Simmons must regain his aggression in '06-'07
With his bloated contract, it looks as though the Bucks are stuck with Bobby Simmons as their small forward for the foreseeable future. One way he can redeem his large contract is to get more aggressive, particularly when it comes to earning free throws.
I did a study of the starting small forwards in the association to determine how often each attacked the basket. I evaluated each according to his ratio of free throw attempts to field goal attempts, which I characterized as his "Basket Attack" ratio.
The study yielded expected results. The average attack ratio for small forwards is .36. Those that were stereotypically seen as less aggressive and more prone to simply standing outside and bombing from long range had the lower ratios: Bobby Simmons .25, Peja Stojackovic .25, Tayshaun Prince .24, Vladamir Radmonovic .22, Tim Thomas .17, Bruce Bowen .15, and the least aggressive small forward of all, Miami's Antoine Walker .14.
Meanwhile, those who are typically regarded as "slashers" and guys who like to get to the rim had the higher "attack" ratios: Andrei Kirilenko .68, Corey Maggette .67, Richard Jefferson .58, Gerald Wallace .51, Andre Iguodala .50, and Carmelo Anthony .45.
We desperately need Simmons to try to get up there with the latter group. There is hope for him. Most of the low attackers have always had a low attack ratio, but not Simmons. Only he and Tim Thomas were at one point in their careers prone to attack. Three seasons ago Simmons had an attack ratio of .49, which would have made him among the more aggressive forwards, and his college ratio was .47. For some reason, though, he fell in love with the outside jumper in his last season with the Clippers (where he had a .26 attack ratio) and has continued his passive play with the Bucks (shades of Tim Thomas after he signed his big contract with the Bucks in '00).
He must regain the inititiative in '06-'07 and make a concerted efforted to get to the hoop as much as he can. It would make him a more aggressive player generally, which the Bucks could really use, and it would also help reduce the huge free throw attempt disparity that hurt the Bucks throughout the season. Will he do it? I have some reason to hope he will.