Losing Rip Hamilton has sucked. Not only can he come off screens like Korver, he can create off the dribble, is the Bulls second best passer, and might be the Bulls second best post player. However, we are pretty much stuck without Rip until the playoffs. The question then remains, who should start in his place while he is out: Korver or Brewer?
I assume I don't need to go about proving that Korver is the better offensive player. It's not even close. After a hot start, Brewer's TS% has dropped to 48%. This puts him below guys like DeMar DeRozan, Jordan Crawford, and Daniel Gibson (and to be fair, Rip Hamilton is only at 49% TS, but he is doing plenty more out there). Korver's TS% is at 60%. He's a touch behind Ray Allen. The other issue with Ronnie is his finishing ability. One of the arguments to have Ronnie in there over KK is that KK is a jumpshooter, but Ronnie can play the baseline and finish at the rim. Beyond all the numerous missed dunks, Brewer is shooting 56.7% at the rim. This puts him 7th from the bottom amongst SG's playing 20+ MPG. Furthermore, the vast majority of players that are near Ronnie's percentage or worse are assisted a ton less on those shots. Meaning, these are guys that are getting themselves to the basket, not getting assisted and blowing the layup.
The question remains, does the difference in defense make up for Ronnie's offensive shortcomings? Comparing DRtgs, Ronnie is 100 and Kyle is a 101. Well, DRtgs are largely team based, so this is not a huge surprise, although I am surprised that it is this close. Here is something interesting from 82games.com. Korver seems to do a better job defending SG's than SF's. Perhaps a good reason to get him more time at the 2 spot. What's interesting is that if you scroll down further, you notice that the Bulls are actually better defensively with Kyle on the court and yet worse offensively. Not something I would have expected, although probably meaningless. Lookinfg through lineups on basketball reference, the Brewer liineups do look more productive than the equivalent Korver lineups. Lineup number 9 is especially telling, as this is the Bulls first negative net points lineup among their top lineups in terms of minutes. It would also be the projected starting lineup with Korver in place of Hamilton.
I don't know what the answer is. I originally went into this firmly in the Korver's korner. Now, I might be a Brewer backer. I am simply not sure. I think it's worth giving Kyle a shot. A final thought, Korver has scored 30+ points three times in his career. He did this in normal starter minutes (between 31 and 34). Brewer has never scored 30 and has scored 25+ ppg three times (for reference, Korver has done this 16 times). He played 40+ minutes in two of these games. Maybe it would be nicer to have some scoring in the starting lineup, especially given Ronnie's current offensive struggles. What do you think?