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Basketball Mon Apr 14 2008
As recognized in Ken's recent epiphany, the Chicago Bulls are still playing basketball! The 2008 season officially ends this Wednesday versus the playoff bound Toronto Raptors. Regardless of the vacation some players might enjoy after Wednesday's game, the off-season work has already commenced. A team of mathematicians and analysts are graphing simulations on the team's future as you are reading. Below are some of the perplexing mathematical models facing fans, management, and players.
#1: Linear regression plotting recent seasons against Jim Boylan's NBA experience. After three consecutive winning seasons fueled by balanced scoring and defense, the 2008 Bulls allowed an average of 100 points per contest. If Eastern Conference success is connected to defensive strength, Boylan's brief assistant stints with sub par Phoenix, Vancouver, and Atlanta squads are probably not sufficient for head coaching duties.
#2: Different combinations of 5 shooting guards, 0 point guards, and 2 centers. Larry Hughes, Captain Kirk, Ben Gordon, Thabo Sefolosha, the forgotten Chris Duhon? Unloading at least two players from the current shooting guard surplus creates room for a veteran floor leader to orchestrate success. A veteran point guard will also boost the 43% FG and 36% 3P by creating higher quality baskets for Thomas and Noah in the post. The Ben Wallace experiment failed to mold the Baby Bulls into championship contenders, but maybe a seasoned point guard will create the necessary discipline for success.
#3: Follow the parabola away from the Ben Wallace trough. Releasing Ben Wallace and Joe Smith to Cleveland signaled the forfeit of the 2008 season. Thankfully, LeBron and company were also unable to capitalize on the two aging stars. Unload the $12 million salary of Larry Hughes and select a draft pick with immediate impact (Read: do not select on "potential" alone. Sorry Eric Gordon).