I figured - as a diversion from the Bulls' recent run of crap - I'd spread some cheer with a trusty tonic: cherrypicked stats. In this case, concerning our only three healthy players that actually matter.
Because some might look at this season's PER for Derrick (18.3), Taj (13.5), and JJ (10.7) and think "overrated" or "scrub". But cherrypick the numbers arbitrarily and convert them to Per36, and, well... hmm. Maybe it'll help you forget about Jannero Pargo for a second. Here are the numbers:
(Note: I used a regression to estimate PER. Standard error is 0.44.)
Derrick Rose Per36 since January 9th (33 games)
22.2pts, 3.8reb, 5.5ast, 0.7stl, 0.2blk, 2.6tov, 1.2pf, .551 TS% -> 20.0 PER
Derrick Rose Per36 since February 3rd (21 games)
22.2pts, 3.6reb, 5.6ast, 0.6stl, 0.2blk, 2.6tov, 1.1pf, .563 TS% -> 20.3 PER
(For some reason I thought Rose really turned it up recently. Not so.)
Taj Per36 since February 16th (20 games)
12.9pts, 10.8reb, 1.7ast, 0.9stl, 1.7blk, 2.4tov, 4.3pf, .567 TS% -> 15.9 PER
JJ Per36 since February 17th (19 games)
13.7pts, 6.3reb, 2.8ast, 1.2stl, 2.4blk, 2.8tov, 5.7pf, .617 TS% -> 14.9 PER
Mmm that cherry flavor! JJ still fouls too much, Taj's usage hasn't increased a lick despite the injuries, and Rose has been just a 20 PER guy with mediocre defense -> still not a star yet. I expected Rose's PER splits to be better.
On the other hand, JJ's passing and scoring efficiency have been awfully nice, as has Taj's rebounding since the first two months. Considering the general opinion here that Taj and JJ are at least decent defensively, those are strong numbers for rookies over a quarter chunk of the season. And Rose at a .563 TS% without a 3pt shot (and with just 4.5 FTA) is really impressive for a PG with his usage.
So there. Mildy happy again? Big picture, we know Noah and Deng will be solid, and we know Rose will be an all-star fixure. But Taj and JJ will be around for the next three+ years too. If nothing else, I'll be watching these last eleven games hoping their recent runs aren't flukes. Going six deep with a mid-1st rounder and cap space for a max... not all that bad :)