Not-so-random numbers from the 2008-09 season

season stats

To prepare myself for the upcoming season, I decided to take a look back at the numbers that shaped the 2008-09 campaign. These stats came from the 2008-09 NBA Season Summary at

Field Goals Made / Attempted: The Bulls ranked 8th in field goals made (3126) and 5th in field goals attempted (6846). Only the Knicks, Pacers, Warriors and Lakers put up more shots. In addition to those teams, the Suns, Jazz and Mavericks all made more shots.

Three-pointers: The Bulls knocked down a higher percentage of their three-pointers (.381) than all but five other teams (Celtics, Cavaliers, Spurs, Suns and Trail Blazers). However, they ranked only 22nd in three-pointers made (492) and 23rd in three-pointers attempted (1293).

Fun Fact: The Bulls opened the season with a starting lineup of Derrick Rose, Thabo Sefolosha, Luol Deng, Drew Gooden and Tyrus Thomas. They ended the season with a starting lineup of Rose, Ben Gordon, John Salmons, Thomas and Joakim Noah. Obviously, three of those eight players are no longer with the team.

Free Throws: The Bulls were 14th in free throws attempted (2052) but 7th in both free throws made (1633) and free throw percentage (.796).

Blocks: The Bulls were the league’s fourth-best team in terms of total blocks (453). The only teams to return more shots to sender were the Warriors (527), Nuggets (492) and Clippers (482). Raise your hands if you’re surprised to see the Warriors and Clippers at the top of the league in this category. Yeah, I thought so.

Points: The Bulls ranked 8th in points per game (102.2), behind the Suns (109.4), Warriors (108.6), Lakers (106.9), Knicks (105.2), Pacers (105.1), Nuggets (104.3) and Jazz (103.6). Note that four of those eight teams did not make the playoffs (Suns, Warriors, Knicks and Pacers).

Opponents’ Field Goals: Bulls opponents ranked 4th in field goals attempted (6864) but only 10th in field goals made (3141) and 16th in field goal percentage (.458).

Opponents’ Three-pointers: Despite the fact that Bulls opponents chucked up the fourth-most shots, they ranked only 24th in three-point attempts (1400), 25th in three-pointers made (486), and 27th in three-point percentage (.347).

Opponents’ Offensive Rebounds: Bulls opponents ranked 3rd in total offensive rebounds (1017). Only the Warriors (1165) and Kings (1018) gave up more. The Suns ranked 4th by giving up 993 offensive rebounds. Of those four teams, only the Bulls made the playoffs.

Opponents’ Blocked Shots: It was a block party in Chicago last season…and everywhere else the Bulls could be found. Bulls’ opponents ranked 3rd in total blocks (449). Only the Bobcats (488) and Timberwolves (484) had more shots swatted last season. Note that the ‘Cats won only 35 games and the ‘Wolves won only 24.

Pace: The Bulls ranked 9th in pace by virtue of averaging 93.1 possessions per 48 minutes. The faster teams were the Warriors, Knicks, Pacers, Suns, Nuggets, Lakers, Kings and Thunder. Note that six of those eight teams did not make the playoffs. Speed kills? It did in the NBA last season.

Effective Field Goal Percentage: In case you don’t know, eFG% “is a basketball statistic (shooting metric) that adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal.” Well, the Bulls ranked 21st .493. Meanwhile, their opponents ranked 10th with an identical .493.

Offensive Rebound Percentage: ORB% is an estimate of the percentage of available offensive rebounds a team grabbed. The Bulls ranked 6th (.280). The teams ahead of them were the Trail Blazers, 76ers, Lakers, Thunder, and Jazz. The team directly behind them was the Celtics. Six of those seven teams made the playoffs, and that group included both the defending champions (Celtics) and the team that went on to win the 2009 title (Lakers).

Defensive Rebound Percentage: DRB% is an estimate of the percentage of available defensive rebounds a team grabbed. The Bulls ranked (ugh) a miserable 28th (.709), ahead of only the Kings and Warriors.

Attendence: People really were lovin’ it live last season, considering the fact that the Bulls ranked 2nd in total attendence (868,667). Only the Pistons had more fans show up (896,971). The Trail Blazers came in 3rd (841,499).


4 Responses to Not-so-random numbers from the 2008-09 season

    Brad S. September 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    Well, that’s enough “stat-age” to blow my mind. I guess I would agree with Coach Green in assessing: “THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY ARE!!!”

    I think we all knew that the Bulls were not as good as the upper eschelon teams, but somehow there they were giving the Celtics all they could handle.

    Interesting that the Bull’s front court was good at blocking and offensive rebounding, but bad at defensive rebounding. …Especially since they were busy NOT taking the majority of the shots. Is it a focus issue?

    Matt McHale September 18, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Brad S. — You know, I’m not entirely sure. I think part of the problem has to do with size in the lineup. Ben Gordon was, obviously, a teeny man and Tyrus and Joakim have height but not a lot of weight/muscle. I’m going to have to go back and watch some film. I’m also crunching some more numbers for a followup post.

    mike killer September 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    I don’t really care about the stat numbers that the bulls had in the past, but more of the way they are going to play this coming season. I just hope they can put up better numbers and move up into the playoff spots with advancing to the second round or more.


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