By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — This is a story of what ifs and have nots.
That’s not much of a story, but rather a fantasy.
Still, it’s nice to dream.
According to an analysis by Nate Silver of the FiveThirtyEight blog, if the Bulls landed LeBron James and Derrick Rose stays healthy and plays at his pre-injury levels, the team would have gone 65-17 next season.
If Rose’s performance was merely average, adding James would have been good for a 58-win season.
According to Silver, a team with 60 wins will win a NBA title about 20 percent of the time.
With 65 wins, it increases about 60 percent of the time.
Silver’s larger point was the James would have been better off playing for more than a half-dozen teams other than Cleveland, with the Bulls being one of the biggest beneficiaries.
To make the projections, Silver used a metric called Statistical Plus/Minus (SPM), which was originally developed by Neil Paine.