A while back I did a FanPost about great/bad player games and the impact on the Bulls W-L record. To summarize very briefly, I used average GameScores and standard deviations for each player (significant rotation time guys only) to try to identify the games this season where each of the Bulls performed significantly above or below average.
I meant to follow that up sooner with some more details, but it took me a while to get back to it. Since it's been pretty dead as far as Bulls news goes (new GM
Tom Hanks Gar Forman notwithstanding), now seems like as good a time as any.
The first issue related to Tyrus and Joakim having horrible starts to the year, which meant that virtually all of their "bad" games came at the beginning of the year. With a rookie PG and rookie coach, it made sense to allow for an adjustment period for everyone, really - so I reran averages and standard deviations for all the guys for the last 65 games only. This table shows the team W-L record when each player had a great, average, or bad game for the final 65 games:
"great" game W-L "average" game W-L "bad" game W-L
Derrick 8-4 23-21 1-7
Ben 7-3 23-21 3-8
Kirk 3-2 21-13 1-5
John 2-2 12-7 1-2
Luol 4-3 11-14 3-2
Tyrus 6-3 20-21 5-7
Joakim 7-3 23-20 2-9
Brad 4-0 9-9 3-2
So, Derrick had 12 exceptionally good games (compared to his own average performance) during the 65-game period, and the Bulls won 8 of those and lost 4. And in the 8 exceptionally bad games Derrick had, the Bulls lost 7 and only won once.
This was as far as I'd gotten last time, and it left the question of how this relates to teammates playing well or poorly, if at all, and whether there's any sort of pattern for what type of opponent each guy plays well or poorly against. I haven't finished the opponent part yet, so I'll be tormenting you with at least one more post on this at some point this off-season. The rest of this looks at how the unusually good or bad performance of one player is impacts others on the team.
For the team as a whole, the 65 game period resulted in a 33-32 record. In 9 wins, none of the players had a great game, while in 10 wins only one player had a great game. These 10 games where one guy "carried" the team, so to speak, go to Luol (3), Derrick (3), and one each to Ben, Kirk, Joakim, and Tyrus. In 11 of the wins, 2 players had exceptionally good games, and the only pair that shows up more than once is Ben/Derrick with 2 of the 11 wins. In the remaining 3 wins, 3 guys had exceptionally good games. Overall, the ratio of solo great games to shared great games for the team as a whole is 21 solo great to 40 shared great games.
For the 32 losses, 6 of them came with no one having a particularly bad game. In 2 of the losses, two players played poorly. In 4 losses, 3 guys had off nights. And in 2 of the losses, 4 of the players were bad. (And if you guessed these two really bad nights for Bulls fans were the late season losses @Washington and@Orlando, you'd be right.) The overall ratio of solo bad games to shared bad games is 30 solo bad games to 31 shared bad games.
This means that In 18 of the losses, only one player had an exceptionally bad night. I suppose you can look at this 2 ways - you can either hate on the player for single-handedly costing games, or you can look at it as a sign of how important that player is to team success. Also, since I haven't finished up with the opponent stuff yet, this gives no indication of whether the bad game came in an understandable circumstance (e.g., Joakim going against Dwight Howard). With that said, the "pin the loss on this guy" games go to Joakim (5), Ben (4), Derrick (3), Tyrus (3), and one each for Kirk, Luol, and John.
As far as specific players playing exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly at the same time, I'm not really finding any pattern there. Kirk and Derrick were more likely than the other guys to have a bad game when another player or players also have a bad game, which makes sense when you consider that assists make up a greater proportion of their gamescores. And everyone except Luol was equally or more likely to have an exceptional game when another player was also having an exceptional game.
The one player combination of exceptional games that stood out involved some combination of Ben, Derrick, and Joakim - in 50% of Ben's exceptional games Derrick also had a great night, while in 40% of Joakim's exceptional games Derrick also had a great night. And in 50% of Derrick great games, either Ben or Joakim also had a great game. (Interestingly, Derrick is the common denominator there - Ben and Joakim never show up as playing exceptionally well together unless Derrick is also there.) Everyone else (so far at least) seemed to randomly share good nights and bad nights. Maybe that will change when opponent is taken into account.
Oh, and hope no one wanted to go to China... ;)