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A general note before I get started: these ratings are based mostly on expectations. If I give Omer Asik a better grade than Carlos Boozer, that doesn’t mean I think Omer is the better player, just that he performed better based on expectations. Also, these grades are my opinion and don’t necessarily reflect the opinion of the entire HTTH community. Let’s get started.

Derrick Rose - A+: Derrick is clearly the MVP of the league in my opinion and it’s hard to put into words just how valuable he has been to the Bulls this year. Without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah missing significant time, Derrick has kept the bulls rolling all season long. Every time the Bulls have needed a big bucket, Derrick has been the one that has got it for them. He has played his best against the league’s best opponents. He has improved his jump shot and his defense immensely from last season. He leads the team in PPG, APG, and PER. Even better, I believe his best games this season are ahead of him.

Joakim Noah – B+: It seems like you can pencil Jo in for a double-double just about every night. He leads the team in rebounding and has averaged 12.1 PPG. His defensive contributions to the team can’t be understated. He is one of the best defenders on the team and the toughness and energy that be brings to the team is very valuable. Like Rose, he played some of his best career basketball in the postseason and I would look for that to continue this season.

Luol Deng – B+: Definitely didn’t think that I would be typing this. I was never a real big Deng supporter but I need to give him a lot of credit this season. He has stayed healthy all season long, played good defensively, and been one of the team’s top scorers all season long. While I still wish he would go to the rim more than he does he has knocked down some huge shots for us this year. The second Miami game at the UC comes to mind right away when I think about Deng’s season. His PER is still pretty unspectacular but I give him credit for playing almost 40 minutes per game all season long.

Omer Asik – B: Omer has far surpassed my expectations. At first I thought he was a zero basketball skill, 7-foot stiff. Then he improved a little, and I thought he was somebody we could go to for about 5 minute spans when we were missing some post players. However, as he’s gotten more and more comfortable in the NBA he’s become better and better. By the time we reached the deadline I was firmly on the Omer Asik bandwagon and vehemently against the rumored Courtney Lee for Omer Asik deal. He’s cheap, controllable, and a talented 7-footer. His defense is a strength and he has been getting better and better offensively.

Taj Gibson – B: I don’t know how, but Taj just finds a way to get it done. At 6’9” he’s usually going up against taller opponents but he always seems to make an impact when he’s on the floor. He’s averaging 7 points and almost 6 rebounds per game while playing only 22 minutes per game. I also give him a lot of credit for the way he has had to switch roles several times this year between starter and bench player.

Ronnie Brewer – B-: Hey Stacey King, how is he at running the baseline? I had to. I like Ronnie a lot. He’s probably the best guard defender on the team. He understands his role. He has shot the ball really well this year (48%), and he brings a lot of energy. I would like a little more offensive production out of him, but it just doesn’t seem like he’s ever going to be that player for us. If only there was some way to merge Korver’s offense with Brewer’s defense.

Kyle Korver- B-: Which brings me to my next player: Kyle Korver. I also like Kyle a lot, but he struggles a lot defensively. Like just about everyone else on the bench, he understands his role and performs it effectively. He’s not shy about shooting and now should he be. Despite going through a couple mini shooting slumps this year he has still shot 42.3% from behind the arc. He also hit one of the biggest non-Derrick Rose shots this year when he knocked down the game winner in the first Miami game.

Carlos Boozer – B-: He was a very good free agent signing that gave us something that we really needed: a low post scorer. That being said, he really hasn’t lived up to the max contract that he got. His defense has been absolutely appalling at times and his offense has also been mysteriously absent on occasions. He has also missed plenty of time due to injuries. All that being said, he has still had plenty of great offense games and is averaging 18 points and 9 rebounds per game. I don’t mean to imply that Carlos isn’t a good player; just that he hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations this year.

C.J Watson – B-: Debated between a B- or a C+ for C.J, but when you’re the #1 seed in the East you’re going to have plenty of higher rated players. He really stepped up the one game Derrick missed during the circus trip and his given us a nice offensive spark off the bench. He has shot 37% from the field and 39% from 3. He does a good job of running the offense when Derrick is not the floor.

Kurt Thomas – C: He got a lot of credit for his play when Noah was out. Honestly, I think he got a little bit too much credit. There is a reason why he has barely played since Noah has returned. He adds very little offensively and his defense seems like it’s mostly trying to draw charges or take a stab at striping the ball. Eventually the opponent catches wind of this “savvy vet” defense.

Keith Bogans – C-: He has gotten hot from 3 a few times this year and there is that one stat where if he hits two 3’s in a game we hardly ever lose, but after that there isn’t much good to say about Keith Bogans is there? He doesn’t shoot as well as Korver and he doesn’t defend as well as Brewer. But he’s the starting shooting guard on the best team in the East. It’s kind of funny.

Brian Scalabrine – D: He’s not good at basketball.

All done. Not even going to bother with assessing people like Rasual Butler or our old friend John Lucas. Let’s hear your thoughts. What do you agree with? What do you disagree with?