Hoops Hypothetical: Would the Chicago Bulls Be Better If Ronnie Brewer Started?

Sean O'DowdContributor IIIMarch 11, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 10: Ronnie Brewer #11 of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers at the United Center on December 10, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Lakers 88-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Everyone's been talking about it: the Bulls have a poor shooting guard situation.

The team's current starter, Keith Bogans, should really be the No. 3 option. The Bulls also have a shooter in Kyle Korver who can spot up anywhere on the court.

But don't forget the guy everyone expected to be the starter until he missed training camp with a hamstring injury: Ronnie Brewer.

Brewer is an interesting player who does a lot of things very well. He's a long, tenacious defender with quick hands good for a steal every once in a while.

One aspect of his game is how he works the baseline. He gets open almost at will while running up and down the baseline.

Also, Brewer can run and finish in transition, which, by the way, fits in perfectly with the style of play of this guy named Derrick Rose.

You might have heard of him. 

But would Chicago be better with Ronnie Brewer as the starter, as he would have been if not for an injury? Would their record be better?

Yes and no.

One school of thought says the Bulls' record would not be better because Bogans plays only at the start of each half. Bogans averages just 17.5 minutes a game, certainly not enough to translate into a few more wins.

On the other hand, Ronnie Brewer plays only 23 minutes a game. Hypothetically, if Brewer were to get every second Bogans has played so far this season, he would play almost 40 minutes a game. Give Korver a few, and expect Brewer to play 30-35 minutes.

Is that enough to lead to a few more wins for the Bulls?

Well, let's look at the numbers. Bogans is averaging 3.9 points per game, while Brewer's at 6.4. Therefore, Bogans averages 0.22 points a minute, while Brewer averages 0.278.

Now, again hypothetically, let's consider how it would be if only one of these two received all the minutes, Korver aside. If that were to happen, Bogans would average 7.7 points a game; Brewer 9.7.

So, hypothetically, Brewer would score more, but that's based on current stats. If Brewer was the starter all year long, his numbers surely would be better.

As it stands, the Bulls' year-long scoring average would raise to 97.6 points a game if Brewer were the starter instead of Keith Bogans. Coincidentally, Chicago is 21-6 when they score at least 98 points.

With Brewer's additional length and defensive ability, he is an upgrade on both sides of the court. If he had been the starter all season long and received Bogans' minutes, the Bulls would probably have a couple more wins.