Jabari Parker’s Offense Might Be Worse Than His Defense

Okay so the Bulls are 3-8 and in fourth place in the Central. They probably aren’t going anywhere this year, but one of the more interesting transactions over the off-season was the Bulls move to sign Jabari Parker with a two-year deal worth up to $40 million. Parker became a hot topic over the summer when he said that “they don’t pay players to play defense”. Let’s look at how the Bulls and Jabari Parker are doing so far this year. The chart below plots each player’s offensive rating and defensive rating (at least 6 games played). The offensive rating = (individual’s points produced, which includes field goals, free throws, assists and rebounds/ the possessions the individual played) x 100. Defensive rating = (Opponent’s Points Allowed/ Opponent’s Possessions) x 100.


When looking at the chart, it’s important to know that the ideal player would appear in the bottom right corner because he would have a low defensive rating and high offensive rating. The parts of this chart that stand out are that Wendell Carter Jr has clearly been the best defender on the Bulls thus far. Ryan Arcidiacono is best offensively but he’s also one of the worst defensively. Cameron Payne has been the worst defensively and Zach LaVine has had a combination of really good games and really bad games which makes him look pretty average on this chart. Finally, Jabari Parker has been middle of the pack defensively, but he’s actually been the worst on the Bulls so far offensively. The chart below shows field goal percentage along the x-axis and 3-point percentage along the y-axis.

Bulls Three-Point and Field Goal Percentages

Cristiano Felicio has the best field goal percentage, mainly because he’s only shooting in the post. Antonio Blakeney and Ryan Arcidiacono lead in three point percentage. Jabari Parker is only above Chandler Hutchison and Felicio from three, but Felicio doesn’t even shoot threes so that doesn’t really count. Parker is not among the best field goal percentages. Only Wendell Carter Jr and high volume shooters Cameron Payne and Justin Holiday are worse. The table below just shows the general stats for these same Bulls players sorted by PER (player efficiency rating).

Zach LaVine 27.9 5 3.8 20.7
Antonio Blakeney 11.9 2.2 0.5 19.3
Wendell Carter Jr. 11.1 7.6 2.7 18
Ryan Arcidiacono 5.8 1.5 4.9 13.6
Justin Holiday 11.5 3.8 2.5 12
Cristiano Felicio 5.6 6 0.8 12
Jabari Parker 14.4 6.3 1.8 11.3
Cameron Payne 9.1 2.3 3.5 11.2
Chandler Hutchison 5.3 3.5 0.6 9.4

We see again that Jabari Parker is among the worst in efficiency even though he has the second most points per game. What can be taken from the charts and tables above are a few things: Wendell Carter has been the best defender, Jabari Parker has been arguably the Bulls worst offensive player so far and Zach LaVine has had some tremendous games and some awful ones. Cameron Payne hasn’t been too good either. The Bulls are still much of a work in progress, but there are still some bright spots with players like LaVine, Carter Jr and Blakeney. Bulls fans can also look forward to the return of injured players Lauri Markkanen, Denzel Valentine and Bobby Portis.

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