Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Pop quiz hotshot:

What position do the Bulls defend the best?

Would you believe it's the 2?

Position oPER
PG 16.2  
SG 12.8  
SF 14.3  
PF 14.7  
C 14.0  

One theme of this season here has been the need for a 'big' guard to help the smaller Bulls guard rotation of Hinrich, Duhon, and Gordon on the defensive end. As we know while Hinrich came into this league as a point guard, and still occupies that position when Duhon is not in the game, he is responsible for guarding the other team's best scorer. Usually among the two guard positions that is the SG, and thus this opposing PER of 12.8 (remember the 'average' player is a 15) is a testament to how great of a defender Hinrich has become.

Two of the Bulls past 3 games have been against Seattle, meaning that Hinrich had to guard Ray Allen. Here's how he fared:

3/11 - @Seattle

Pts TS%
Hinrich 10 28.2%
Allen 17 42.6%

3/15 - @Chicago

Pts TS%
Hinrich 7 23.3%
Allen 17 41.2%

And for reference, here are the season totals:

Ppg TS%
Hinrich  15.4 49.1%
Allen  23.8 55.1%

Statistically, Hinrich did a fantastic job against Allen, frustrating him to the point where Allen started questioning his tactics . But the toll was obviously taken on the offensive end, where tired legs from chasing around one of the premier players in the NBA undoubtedly contributed to Hinrich's poor shooting. I've said it many times here, the Bulls ask Hinrich to do way too much on both ends of the court.

As great as the Bulls defend SGs, they are at their worst against the PG slot. Coach Scott Skiles has already pointed out how far Gordon needs to come in his defense. The numbers, in addition to verifying those statements, also calls into question the defensive prowess of Chris Duhon. Not only are PGs doing their best against the Bulls, it is at that position where the Bulls give up the most in terms of net production, at -4.3 points in PER. In these terms the SG spot is again the Bulls best position, at +2.1.

 By looking through the trade and free agent market and trying to find the prototypical 'big' guard to help the Bulls defense (and Raja Bell is looking like the best choice), perhaps Hinrich will still be used against the opponent's best guard. But with another defender in the rotation, the guy Hinrich isn't guarding won't be facing the basketball equivalent of a matador anymore.

I'm leaving for Vegas Thursday afternoon, and more than likely there will be no posts by me until next Wednesday. If I never return you can either assume that I have pawned my plane ticket home, jumped out of a hotel window after seeing the Illini lose, or have won big and stayed out to realize California dreamin'.

The search for guest-bloggers has not been 'exhaustive' to say the least. I'll try better the next time, I swear. Make sure you check out the links on your left for all your NBA action. A special nod to the Bulls Report, who have been keeping up with the wins and losses better than I have lately.

See ya next week, a little bit poorer but hopefully wearing a smile full of Vegas memories.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Carnival of the NBA #3

Sure there was a 1-week layoff, but the Carnival keeps rollin. Again if this is your first time and want to know what the Carnival is about, click here. On with this week's selections from the NBA blogosphere...

--This week I'll lead off with Forum Blue and Gold, since Kurt was nice enough to email me and mention his post on Reggie Miller's case for the Hall of Fame. This week there's a post in favor of an expanded NBDL as part of the new NBA collective bargaining agreement:

It would have advantages for NBA teams. Lets use the Lakers as an example. I have called for Sasha to get more playing time, taking some away from Tierre Brown. The reason is not Sasha is better than Tierre, he’s not at this point. But he needs some court time — and some weight — to see what he really can be and he’s not getting that at the end of the bench.

I've been advocating this for a long time...

--Over at guest-blogger David Crocket has compiled a list of players to look for in the NCAA tournament. With the Knicks' having acquired extra first-round draft picks at the trade deadline, Knickerblogger has faith in Isiah to pick to the right prospect this June...

--Speaking of the draft, Raptorblog has an assessment of first-round pick Rafael Araujo:

Anyway, Hoffa may be a disappointment so far this season, but y'all need to stop calling him a bust. That word gets thrown around like it ain't no thang, but I know a bust when I see one and Hoffa ain't it. I remember The Aleksandar Radojevic Era – all 24 minutes of it. That, my friends, was a bust. Perspective is important.

I think we all have our favorite high-profile busts, mine may be Marcus 'the Black Hole' Fizer...

--How 'bout them Celtics? said at the time that bringing back Antoine Walker was a good move, and looks like they were right...

--Meanwhile another Atlantic Division team that made a big acquisition was the Sixers, although unlike the Celtics they've been fading in the race for the playoffs. is all over it, questioning whether Chris Webber will always remain a loser...

--At they've been searching for a nickname for Reggie Evans, and approved my suggestion. And you gotta check out this Benoit Benjamin story...

--At the San Antonio Spurs Blog, there's confidence that there is no way the Suns can beat the Spurs in a seven-game series:

But that type of offense doesn't work very well against the Spurs. Because, well, the Spurs do play defense. They get back in transition and they don't allow many three attempts. Phoenix averages 23.9 3P attempts per game. Against the Spurs they average 16.0 (and remember one of those games went into overtime). You think that's a coincidence? Here's a clue. It's not. The Spurs allow 15% fewer three point attempts than the team second in that category. Now, take into account the Spurs have the largest margin of victory. That should lead to more three point attempts. But it doesn't. Why? Because the Spurs make it a point to prevent 3PA. You don't have to be inside the locker room to know this. Just watch how aggressively they run at shooters. Watch how they play the pick and roll. Look at the numbers.

Also make sure to check out the ongoing experiment on betting *on* the Atlanta Hawks, an idea spawned by his dislike of the aforementioned Antoine Walker...

--Most Valuable Network has expanded their NBA coverage, and Dave Isaacs has roundup of the new additions. One of those is All that Jazz, which was formerly known as Jazz Blog. It's good to see that they are targeting some established bloggers to join the fold...

--Another MVN blog, The Cavalier Act, anticipates the return of Carlos Boozer to Cleveland. While realizing with Boozer's disappointing year that the Cavs may be able to use money earmarked for Boozer more wisely, Cavs GM Jim Paxson is not off the hook for his many blunders, including the Boozer contract fiasco...

--For the best place to find NBA photos, BlazerTalk has great shots of nearly every Blazer home game. Naturally alot of visitors here will want to check out the pictures from the Bulls/Blazers game...

That's all for this week! Again, if you read or write a post that you want mentioned, send me an email.