Chicago Bulls: Comparing this team to our last playoff team

Zach LaVine, Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine, Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

2016-17 Rajon Rondo Per 36: 10.5 PPG, 9 APG, 1.9 SPG, 6.9 RPG, 40.8 FG%, 37.6 3PT%, 60 FT%, 3.3 TOV


2019-20 Tomáš Satoranský Per 36: 12.3 PPG, 7 APG, 1.9 SPG, 4.3 RPG, 43.7 FG%, 37.5 3PT%, 87 FT%, 2.7 TOV

It’s hard to understate how well Rondo was playing in that playoff series, and the weird half leadership, half detractor status he had earned at that point among his teammates and the fans, but Rondo’s basketball play is just about as temperamental as the man himself.

In this matchup, one player is a four-time NBA all-star, four-time NBA All-Defensive Team winner, and NBA champion. The other has won…. the Bulls starting gig. Let’s see how they break down.


In scoring the basketball, it’s no secret that Rondo is a bit of a liability. He makes up for his lack of offense a great deal with far above average court vision. Over their careers, Rondo is averaging 3 more assists per game than Sato per 36 minutes, and is just a far more aggressive part of the offense, despite his somewhat lackluster shooting efficiency.

Sato’s usage is up a lot this season, which contributes to those stats above looking similar to the Bulls version of Rondo, in extremely similar minutes per game.

Winner: Between the two, I’m taking Rondo on offense, hands down.


In 2016-17 Rondo put up 2.7 in the Defensive Win Shares category while Sato has 0.9 so far this season. Per 100 possessions, Rondo put up 2.7 steals with a 105 Defensive Rating while Sato is putting up 2.5 steals with a 107 Defensive Rating.

The two players tied for steals per game in the given years, but Rondo was actually having one of his worst seasons in terms of steals that year, and Rondo owned a 1.6 Defensive Plus/Minus while Sato has only managed a measly 0.3.

Winner: Rondo is the superior defensive player. 


Rebounding has been one of the absolutely sorest spots of the Bulls roster this season, and Sato has been no huge help there. His abysmal 6.3 Total Rebound Percentage is the worst of his career, and a far shot from Rondo’s 2016-17 10.4%, the best of his career.

Winner: I’ll take Rondo’s 5.1 rebounds over Sato’s 3.3, thank you very much.


Rondo, for better or worse, is a loud voice in the locker room and emerged as a leader for the players during a trying time for the team. Whether he is right or wrong, Rondo is an extremely smart player and brings value to your bench by serving as an additional coach when he isn’t in the game, despite his own lack of coachability.

Sato keeps his head down and does his job, which is not without its own merits but definitely is not something that stands out from a position that is supposed to be your “floor general.”

Winner: Rondo brings more to the table on and off the court in terms of intangibles.

Overall Winner: Rondo 4-0 in a clean sweep.