Most NBA teams are either a stars-and-supporting-cast unit or an superstar-less ensemble group. The Miami Heat are the poster boys for the first style of roster construction though other leading teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers have an ever steeper dropoff from their stars to the role players. Teams like the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Atlanta Hawks typify the other style.
Looking at the Chicago Bulls team statistics, following their three game winning streak which followed the return of guards CJ Watson and Richard Hamilton to the rotation and the departure of point guard Derrick Rose due to lingering soreness from a toe injury, a new model comes to mind: the hybrid.
Rose emerged as a superstar player last season and won the MVP Award, and his numbers so far this season are still stellar if down slightly from last year’s lofty totals. However the fall off has been more than made up by his teammates.
Scroll down on this page, and look at the advanced stats section for the ’11-’12 Bulls. Look at the PER’s or Player Efficiency Rating, John Hollinger’s per minute assessment of a player’s production. League average is 15 and most teams have starters if not key contributors in the single digits. Yet the every player on Bulls roster (yes, even Brian Scalabrine) is in double digits and the only players below 15, center Joakim Noah, swingman Kyle Korver and guard Ronnie Brewer have histories of being better than average.
This may explain why the Bulls have played so well in Rose’s absence, and it may give defensive coordinators fits when the playoffs arrive. The Bulls offense is much more than a one man show now.