The long term plan was for Chicago Bulls current starting point guard Kirk Hinrich was to be the primary back up for former MVP Derrick Rose. Short term Hinrich would act as the primary care taker for until Rose recovers from ACL surgery. Hinrich doesn’t have the same considerable talents as other point guards across the NBA Landscape which is now the deepest position in the NBA. Hinrich doesn’t have explosive leaping ability. Hinrich isn’t a flashy passer and he’s no longer a consistent scorer. Hinrich isn’t even in the eyes of the casual NBA fan more important than the dynamic Nate Robinson regarding to the success of the Bulls. A point fortified when you take a look at the modest stats in 2013 (7.7ppg on 37.7 % from the floor FG)
With all that said, Kirk Hinrich has been the MVP of the Bulls this season for reasons why he’s invaluable. Despite his individual offensive production, the Bulls offense to the naked eye is nigh infinitely more efficient with Hinrich directing the attack. A true floor general, Hinrich does a great job in getting his troops lined up. The ball movement is much sharper which leads to a lot of “tempo” passes that lead to hockey assists for the other Bulls players on the court. In transition Hinrich does a solid job pushing the ball. This doesn’t always lead to a ton of fast break points, but for a team that struggles to score for long stretches it often leads to early offense.
The other major contribution Hinrich provides is his defensive prowess. In this area Hinrich is a throwback. He doesn’t amass a bunch of steals. Nor does he get the occasional chase down block. What makes Hinrich such a stalwart defensively are a few elements. His exceptional lateral quickness. Hinrich is a bigger than people realize at 6’3, 190lbs. Don’t let the fact that Hinrich looks like Harry Potter on steroids fool you. He’s extremely competitive, hard nosed and isn’t afraid to mix it up. Hinrich has shown the ability to guard bigger players as well. Still not convinced how important Hinrich is? Look at the Bulls record with Hinrich in and out of the lineup. With Hinrich the Bulls are 38-21. Without Hinrich the Bulls were 7-16. That meant dropping in the standing from 3rd place to eventually finishing 5th. Doesn’t get more telling than that.
So a final grade for Hinrich? From a statistical approach Hinrich is looking at a C-. However, I don’t buy into the mindset that everything is about numbers or new age stats like the famous Player Efficiency Rating aka the PER. Hinrich represents the unquantifiable aspect of sports or the intangibles. The Bulls are simply a better team at both ends of the floor with Hinrich in the line up. In that regard Hinrich gets an A-.
Final Grade: B-