Nine observations on the state of the Bucks
1. The Bucks got rid of an overrated point guard (Ford), but now they have no point guard. Mo Williams is a small two guard, plain and simple. He is ill-suited to the point. The jury has definitely come back with its decision on that question. He doesn't know how to set his teammates up, he's doesn't produce nearly enough assists, and he never...never...never penetrates. Did you realize he has 125 shot attempts this season, and only 8 free throw attempts? That's a basket attack ratio of just over 6%! And he's our point guard! Is he allergic to paint or what? And its not as if he's lighting the world on fire from the outside, either. Yeah, he had a good game last night, but I think that's just a tease. Overall, he's shooting way under 40% from the outside.
2. Charlie Bell and Steve Blake are really staging some kind of competition for the Most Useless Buck of the Year award for 2006-07. Both of them have been dreadful. Between them they have produced virtually nothing. Neither can shoot a lick, neither plays any defense at all, and neither can seem to produce an assist to save their lives. Its time for at least one of them to step it up.
3. Ruben Patterson has been coming on lately offensively, but his defense has been less than advertised. He's allowing his covers to shoot an eFG of over 50%, nearly identical to the defensive eFG allowed by Bobby Simmons last year. He's erratic on offense, he needs to bring it defensively every night, and he needs to hit the boards a little more.
4. Conversely, Ilyasova has struggled on offense, but he's showing some unexpected promise as a defender. His overall defensive eFG is quite good, and he was the only Buck who had any success at all covering Atlanta's Joe Johnson the other night. He also rebounds pretty well. If only he could pass, dribble, or shoot, we'd have a hell of a player!
5. Not to dwell on Mo Williams, but why is he, with his eFG of 41%, getting over 12 FG attempts a game, when Bogut, who has an eFG of over 55%, is getting a mere 8? I place the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of Stotts. Why don't they work the offense inside out? Most of Williams shots come early in the clock, meaning he often isn't even trying to run the offense, he's looking to get his own. Stotts needs to clamp down on that.
6. Amidst all the Bucks' troubles, Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva are turning in outstanding seasons. Both of them have been exceptional in nearly every phase of the game. Redd could mix in a few assists now and then, but with the way he's producing, you can't really complain. He's clearly playing on a different level. Same thing for Villanueva. He's been a phenomenal pickup.
7. I can't figure out Gadzuric. When he gets playing time, he craps out. When his minutes are reduced, he shines. He's got his production per minute back up to the high levels he's accustomed to, and his rebounder rating is a superb 37.2. But I'm not going to say they ought to play him more, because I am no longer convinced he's suited to playing a lot of minutes.
8. I hate to say it, but I think we really miss old Joe Smith. Yeah, he was injury prone and as slow as dirt, but he could rebound and occasionally mix in some points. I'd take him over Skinner in a second.
9. Did you notice Bogut got bageled last night? I realize he had only 4 shot attempts, but still, that's got to hurt. And he still isn't rebounding. He grabbed only four rebounds in nearly 24 minutes of action.