Jump for a look at the 2k9-2k10 Chicago Bulls.
The biggest story of the Bulls' previous season was a young man with a very interesting strategy to boost his SAT score- kids don't try that at home. Truth be told on draft day 2008 I actually thought the Bulls should have taken Michael Beasley. It's still early, but right now I don't think anyone's questioning their selection of the 2008-2009 NBA Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose.
I was perusing trusty old Basketball Reference and this rookie comparison popped out at me (highs across 3 players bolded):
- Rookie PG A: 16.1 ppg (43.0% FG, 28.2% 3pt, 84.7% FT), 7.8 apg : 2.3 tov, 5.1 rpg, 2.2 stl
- Rookie PG B: 16.8 ppg (47.5% FG, 22.2% 3pt, 78.8% FT), 6.3 apg : 2.5 tov, 3.9 rpg, 0.8 stl
- Rookie PG C: 10.8 ppg (42.1% FG, 41.6% 3pt, 70.4% FT), 4.5 apg : 1.8 tov, 2.4 rpg, 0.8 stl
Based on their rookie stats how would you rank these 3 rookie PG's NBA futures?
Last season CP3 and DWill were mighty impressive (in case you weren't living on hoops planet NBA):
- Chris Paul: 22.8 ppg (50.3% FG, 36.4% 3pt, 86.8% FT), 11.0 apg : 3.0 apg, 5.5 rpg, 2.8 stl
- Deron Williams: 19.4 ppg (47.1% FG, 31.0% 3pt, 84.9% FT), 10.7 apg : 3.4 tov, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 stl
(Side note does hoops nation realize that the "bigger and stronger" Williams is a far inferior rebounder to the "smallish" PG with two first names? Pretty amazing.)
I'd rate these two as legitimate superstars in the league for years to come and I think most would agree- even the delusional and low IQ masses of LA Laker fans (sorry had to get that in there after being surrounding by the Faker-ness during my recent excursion to SoCal aka Shallow Cal). The question everyone in Chicago and around the association should be asking themselves is does Derrick Rose got next? It'll be interesting to see if he make that leap. I know I'm curious.
Call me skeptical though. First thing's first he has to take much better care of the rock. That 7 game 1st round series and all those insane OT's with the Boston Celtics last spring was absolutely thrilling. But one thing stood out in my mind while watching that series. Sure Rose was scoring a ton, but he was an absolute turnover machine. If I remember correctly there was one game in the 4th quarter where he had an unfathomable number of turnovers in a row and his coach was hesitant to let him even bring up the ball. He simply could not take care of the rock and make good decisions- a critical element for any NBA PG. Take a look at his turnovers in that series against Boston:
- Game 1: 5 turnovers
- Game 2: 2 turnovers
- Game 3: 7 turnovers
- Game 4: 7 turnovers
- Game 5: 6 turnovers
- Game 6: 5 turnovers
- Game 7: 3 turnovers
(He'd sure fit right in with the young and dumb turnover prone 2008-2009 Golden State Warriors!)
This is the PG ROY we're talking about. Maybe it was an anomaly and maybe it shouldn't be as big of a precaution as I'm making it out to be, but it still makes me wonder. We shall see soon enough.
Rewinding 2k8-2k9 Season: 41-41 - Lost to Boston Celtics in absolutely thrilling 7 game series (minus KG)
Projecting 2k9-2k10 Season: 40-42 - 1st round exit with less OTs than the previous season.
I honestly don't see how the Bulls really improved this offseason. They lost Ben Gordon to free agency (I give the Bulls props for not trying to ink him to anything like the Detroit Pistons silly 5 year $55 million deal) and although I'm not a huge fan of his game his absence will make things tougher for Rose and crew.
To make a leap forward or even maintain their .500 record of a season before, the Bulls are going to need a major trade a la Carlos Boozer (but don't count on it- the Bulls have repeatedly shown a complete inability to pull off a trade for an All-Star caliber player the past few seasons even when it seemed like the player was theirs for the taking) or some in-house development (but we've been hearing that for years from guys like Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, and if you want to b e strict Joakim Noah). I expect Rose to continue to progress, but that improvement will most likely only begin to account for the Gordon loss.
Unfortunately it appears the Bulls are saturated with fairly middling young talent. No future All-Star/ All-NBA appearances seem to be in sight for the Bulls young core of Deng, Thomas, and Noah. They're nice players, but not the kind you build around. The Warriors analogy would be Andris Biedrins, Kelenna Azubuike, and Brandan Wright (being extremely generous with that one).
Despite the shortcomings of this roster the 2009-2010 Chicago Bulls are pretty much destined for a low playoff seed thanks to the Leastern part of the Eastern Conference. That's all fine and dandy until you realize that this means a date with the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, or Cleveland Cavaliers.
Gone Fishing- later than the lottery teams, but still pretty fast.
- Luol Deng picks up some of the scoring slack from the Gordon departure to Detroit by raising his PPG totals to his 2007-2008 17.0 ppg.
- The Bulls finally trade Kirk Hinrich- a fantastic defender, but mediocre at best offensive player who hasn't quite lived up to his big money deal.
- Jerome James matches his games played totals of the two previous seasons. (That's 2 games each season if you're counting at home.)
- Brad Miller pitches in a very solid 12 ppg, 8 rpg, and 3.5 apg.
- Joakim Noah draws a ton of boos in every away arena while approaching a double-double average with increased playing time.
- We give up any dreams of Tyrus Thomas being a star in this league. That's unfortunate because he can be pretty exciting to watch.
- John Salmons continues to be the best player putting up 18 ppg that gets zero national media love.
- Derrick Rose raises his scoring average to 20 ppg, but still can't get his SAT score up without a little help from his associates.
Ain't no Bull over at Blog-A-Bull:
GSoM's Around the Association 2009-2010
- Atlanta Hawks: Sorry, Mrs. Jackson. The Hawks are for real. + Peachtree Hoops
- Boston Celtics: Sheed in Green + Another Answer + CelticsBlog
- Charlotte Bobcats: They Do Exist + Rufus on Fire
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the Around the Association clock...