Bucks Diary

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mo Williams runs very hot or very cold


I was perusing the absolutely indispensable basketball site 82games.com when I ran into their study of basketball's streakiest shooters. Before I clicked on it I knew with absolute certainty which Bucks' name would be on their list: PG Maurice Williams. Mo Williams is the ultimate feast or famine player. This might dictate the way the Bucks rotate he and fellow PG Steve Blake. When Mo's running hot -- ride him. When Mo's running cold -- sit him.

The study specifically looked at each NBA player's shooting % after a made shot and after a missed shot. The theory being: the wider the differential between those two numbers, the streakier the shooter. Makes sense.

The study found that on average NBA players are not streak shooters at all and in fact are better after missed shots (.460) than they are after makes (.449). 82games theorizes that this is because defenders will often check a guy more closely after a make.

Anyway, turns out Mo Williams is not your average NBA shooter. He's quite streaky. In fact, Mo Williams is the ninth streakiest shooter in the Association. His field goal percentage after a make (.481) is much better than it is after a miss (.401), a difference of .072.

This fits his overall profile to a "T". When he was on last season, the Bucks generally won. When he was off, they generally lost. His eff48 in victories (25.56) was far better than his eff48 in losses (15.43). That differential (10.13) was far greater than any other Bucks regular from last season. No one else had a differential that exceeded 5 efficiency points with the average being 3.88.

In other words, Mo Williams was last year's barometer. I don't expect this year to be much different. We need him to even out his peaks and valleys if we are to become a championship contender and not another first round "adios".

Footnote: I have this maddening tendency to refer to Mo Williams as "Michael Williams". I think its because my three year stint living in the Twin Cities coincided with this player's run with the Twolves, and he was built the same as Mo, played the same position, and had a bit of a similar game. Still, I have to break the habit so if I do it call me out.

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