A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Luol Deng

Harrison Barnes, O.J. Mayo, and the perils of illogical projections

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Harrison Barnes and Kyrie Irving at the 2010 N...

Harrison Barnes (right), standing beside Kyrie Irving (left) Image via Wikipedia

Last week I made a post about Andre Drummond, the frontrunner by miles to be the #1 draft pick in 2012. This post will be about Harrison Barnes, who has nearly as high a profile as Drummond at this point and is even getting some #1 pick talk himself.

First of all, I like Harrison Barnes as a future NBA player. He has size, can shoot the ball, and seems like he has a great head on his shoulders. After a disastrous start to his freshman season at UNC, he turned it around and produced at a solid level the 2nd half. But it’s clear to me that he’s not the player he was projected to be out of high school. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

October 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Understanding the scale of the Bulls’ success

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Image via awesomestories.com

I want to take a moment to hammer something in that I don’t think people have quite grasped. That being: What the Bulls have accomplished in the last 4+ months is absolutely staggering.

First let me give some credit to our commenter lpb who made me really start thinking about this. He responded my first post analyzing how elite teams (top 8 in the league) were doing against each other before the all-star break noting that while the Bulls overall record was nothing terribly noteworthy, the team was undefeated against the other elites since Carlos Boozer joined the starting lineup (on Dec. 4th). It was a good point then, but I wanted to see them keep it up (and figured they probably couldn’t). Guess what? The Bulls have completed the last of their regular season games against the other elites, having gone 12 & 0, undefeated against the elites in the over 4 months of play since that date.

In the time span, their overall record has been 51 & 12. That’s a 66 win pace with their average margin of victory in that time has been 9.14 points per game. If that last number doesn’t mean anything to you, just know that there has only been one team in the post-Jordan era to have an average margin of victory north of 9 points per game (the ’08 Celtics).

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Written by Matt Johnson

April 12, 2011 at 6:57 am

Derrick Rose, the MVP race, and the Isiah-Iverson Team Model

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Derrick Rose

Image via Wikipedia

With Derrick Rose‘s continued improvement, and the Chicago Bulls‘ emergence as a championship contender, Rose has received quite a bit of discussion as an MVP candidate. At the most superficial level, the argument for Rose goes something like this:

Rose is doing it all by himself. Yeah, there’s Boozer & Noah, but they’ve been injured and the Bulls still were great. Yeah, Rose’s efficiency isn’t the best, but they’ve got no one else to go to when they need a bucket. If it weren’t for Rose, the Bulls would be terrible.

ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh just wrote a piece that goes significantly more depth on Rose’s MVP candidacy, and it’s good.  It’s focused on one really key point that is crucial to understand: The Bulls are winning because they have great defense, not because they have great offense – and Rose is absolutely not the primary reason for the defensive success since he’s very much an offensive oriented star. So that’s the trick, this isn’t a case of one player so unstoppable on offense that his team’s offense thrives even without supporting talent, it’s a story of a defense so good, that they can get away with a mediocre offense run by one ball dominant player.

As well as Haberstroh stated that though, he’s still not going as deep as is needed, and he’s making some mistakes along the way.

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Written by Matt Johnson

February 25, 2011 at 1:07 am