So far, Chicago Bulls are who we thought they would be

Continuing  my Marginal Win Score evaluation of individual NBA team performance at the 2010-11 quarter pole, we turn our attention to the improved Chicago Bulls.  For once I can say we have a team in the Bulls who are basically on track to perform as we thought they would.

The Bulls look like a solid second round to third round, 50+ win, NBA team.  Can they compete for the championship?  I won’t go that far.  But I will say that the team still has room to grow.

Before I explain, here’s the Chicago Bulls Win Chart so far:

2010-11
Chicago Bulls
(16-8)
Pos
Marginal
Win Score
Win__Loss
Credits
Win Contribution
Player Winning
Percentage
J Noah
4.9 +1.63 2.8__0.8 +0.245 .780%
R Brewer
2.0 +3.82 2.4__(-0.4) +0.329 1.151%
D Rose
1.2 +0.52 2.1__1.5 +0.077 .591%
L Deng
3.4 +0.08 2.0__1.8 +0.012 .517%
T Gibson
4.0 +0.65 1.5__0.9 +0.065 .613%
K Korver
2.7 +0.10 1.3__1.1 +0.009 .519%
C Watson
1.0 +0.08 0.7__0.7 +0.005 .516%
J Johnson
3.3 +5.76 0.6__(-0.2) +0.106 1.480%
C Boozer
4.3 +0.11 0.6__0.4 +0.005 .521%
O Asik
5.0
-0.39
0.5__0.6
-0.018
.435%
K Bogans
2.4 -1.61 0.5__1.4 -0.126 .245%
B Scalabrine
4.0 -5.78 (-0.1)__0.4 -0.067 (-.478)%


MWS Record: 14.8__9.2 Total Win Contribution
+0.642




Pythagorean
Record:
15.3__8.7 Projected Record
50.1__31.9

Two things stand out for me.  One is the surprisingly strong play the team is getting from free agent acquisition Ronnie Brewer.  Brewer has always been a strong win contributor, but not “negative loss” strong.  The key for him has been good shooting, great field goal defense, and outstanding steal production.

The second thing that strikes me is the somewhat middling contributions the team has received so far from newcomer Carlos Boozer and the usually above average Luol Deng.  Both players normally produce more wins per minute than they have been producing so far this season.  Boozer has been injured, so we need to wait to see what his deal is.  I don’t think Deng has been hurt.  He may simply be having one of his “down” seasons.

I did a Win Resume on Deng a few years ago.  As you can see if you click on the link, Deng is a better win producer than he has shown so far, but he also has a tendency to let his numbers slip near average every few seasons.

Currently, as the Win Chart shows, if you take the team’s Total Win Contribution and project it over a 19780 minute season, you come up with a record of 50.1 wins and 31.9 losses.  I said the Bulls would win around 52 games, so they are meeting expectations.  If Deng and Boozer get it going the team could step that up a bit more.  However, if you account for the loss of Joahkim Noah to injury, I’ll bet the team and its fans would be satisfied to simply continue their current level of  play.  We shall see.

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