Chicago Bulls: Status Check

Have you taken a look at the standings today?

The Bulls (33-14) are currently tied with the Miami Heat for the third-best record in the NBA. Only the San Antonio Spurs (40-7) and Boston Celtics (36-11) have been better approximately halfway through the season.

In terms of wins and losses anyway. John Hollinger’s Power Rankingshave the Bulls ranked seventh. Of course, those rankings have the Lakers (2nd) ahead of the Celtics (5th) even though Boston just busted their rivals on the road yesterday afternoon. So, well, there you go.

At any rate, here’s a quick snapshot of where the Bulls are right now.

Status Check:
Record: 30-14
Division: 11-0
Conference: 20-9
Home Record: 23-4
Road Record: 10-10
Last game: Won 110-89 versus Indiana
Last 10 Games: 8-2
PPG: 98.1 (17th)
Opponents PPG: 92.0 (3rd)
Offensive Rating: 105.8 (19th)
Defensive Rating: 99.2 (1st)
Pace: 91.7 (18th)
Pythagorean W-L: 33-14 (5th)
Simple Rating System: 5.44 (5th)
Average Scoring Margin: +6.09 (5th)
ASM L25%: +8.58 (2nd)
Strenth of Schedule: .480 (26th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .494 (15th)
Turnover Percentage: .137 (19th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .754 (6th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .280 (8th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .222 (22nd)
Opp. eFG%: .459 (1st)
Opp. TO%: .141 (10th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .220 (8th)
Leading scorer: Derrick Rose (24.4)

Stats from and

Injury Report:
Joakim Noah: Right thumb surgery (out for two months)
Taj Gibson: Sprained right ankle (questionable for Wednesday’s game)

After Friday night’s win over the Orlando Magic, the Bulls have seemingly taken their place as one of the league’s elite teams. The weird thing is: We don’t even know what this team’s true potential is yet. After all, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah haven’t been on the court together for as many as 10 games yet this season. And, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, Noah’s return is still a few weeks away.

But, hey, at least Jo had the pins in his thumb removed.

Said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau: “The next step is, he is still in a cast. Once he gets the cast off, then he will be able to move to non-contact type activities with the basketball. Once he gets through that, he will strengthen his hand enough where he can take on contact. Then he will be cleared to play. So he is still two steps away, but he’s making good progress. He is pretty much on schedule, so probably somewhere around the All-Star break.”

And even then, it will take Noah time to get back into the swing of things. Honestly, we might not have a good feeling for how good the Bull will be until…March?

Right now, though, the Bulls are looking up a mountain. Take a peek at their schedule. The next 14 games are brutal. There are two five-game road trips and a total of 11 road games. The Bulls will face the Heat twice during this stretch, once at home and once in Miami. One of their two remaining home games is against the Spurs. And they have road games against the Trail Blazers, Jazz, Hornets, Hawks and Magic.

Noah is still rehabbing. Rose has an aching back and two stomach ulcers. And now Gibson has a bum ankle.

This may be the Bulls’ biggest test of the season.

11 Responses to Chicago Bulls: Status Check

  1. Inception January 31, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    being a realist here – I’m expecting us to drop to 3rd (slight chance of 4th) in the conference with our upcoming schedule and miami at full strength now….some really big road games coming up.

    Jake in Minnie January 31, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Speaking of Hollinger, you have to take his stats and rankings with a grain of salt.

    According to this: PER is in some ways extremely flawed.

    Tony C. January 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Thanks for the link. It’s nice to see someone parse it out finely like that.

  4. Kevin January 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    To be fair to Hollinger, the gap between #1 (San Antonio) and #7 (Chicago) right now is about the same as the gap between #7 and #8 (Denver).

    I’d say it’s a fairly accurate estimation that the top 7 teams right now are on a level above the rest of the NBA, and are interchangeable from week to week. If the Bulls come out of this 14-game stretch with a 67% winning percentage intact (8-6 to be 41-20), it’ll reflect there as well.

    Benjamin Morris January 31, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    In fairness, Hollinger’s team stats are normally somewhat better than his player stats. But his team power rankings are pretty weak. He way over-values margin of victory, completely excluding raw win%, which is generally a more reliable indicator (a better model would use both), and he way way overvaluing recent performance, which is just not a very strong indicator empirically.

    Benjamin Morris January 31, 2011 at 11:37 pm #


    inkybreath February 1, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    So, they moved JJ down … are they filling that spot? A big from the D-League or something?

    Gorditadog February 1, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    Haven’t heard anything, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see Richards on a 10-day.

    inkybreath February 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    I would imagine Thomas might actually need some rest soon, eh?

    Justin February 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Definitely will drop to 4th seed at some point.

  11. Luvabull February 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    What a surprise. With Booz and Noah only playing 10 or so games together, to be where the Bulls are, “Who would’ve thunk it?”

    If they come out of February with a winning record Rose will have a very strong case for MVP.

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