As I walked into the house after taking the kids to the park, it's an impossibly beautiful day in the Western suburbs, I clicked on the radio, and tuned to AM-1000. The only reason I do this is, it's after 12 p.m., so I know Cowherd is over. Plus, I've forgiven them a bit since they dumped Rosenbloom & Salsbury.
Dan was opining about the need for changes on the Bulls. I didn't catch his whole argument, as my sons needed help with their shoes, but what caught me was he said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "The Bulls aren't to young and that shouldn't be an excuse. I looked up the age of the Pistons in '04, and they are the same age. So, age isn't an excuse."
Well, my first thought was, "Bullshit, Dan."
So lets check it out.
Starting point guards:
The Pistons: Chauncey Billups, in 2004, was a 27 year-old, sixth year vet.
The Bulls: Kirk Hinrich, right now, is a 26 year-old, fourth year vet.
Conclusion: Dan is full of crap. Billups has both age and NBA experience over Hinrich.
Starting Shooting Guards:
The Pistons: 'Rip' Hamilton, in 2004, was a 26 year-old, fifth year vet.
The Bulls: Ben Gordon, right now, is a 24 year-old, third year vet.
Conclusion: Dan is full of crap. Hamilton's' age and experience both trump Gordon's.
Starting small forwards:
The Pistons: Tayshaun Prince, in 2004, was a 24 year-old, second year vet.
The Bulls: Luol Deng, right now, is a 22 year-old, third year vet.
Conclusion: Dan is full of crap, though not as obviously. It depends on what you place more value in. NBA experience or actual age, and does an extra year in the league make up for being two years younger when comparing the two.
Starting power forward:
The Pistons: Rasheed Wallace (we'll call him the starter even though he didn't start for them all season, but came in a trade late), in 2004, was a 29 year-old, nine year vet.
The Bulls: P.J. Brown, right now, is a 37 year-old, fourteen year vet.
Conclusion: Dan is not so full of crap here, but I would say that Rasheed was always a superior player, with better all-around skills, to Brown and age has little to do with anything when comparing them.
The Pistons: Ben Wallace, in 2004, was a 29 year-old, eighth year vet.
The Bulls: Ben Wallace, right now, is a 33 year-old, eleventh year vet.
Conclusion: Dan is not so full of crap. Since Ben doesn't have control over time and space, it's impossible for him to be younger now than he was then. In this case, age hurts the Bulls as Big Ben's skills have diminished.
Sixth men and the benches:
The Pistons: Mehmet Okur, 25/2. Corliss Williamson, 30/9. Elden Campbell, 35/14. Chucky Atkins, 29/5. Bobby Sura 31/9. Lindsey Hunter, 33/11. All this for an average of age of 30.5 years old and 8.3 years in the NBA.
The Bulls: Andres Nocioni, 27/3. Chris Duhon, 24/3. Tyrus Thomas, 20/1. Thabo Sefolosha, 23/1. Malik Allen, 28/6. Adrian Griffin, 32/8. The Bulls main bench players have an average age of 25.6, with a 3.6 average NBA experience.
Conclusion: Dan couldn't be more full of crap if he was some kind of crap-holder thingy. Basically, the Pistons averaged five more years of age with a nearly five year difference in NBA experience.
Average age of starters on the Pistons: 27. Average years in the league: 6.
Average age of starters on the Bulls: 28 Average years in the league: 7.
You might say, "Slow your roll, Phil. Looks like the Bulls are older than the Pistons." Well, if you consider the starters only, than yes, they average a higher age. But that age comes from two players, and speaks more to the imbalance in the ages of the Bulls starting five.
Average age of players listed by Phil (starters and bench): Pistons, 28.9. The Bulls, 26.9,
Average experience of player listed by Phil (starters and bench): Pistons, 7.2. the Bulls, 5.1.
So, overall, the Pistons of '04 average 2 extra years in both age and experience.
The Bulls ARE young, especially where their best players are concerned, and age should be considered when deciding what types of moves you want to make. It is one of their flaws, and I hope they are given time after this season to mature and continue to play together.
Also, Dan Patrick is full of crap.