system and gives effort on that end. I don't know what Acie brings off the ball, and with Rose and Hinrich ahead of him as ballhanders, I can understand the coaching staff not trying to find out with limited time left in the season.

  • Of course Pargo's turnovers are less than Law's. Pargo gives himself no opportunity to turn the ball over; As soon as the ball is in his hands, he shoots it. This is why his shooting percentage is below 35% overall and below 30% from 3. It's actually surprising that he still manages to turn the ball over at the rate he does considering his quick trigger finger. It makes his turnovers seem much, much worse than the statistics show.

  • Well, once again I won't be able to watch the Bulls game because I don't pay $160 a year for NBA League(Fleece) Pass on top of my fat broadband/digital cable bill. Stern, you suck.

    Anyway, Doug I've been reading the NBA CBA FAQ being that with all the 2010 F.A. blitz I forgot that without a trade/obtaining Bird rights, you can't exceed the cap. So I was reacquainting myself with all the where's and why for's when I stumbled across the particulars of the mid level exception.

    Am I correct in understanding that each year a league average salary(last year $5.6 Mil) can be paid to sign a multi-year contract without counting against the cap? Also, that every year an additional player/free agent can be signed with the M.L.E. without exceeding the cap?

    If this is correct with max/big time player salaries keeping the average floating while lower players salaries presumably will be falling, then an M.L.E. somewhere in the $5 + Mil range should sign a potentially valuable bench/rotation player. So we could sign one Max free Agent along with the current roster minus unretained players. Plus we can sign a Mid Level solid rotation guy for some $5 Mil.

    If so do you think it's realistic that the Bulls would do this, and could they get a decent piece/rotation guy with the M.L.E.?

  • I guess the bulls hate Law as much as I do.

  • Instead of drafting or signing a cheap backup PG for enxt year....WE HAVE 1 ON OUR BENCH right now in Law! I have no clue why they are playing Pargo over Law. Pargo has been terrible all year long. Taking terrible shot after terrible shot. At least Law came in and played with a team 1st attitude. Vinny better be gone after this year...Im sick of stupid coaching.

    Another guy I always wanted the Bulls to at least give a chance to was...Shaun Livingston. He had so much potential, Im really suprised we didnt even look at him. As a backup PG at 6'7 playing limited minutes here and there...he could of been perfect.Especailly since he is pretty local from Peoria. I think he is on a team in the NBA right now. James White is another guy...could of provided us with solid D on the perimeter.

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