Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Sitting On A Cornflake...

As we wait for the Word to come down from on high ("In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy LBJ"), here are some random thoughts on what's been a pretty crazy day.

First off: BOOZER! I like it. Would Bosh have been preferable? Of course. But as Stan Van Gundy pointed out, he's been following Wade around like a poodle for two weeks. And anyway, as I wrote to one of my friends in S. Fla. who was taunting me about the Bulls having to settle for Boozer:

Here are Boozer's career stats per 36 min.

19 pt, 11.2 rebs., .541 FG%, 2.7 assts., 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks, 2.5 turnovers

Here are Bosh's career per 36 min.

19.7 pts, 9.1 rebs., .492 FG%, 2.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.1 blocks, 2.2 turnovers

So Bosh is a slightly better scorer (although less efficient), a markedly worse rebounder, a slightly worse passer, a better shot blocker (although still no great shakes in that department) and a slightly better ballhandler. (Although Boozer's assist/TO ratio is slightly better than Bosh's.) Bosh does get to the line a lot more than Boozer, which almost offsets their disparity in FG%, but not quite. The advanced metric of PER rates Boozer 20.8 throughout his career; Bosh's is 21.3

Neither guy is good enough to carry a team alone. (In Bosh's 7 seasons, the Raptors were lottery bound five times, with a 3-8 playoff record in the other two seaosn.) The difference between them ain't that large.

Now the obvious caveat to this is that Bosh is still improving (and indeed, he averaged 24 ppg last year) while Boozer is already at his peak and may start declining in three years or so. But Boozer provides a lot that this team needs (a skilled pick-and-roll/pop player, high efficiency offense, and excellent rebounding at the four) and to overlook that while crying over spilled Bosh is, I think, a mistake.

2. Somewhat related, I wasn't too pleased with this True Hoop post, particularly the following:

Wade on considering the Bulls: "I get teared up a little bit thinking about the opportunity I had. ... Chicago, that's my home. That's where my heart will always be ... unfortunately it didn't work out that I'm in Chicago, but Chicago is my heart. And it will always be. ... It was, it was a time where things kind of swinged, and it played on my emotions a lot, because I am a family oriented person and everyone heard the stuff about my kids. That was going to be my final decision. Of course, I want to be just like every man in the world, you want to be the best dad possible. You want to have every moment with your kids."

Note: Bulls, you have missed an opportunity. Here's the second-best player in the best free agent class ever saying it's "unfortunate" he did not get to join your team, and that doing so would have helped him fulfill his role as a father. Also, the Bulls have a much better supporting cast. How did the Bulls fumble this catch? Also, this testimonial is nice to hear for those reporters who said Wade was leaning Bulls a few days ago. Many said they were nuts, but it was good reporting all along.

I'm sorry but the analysis of Henry here seems waaaaaaaaay too willing to take the words of Dwyane Wade at face value. Lord knows, I have been far from an apologist for the Bulls' front office, but D. Wade could easily be lying (or simply deluding himself). I mean, isn't it just as likely that Wade wants to keep leading the bachelor's life in South Beach while broadcasting what a committed and loving father he is? For Chrissakes, if he was such a committed and loving father, he'd be in Chicago, no matter how inept the Bulls' front office is. It doesn't take much for me to get my dander up about GarPaxDorf, but I'm going to need more compelling evidence than this to slam them for failing to sign D. Wade.

3. So what's next, particularly if LBJ doesn't come here? Obviously, shooting guard is the priority, and unfortunately, one of the decent options (Ray Allen) is heading back to Boston. Personally (and I never thought I'd find myself writing this), I like J.J. Redick. Over 60 TS% last year, over 40% from three point land, and though his defense is nothing to write home about, he's improved considerably at it and you can tell he gives a crap about it, which I think is more than half the battle. Plus, Orlando's salaries are so deep into the luxury tax (whattup, Rashard?), that if you offered him a front-loaded offer sheet for, say, 5 years, $35 million, Orlando would have to pay around $18 million for Redick's services next year. There's no way they'd match that.

If you're spending $9 million on Redick next year (and remember, by the end of this front-loaded contract, you'll just be paying him $5 million), I think that still leaves the Bulls with about $9 million to spend. I'd like to see another shooter added to the mix (You could maybe get Kyle Korver for about $5 m. a year), Omer Asik come over from Turkey, and a cheap backup point guard, like Acie Law or Anthony Carter. (Read the always-interesting Kevin Pelton's take on the free agent point guards here.)

If you did that, you'd have a starting lineup of Rose, Redick, Deng, Boozer, Noah, with a pretty nice bench of Law/Carter, Korver, Johnson, Gibson, Asik. That team should definitely score more efficiently than last year's squad, and hopefully Thibodeau's schemes can make up for whatever defensive drop-off you'd see from Hinrich to Redick. With the upgrade from Del Negro to Thibodeau, Boozer's offensive efficiency, superior 3 point shooting and an improving Rose, I don't see why the 41-win squad from last year couldn't be in the 50-55 win area, and give Cleveland (as proven this year, eminently beatable, even with LBJ), Orlando (Vince and Rashard aren't getting better), Boston (getting older), and Miami (top-heavy but almost sure-to-be thin at certain positions) a run for their money come Playoff time.

4. But then again, what if LeBron is coming here? (Although I found this lady more convincing.) But whatever, tomorrow it ends. Finally. Thank Christ.


Anonymous Coach Skiles said...

Great post! With the three amigos taking less than max money, Miami might be able to fill-out their roster. Worried they might be unstoppable.

11:49 AM  

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