hinrich

On Chicago Bulls and Assists

The humble art of the assist. Teams across the league this season are averaging approximately 20.95 assists per 48 (give-or-take) minute game.

Last night the Chicago Bulls only managed to amass 13 assists in a double overtime game with the Miami Heat. That’s right — an anemic 13 assists in 58 minutes of selfless basketball action at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Let’s put this in perspective … hold on, let me just wipe John Stockton’s vomit off the keyboard … there we are. The Bulls only had 11 assists at the end of regulation — on 104 points. How is that even possible?

Are the Miami Heat some remarkable assist-stopping team? No, the Heat’s opponents this season average 20.05 apg. That’s average where I come from.

Did it have something to do with Ben Gordon lining up at the three point line for 8/11 from downtown? Perhaps.

If anyone has some insight into how the Bulls managed to average just one assist per every seven-plus field goals, I would love to know.

On the other hand, how they managed an assist-to-turnover ratio of 13:22 on the game? That their coach would like to know…

On only 6 other occasions this season has a team managed to commit at least this many turnovers (>= 22) whilst making this few assists (<= 13). You’re wondering who? Well, Chicago was indeed one of the offenders. Sacramento fans also have cause for concern. However none of those performances included anywhere near as many points as Chicago (127) put up last night.
 
Abysmal Assist:Turnover Performances of 2008-09

date

team

@

opp

AST

TO

PTS

W/L

09/03/2009

CHI

@

MIA

13

22

127

L

02/02/2009

SAC

@

PHO

13

26

81

L

02/12/2008

CHI

 

PHI

13

24

95

L

11/02/2009

ORL

 

DEN

12

23

73

L

05/11/2008

PHI

@

MIA

11

25

83

L

30/01/2009

SAC

 

CHI

10

22

88

L

31/10/2008

SAC

@

MIA

10

25

77

L

 
What can we take from the table above?
  • Quite obviously, fail to make assists, make a lot of turnovers, you lose the game.
  • Chicago (twice) and Sacramento (thrice) seem quite adept at this type of performance. Perhaps Derrick Rose and Beno Udrih need some point guard classes?
  • It is worth noting that Chicago’s other AST:TO epic failure occured in an OT game as well!
  • None of the other games in question saw the offending team score anywhere in the region of the Bulls’ 127 points. 

*******

This was a remarkable statistical game on so many levels. Take a look at the boxscore and read along with me. Let’s put the Bulls’ assist/turnover situation to one side for a moment and consider:

  • The Bulls only played seven active players in the 58 minutes of action.
  • Dwyane Wade’s statistical line was one of a man calling out for MVP consideration. 48 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks and phenom-like shooting percentages from the field and deep (let’s ignore his 13/18 at the charity stripe).
  • How close were these two teams? It took double overtime to separate them. Both teams shot 93 field goal attempts. Both teams made 43 field goal attempts. Both teams shot 37 three throws, Miami managed to make 32 to Chicago’s 30 and they also managed one more trey than the Bulls. That was the game right there.
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