[Note by your friendly BullsBlogger, 08/16/09 3:56 PM CDT: From the FanPosts -ed.]
Stephen Ilardi of basketballvalue.com recently posted on the APBRmetrics board with updated 6 year adjusted plus minus numbers (70% weighted towards this past season and weighted greater for the most recent years of the remaining 30%). I decided to look through the current Bulls remaining on the team to get a sense of what we might be able to expect from this team next year.
Player, 2008-09 Minutes, Off. APM, Def. APM, Std. Error, Total APM
1. Brad Miller, 2100, 1.96, 3.00, .98, 4.96
2. Joakim Noah, 1911, .89, 2.87, 1.1, 3.76
3. Kirk Hinrich, 1338, 1.12, 2.38, .96, 3.50
4. Luol Deng, 1627, -.48, 2.35, 1.03, 1.87
5. Ben Gordon, 2974, 3.02, -1.53, .99, +1.49(d'oh!)
5. Aaron Gray, 693, -1.74, 2.7, 1.56, .96
6. Derrick Rose, 2977, 2.03, -1.70, 1.13, .33
7. Tyrus Thomas, 2175, -5.05, -.53, 1.02, -5.58
8. John Salmons, 2959, -1.8, -5.35, .91, -7.14
On the roster but missing in the numbers along with reasons they didn't make it: Jannero Pargo (Europe), James Johnson (rookie), Taj Gibson (rookie), Lindsey Hunter (not enough minutes), Jerome James (corpse).
- John Salmons is not Ben Gordon, or even close for that matter. BG was a +1.49 last year, Salmons was a dreadful -7.14. . . keeping up with the trend of Salmons sucking by APM. Losing Ben Gordon will hurt a lot more than people think.
- Having a healthy Kirk and Luol is absolutely essential. If Kirk can take some of Ben's minutes and Salmons doesn't completely suck ass in the 2 guard spot (a dicey proposition given these numbers and his lack of 2 guard athleticism), then losing Gordon might not be quite as bad, but it will still suck.
- Brad Miller needs to continue to be awesome, another dicey proposition given his age and the dropoff in his APM numbers that has already begun. (He was a +6.11 last year by 5 year APM).
- WTF Tyrus? Tyrus's APM numbers dropped off a cliff this year compared to year's past where he was always about average. If the Bulls are to be anything worth writing home about next year, Tyrus needs to step it up. A lot. Or they need to deal him for someone better.
- Jannero Pargo's total APM from 2007-2008's five year APM data set was -.51. He went over to Europe and sucked (posted a 3.7 PER in 11 games of Euroleague play for Olympiacos). So, he's not someone the Bulls should be looking to rely on either to replace Ben Gordon.
- Joakim Noah is awesome. He should only continue to get better.
- Derrick Rose needs to improve quite a bit next year for the Bulls to make any sort of leap, especially since BG's near 3,000 minutes of + 1.49 production has departed. I fully expect Derrick to be up to the challenge, but a lot does hinge on it. The Bulls have no true star, as of right now, they are simply a collection of mostly average to above average players. APM bears this out. Derrick Rose needs to be a star, and soon. Preferably this year.
- The Bulls really need to hope James Johnson can contribute this year, especially given the concerns with Luol Deng's health and the fact that John Salmons sucks somethin' fierce. He showed some ability to play a point forward role, and has pretty good vision. He's also versatile enough to do some work in the post against smaller 3s so hopefully he proves to be a positive contributor.
- This team has the talent to compete for about 50-52 wins, if everything goes right. That means that they can't suffer any major injuries to any of the top 8 or 9 players, Vinny has to use the right lineups (gulp), and the veterans have to maintain their level of play from last year or the young guys (Tyrus and Derrick, in particular) need to play better than this year. There are a lot of moving parts, so I'm guessing at least one of these things won't happen. Whether that means someone gets injured, or Tyrus continues to regress, or Vinny continues to be a dolt, I'm not sure, but I don't see things going perfectly for this team. So, I'd guess that they win somewhere around 42-45 games.