Bulls mid-season report

The Chicago Bulls reached the midpoint of the 2016-17 NBA season with one more loss than win. At 20-21, Chicago sits a half game out of the last Playoffs spot in the Eastern Conference. Given their talent level, we find their record very disappointing.

Is it possible for the Bulls to be better NOW? Are they in touch with reality? Who are the five most efficient at each position? And, which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? These are the questions we will answer in our Hoop Obsession mid-season report.

Butler and Wade are out of the Playoffs at the halfway point.

The Bulls should be better. To begin with, Chicago has the 19th best (of 30) offensive rating. How is that relative poor performance in the first 41 games possible with Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, and Jimmy Butler playing one through three?

We think the answer lies in too many minutes without a floor stretching BIG. Chicago often plays with Taj Gibson at the FOUR and Robin Lopez at the FIVE. The resulting floor shrinkage by the opposing defense makes everything tougher on the Bulls offense.

We believe the Bulls would be better served to play the more efficient Gibson, or Cristiano Felicio at center. Bring Lopez off the bench. Felicio is the only Bulls BIG with more assists than turnovers.

Nikola Mirotic, who is struggling to make threes this season, should be the Bulls starting four man, backed up by Bobby Portis.

Jerian Grant is improving and we can buy him getting the backup minutes to Rondo. Finding some quality behind Wade and Butler and the wing spots is tough. Michael Carter-Williams is a poor perimeter shooter but he DOES play defense well. Doug McDermott, who we believed was ready to have a breakout season, still has not proven he can be efficient. Isaiah Canaan has been mostly ineffective.

Are the Bulls in touch with their reality?

At this point we would have to say, no they are not. The Bulls have a mostly veteran team designed to win TODAY. But they are 20-21. Is Fred Hoiberg the right coach for this crew? I can't help but wonder.

Any team with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler should be better than 20-21.

The Bulls are not void of future hope. If the season ended today, and there were no surprises in the lottery, the Bulls would be getting the first round pick of the Sacramento Kings in the 2017 NBA Draft (likely the eleventh choice). The Bulls also have their own first round pick.

Five most efficient by position

PG - Rajon Rondo .458, SG - Dwyane Wade .535, SF - Jimmy Butler .705, .620, *PF - Taj Gibson .544, C Cristiano Felicio .548

* Gibson does not shoot the three-ball well enough (1-4, 25% 3-pt. FG) to be a modern-day NBA four. Gibson is more of a pivot.

Which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? (players w/ 300 minutes played minimum)

The Bulls TEAM defensive rating is 107.1 (12th of 30). The players with defensive ratings better than the team average: Nikola Mirotic 104, Rajon Rondo 106, Jimmy Butler 106, and Michael Carter-Williams 106.


NBA related. Trade targets.