Week 10: Old Bulls Thoughts

Life has been busy... sorry. Back now.

A few Bulls thoughts this week, I have lots of Sox thoughts just didn't get them on to paper yet.


Because I can be a dork, I already wrote some of this over at Blog-a-Bull. One thing that bothered me about this Kelly Dwyer piece on the Bulls, their front office, and Thibs, was this idea that GarPax put together this great roster. They put together a very good, even great (if healthy) front court. Everything else leaves a lot to be desired… the Bulls went into the season with only one proven two way wing. In 2014/2015. In the NBA.

Rose and Jimmy, great backcourt. But GarPax lucked into Rose and Butler’s development is Jimmy’s doing first and foremost, anyone taking credit for the player Butler has become is kidding themselves: that’s 90% Jimmy, 10% coaching (or 80/20 whatever point remains). GarPax did bring in Dunleavy for the cheap. But he was starting, and there’s an excellent argument that Dunleavy should have only been coming off the bench because he’s pretty poor on D.

And, well, would you lookie here, the Bulls weren’t actually that deep on the wing or at guard. Brooks, while he had a very nice regular season, is a below average back up. Kirk "Worst player in the League" Hinrich was on this team for one can only figure to be are "cultural" reasons.

Instead of rolling the dice by picking two wings in the draft, GarPax traded up for McDermott for reasons I still don’t get. Even still, Doug, as a rookie, was a wild card; and then he went out there and was bad and got hurt and then got worse. Your final wing was Snell, who while he showed a few flashes, looks like a guy who is more backup wing on an 8 seed, than back up wing on a Championship contender; there’s a huge difference between Snell* and Afflalo, Iman Shumpert, or a rejuvenated JR Smith as we all learned. The Bulls depth was only in the front court, there wasn’t any depth at the wing or guard position.

And this cost the Bulls all season. And it really cost the Bulls in the Cavs series where Cleveland was rolling out JR and Shump while the Bulls had Kirk and Snell. Anyone who thinks the Bulls had an advantage there is kidding themselves—yes GarPax, you’re kidding yourselves if you think the Bulls were good enough to win this season with only one two way wing player.

*I think Tony’s an NBA player, he might even become a pretty good back up. But it sure does seem that GarPax bet the house on Snell taking a Jimmy like jump in his second season, and when it didn’t happen, BLAME THIBS MOAR.

Most Interesting Things I’ve Read this Week:
--The other problem with Chicago's segregation: Concentrated wealth (The Connector: The blog of the Metropolitan Planning Council)
That University of Minnesota study we referenced earlier points in an interesting direction: They found that in the Twin Cities, federal housing dollars are spent equally across areas of wealth and areas of poverty. In low-income areas, federal investment comes in the form of housing vouchers and subsidized units. In wealthy areas, the mortgage-interest deduction provides the lion’s share of housing subsidy. In Chicago, where most affordable subsidized housing is on the South and West sides and rates of homeownership are highest in wealthy areas, it is clear that we are subsidizing our separation.

Back around tax time, I started thinking more in depth about the mortgage-interest deduction (what a hell of a function), then the Economist did their big thing on debt a month ago, and well… it’s all very interesting no? It’s very problematic, and nothing new either. This was a big topic back during the W years, and then of course it all came crashing down. The incentives are and have continued to be to rack up debt. And one of the unintended consequences, I can only hope, is continued segregation. ANYWAY, interesting read on how in some ways, not only to we accept segregation, we pretty much expect it too.

Two things here.
1. The Lead
I'm not sure we're living in an age of disruption, or just an age that badly wants to think itself disruptive, but either way there's been a lot of rethinking going on the past decade or so.
This has little to do with the actual article, but it’s an interesting thought. It’s true, we want to think of RIGHT NOW as disruptive, but maybe it isn’t? Sure everything is disruptive, but is right now “change the way we live” disruptive? For many who don’t live in the ‘first world’ I’m sure that’s true. For us that live in the ‘first world’, I’m not so sure.

Instead, Thaler began to keep a list of things that people did that made a mockery of economic models of rational choice. There was the guy who planned to go to the football game, changed his mind when he saw it was snowing, and then, when he realized he had already bought the ticket, changed his mind again. There was the other guy who refused to pay $10 to have someone mow his lawn but wouldn't accept $20 to mow his neighbor's. There was the woman who drove 10 minutes to a store in order to save $10 on a $45 clock radio but wouldn't drive the same amount of time to save $10 on a $495 television. There were the people Thaler invited over to dinner, to whom he offered, before dinner, a giant bowl of nuts. They ate so many nuts they had no appetite for the far more appealing meal. The next time they came to dinner Thaler didn't offer nuts -- and his guests were happier.

While one of the places I worship at is the alter of the dismal science, one thing that always bothered me about economics (specifically intro), is the thought that people are rational. I’ve never bought this in full. Is it true most of the time? Sure. But my preferences change constantly, and because of that, so will my choices which messes with the entire idea of rationality. Today I wanted Corn Chex for breakfast, but it’s likely I won’t buy Corn Chex the next time I go to the store. That fact can break the model.

But again, that’s intro to micro. Eventually you get to behavior economics and, for me at least, it make sense. “Here we are… this is the world I know and live in.”

We’re only going to see more of the marriage of psychology and economics going forward. And I’m sure as we learn more, we’ll find more market failures. And with each market failure and solution to it, that’s where government can and will step in.

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