John Hollinger runs the numbers on why the Bulls are so terrible, and it winds up looking pretty mysterious. The Bulls took a mild dip from first in defensive efficiency to sixth in defensive efficiency, but their offense has crumbled from 20th last season to dead last. Indeed, “if they keep this up they will rank as the worst offensive team in history relative to the league.” What’s more, Hollinger reports that all of Chicago’s players have gotten worse on offense, “every key player is performing vastly below his career norms with the exception of Joe Smith.” Andres Nocioni? Slightly worse. Luol Deng and Ben Wallace? Somewhat worse. Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas? Much worse. Kirk Hinrich and Thabo Sefolosha? Wildly worse.
This is all the odder for the fact that most of these guys are young players who you’d generically expect to improve, and a couple of them are playing for new contracts after turning down pretty good extension offers in hopes of snagging the big bucks.
The only really plausible theory is that Chris Hayes left the Windy City to become Washington editor of The Nation and the Bulls are too sad to play.