Chicago Bulls Stat Monkey Brief: Bulls/Bucks (11/26/12)

Too early to be looking at the playoff picture? Not according to Bulls writer Andy Day who breaks it all down.

Tonight, the Bulls take on a divisional foe in the Milwaukee Bucks. Carlos Boozer is coming off a great game, posting 22 points while maintaining an offensive rating of 129, leading the Bulls to a 93-86 win on Saturday. Deng and Noah also provided a balanced attack, leading the Bulls to one of its better offensive performances on the year. Let’s see if they can keep it up tonight. Also, look for me on TV because I’ll be at the game!

Playoffs?! You’re talking about playoffs?! You Kidding Me?!

Yes, I’m taking a peek at the playoffs. The Bulls and Bucks are squaring off for the second time in three days in another fairly crucial divisional game. No team in the Central Division is getting any serious hype, and for good reason.

However, it can’t be ignored that the winner of the division can fall no lower than a 4 seed in the playoffs, and if Rose is able to return towards the end of the season, this could vastly improve the Bulls chances of making a deep run in the playoffs. Now to predict the winner of the Central…

Using what’s known as Pythagorean Expectation (first applied by Bill James to baseball, later adjusted for Basketball by Daryl Morey) you can guess based on Points For and Points Against, what a team’s win percentage should be. Using this expectation, we can extrapolate and take a very rough guess at what a team’s final record might look like. Here were my results:

TeamRemaining GamesCurrent WinsCurrent LossesCurrent Win %Expected WinsExpected LossesExpected Win %

Let me be clear, these certainly aren’t numbers to live by, however, they do illustrate a nice point that the race for first place will likely come down to the wire. Also, if Rose is able to return at some point in the season, one would expect the Bulls win percentage to increase and potentially guide them to a Central Division title. So despite being a mediocre squad, who will likely finish barely over the .500 mark, the Bulls could still manage a #4 seed in the playoffs.