FanPost

A Second Look at Luol

1-year APMs for Bulls players since 2004-2005, along with their overall weighted average:

Name Minutes09 APM08 Minutes08 APM08 Minutes07 APM07 Minutes06 APM06 Minutes05 APM05 WtAvg
Miller 2100.28 -0.06 2512.87 9.11 1783 3.67 2923 11.07 2089 9.76 7.19
Deng 1627.15 1.42 2128.03 4.2 3072 5.58 2604 7.57 1663 4.29 4.98
Noah 1911.23 3.07 1533.68 4.58 3.74
Rose 2977.2 0.76 0.76
Gordon 2974.18 2.66 2291.23 -8.84 2704 3.03 2482 -0.25 2002 6.83 0.71
Timmy 1230.2 3.51 1939.72 -0.62 2054 2.87 666 -3.86 1940 -5.89 -0.64
Hinrich 1338.48 7.7 2379.62 -3.4 2840 -0.62 2955 -1.7 2800 -1.7 -0.76
Tyrus 2174.83 -7.82 1330.23 4.97 966 0.23 -2.28
Salmons 2959.07 -7.32 2517.02 -7.31 2139 -4.42 2059 -5.47 993 -6.65 -6.32

APM numbers have flaws, mainly their variance from year to year (Gordon from -8.84 to +2.66 and Hinrich from -3.4 to +7.7 overnight), but it's probably not a fluke when a player is consistently positive or negative.  Luol's doing something right, and to judge him with just box score statistics and isolation ability is leaving something out.

Luol's team-first mentality makes up for his lack of athleticism/talent

I've been working on a statistical plus minus, and when I use basic stats, my system always underrates the Dengs, Battiers, Stojakovics while overrating the Gordons, Salmons, Durants.  And then I saw this article on 82games that shows the effect of a good passing in an offense.  They sum it up nicely in this chart:

Touches/Sec Freq. FG% FTA/FGA TO/FGA PtsPoss
.01 to .14 25% .442 .31 .15 92.8
.15 to .24 32% .441 .27 .13 92.9
.25 to .34 23% .505 .23 .12 105.6
.35 to .44 7% .519 .28 .09 114.1
.45+ 12% .585 .55 .14 122.5

So if a possession takes 20 seconds and there are 3 touches (2 passes), that's 3/20=.15 touches/sec for an expected 92.9 offensive rating.  If a possession takes 11 seconds and there are 5 touches (.454 touches/sec) the expected rating increases to 122.5.

That doesn't mean it's "pass back and forth a lot then shoot and you'll do better!" but it may mean there's a reason why players who play a team-first offense (high % of shots are assisted, decent passers, few turnovers, move well off the ball) have consistently higher than expected APMs.

Here's a look at the % of Team Field Goals Assisted when Miller, Deng, Gordon, and Salmons have been on vs. off the court in the past three seasons, along with their raw averages:

Name AST%09on AST%09off AST%08on AST%08off AST%08on AST%08off AvgDiff
Miller 54.9 53.1 54 45 61 52 6.60
Deng 56 54 61 59 60 58 2.00
Gordon 54 59 59 62 58 62 -4.00
Salmons 53.7 54 49 54 55 57 -2.43

 

The chart leaves a lot out  (who plays with who, usage rates) but it gives a general sense of how a single player can affect a team's passing.  Looking at the on court vs. off court Team Offensive Ratings the past three years:

Name ORtgOn09 ORtgOff09 ORtgOn08 ORtgOff08 ORtgOn07 ORtgOff07 AvgDiff
Miller 108.7 105.3 111.1 104.1 108.9 106.3 4.33
Deng 107.5 110.7 107.3 102.7 107.6 101.4 2.53
Gordon 110.2 106.8 105.5 104.7 108 102.2 3.33
Salmons 107.1 105.9 106.5 112 106.6 108.4 -2.03

Gordon is so freakishly talented he seemingly helps the offense despite lowering its AST%.  But Miller and Deng may be making up for their lack of talent and athleticism by playing team-first ball.   Although it's not like Luol can't do anything on the offensive end...

Luol showed signs of his old self in 2009

I think the tendency is to look at 2009 as a lost season for Luol.  It's easy to look at his overall numbers - mainly his .511 TS% and 9.0 AST% - and conclude that he didn't mesh well with Rose.  But we forget that he was his old self in January before getting hurt a month later.

Here's Scotter's post reviewing that month.  Deng averaged a .568 TS%, 10.5 AST% and 6.4 OREB% - numbers nearly identical to his ones in 2007 - and added a new element to his game: a 21.3 DREB% which topped Noah's and Tyrus's (think how much that would've helped in the Boston series).  His raw averages from that month: 17.5ppg, 8.5rpg, 2.3apg on 50.3 FG% (at just 24 years old) remind us why Paxson gave him the big contract.

That said, I don't think Luol's worth $12 million a year.  But I also don't think we're helping ourselves by trading him for an expiring contract like Camby's or Shaq's.  We bought ourselves a role player for $71 million, but we bought ourselves a damn good one whose game, I think, fits well with Rose, Tyrus, and Noah going forward.

 

FanPosts are user-created posts from the BlogABull community, and are to be treated as the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blog a Bull

You must be a member of Blog a Bull to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blog a Bull. You should read them.

Join Blog a Bull

You must be a member of Blog a Bull to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blog a Bull. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker