John Schumann dropped this bomb on basketball twitter earlier today:
Needless to say, it was pretty exciting and I dove right in. Here are some early observations about the Bulls in the data:
- Derrick Rose is in the 93rd percentile in points per possession on isolations. His iso plays produce 1.07 points per possession. He's only isolated on 107 possessions on the year, though. Compare that with the similarly efficient (1.06 PPP) James Harden, who has isolated on 355 possessions. Maybe more Rose isolations are in order?
- NIKOOOOOOOOO is the Bulls' second best isolation player by points per possession at .91 PPP, but he's only isolated on 23 possessions. Jimmy Butler, though, is really the Bulls' second best player to iso when factoring in volume. Jimmy is producing .89 PPP on 90 isolation possessions.
- On the other end of the spectrum, Joakim Noah is the second worst isolation player in the league this year, producing just .36 points per possession on the 28 possessions he's tried it. This is almost surely related to his balky knee, but it also doesn't help that he's not able to use his dribble drive game against slow centers when playing alongside Pau and instead must attack more nimble power forwards off the bounce.
- To the surprise of no one, Kirk Hinrich is the worst non-Noah isolator on the Bulls. Hinrich has isolated the fewest number of possessions on the team (18) and his .61 points per possession is a putrid 16th percentile. Yuck.
- Mike Dunleavy Jr. is awesome. As a pick and roll ball handler he's producing 1.14 points per possession (roughly 99th percentile in the league) and in transition he's producing 1.47(!) points per possession (95th percentile).
- Rose has been poor in transition and off cuts, where he used to be pretty good, if i recall correctly. Transition: .9 points per possessions, 17.5 percentile. Cuts: .95 points per possessions, 17th percentile. Soooo, more half-court isolations?
- Mirotic has been the best Bull at post ups in terms of points per possession (1.13 PPP), but he has posted up for many fewer possessions than Pau, Taj, and Jimmy. Niko's only got 32 post up possessions on the year. Jimmy's PPP on post ups is 1.04 on 74 post ups. This certainly matches Jimmy's seeming to bully other guards on the block. Pau has posted up by far the most (301 possessions) but his PPP is just .88. Taj has posted up 141 times and his PPP is .93. Considering how middling Pau and Taj post ups are in terms of efficiency relative to other play types, 445 combined possessions worth from those two seems a LITTLE much.
- Pau is 48th percentile in defending the roll man on the pick and roll. Easily the worst amongst the Bulls' big men. Synergy doesn't really track who is responsible for help defense when the pick and roll ball handler keeps the ball. One thing worth noting, though, is that the Bulls are 5th worst in the league when the ball handler keeps it. Some of that is on the guards getting screened, but more of it is on the help big men. The most common help big for the Bulls is Pau, since he plays 35 MPG and always operates near the rim. This gives an idea of how bad he's been in that role.
Those were the things that jumped out to me. Play around with the data yourselves and drop fun nuggets you find in the comments! Or, you know, yell at me for picking on Pau. Either way.