[From the FanPosts. I only caught the last several minutes of this game, saw Brad Miller looking completely wiped (Hinrich too, but he always looks that way), and figured the worst of Vinny. Hey, it was happening when the Bulls were winning too, and it sucked then. Wins or losses, they're not going to be a good team anytime soon. -ed]
So. Joakim Noah.
To get the rote work out of the way:
Noah was out of shape at the beginning of the season. Oh wow, that sucks, etc. etc. Of course, as the season progressed, Noah hired a personal trainer and immediately started improving. Currently, looking at basketball-reference.com, Noah is second in total Win Score behind BG - but he's played less than 2/3 of BG's minutes, and Win Scores aren't per-minute scores. [He's second in Offensive Win Scores[!!!] behind Gordon and second in Defensive behind TT.] He's fifth in PER on the team - and PER is a strictly offensive measurement.
Let's use today as an example. When Noah was on the floor the Bulls were a +7, highest of anybody on the team. He got 7 rebounds and made all four of his FT's.
Miller ended up playing the entire fourth quarter and was completely gassed at the end of the game. He also jumped into Tyrus as he attempted to slam Gordon's miss home when time expired [joy!].
In the last five games, Noah's minute distribution has looked like this:
In the last five games, we have won three games and lost two in this order:
Looking at the other games, while the data doesn't exactly correlate [we've won games where Noah's been out and lost games [Lakers] where he's been in ... oh, the pitfalls of statistics], it's close. When the Bulls were blown out by the Magic, Noah had 12 minutes. [He also had four personal fouls, but that doesn't mean he can't play. No, that's 6 fouls, Vinny. And it's not as though anything else was working.] Noah played 24 minutes against the Nets when we lost to them 111-91, with Devin Harris going off for 42[!]. Let me think: who do we have to rotate and help on crafty guards that attack the basket?
Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but in this case ... it's not exactly rocket science. Miller's great: he's been helping our bigs tremendously, but that doesn't mean that we have to play him 40 minutes a game until he breaks like Shaq did before he was traded.
Or, with Del Negro as our coach, perhaps it is rocket science.