Bucks Diary

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Boykins coming up real short in Milwaukee

Maybe its just a matter of bad timing. But, considering the hype surrounding his arrival in Milwaukee, Earl Boykins has been a major disappointment. Whenever the Bucks put him on the court, the results are not good.

With Boykins in the game, the Bucks offensive efficiency is 100.6 pts per 100 possessions, and its defensive efficiency is an ABA-like 117.9 pts per 100 possessions. If you're scoring at home, that's an efficiency deficit of -17.3. You can't win any games with numbers like that.

On the other hand, when he sits down both the offensive (109.3) and defensive (110.7) efficiencies improve sharply, resulting in a more manageable deficit of -1.4. In other words, when the Bucks get Boykins off the court, they actually become competitive.

He needs to act like a point guard, not a 5'5'' shooting guard

Why has Boykins been such a disaster for the team? I think he's overmatched as a starter, but, more than that, its his court decisions and style of play. He hasn't played like a point guard. At 5'5'' he plays like a shoot-first, pass-much-later, shooting guard who happens to play point.

Look at his numbers. His Passer Rating, a key indicator of a PG's effectiveness running the offense, is an extremely low 7.0. By comparison, former Buck TJ Ford's Passer Rating currently stands at 13.2. And Boykins ass/48 average as a Buck has also quite low (6.1). Again, compare him to TJ Ford, who is currently averaging an ass/48 of just over 11.

He just doesn't pass the ball. And the effect is like a plumber's wrench dropped in the Bucks usually sound offensive machine. With Boykins on the court, all of the important measurements of offensive proficiency decline. The team's assisted field goal % (the % of field goals that are a direct result of a teammates assist) shrinks from 57% to 51%, and the team's overall eFG% falls from 54% to 46%, both of which suggest Boykins is not setting his teammates up as a point guard should. He's too busy setting up himself. His own assisted FG%, meaning the % of his made field goals that were set up by a teammate's assist, is a very low 29%, suggesting he's going one-on-one rather than moving the ball around and getting his shots as a natural part of the offense.

And -- get this -- he's not even very good going one-on-one. He can't seem to finish around the basket at all. His eFG in the lane is a meager 44.8%. When he goes in only rebounds come out.

Boykins poor offensive decisions also have a negative impact on the team's defense, often creating long rebounds and numerical advantages for the team's opponents. Not to mention the negative impact it has on defensive morale. Everyone knows there is nothing that takes away a player's defensive "want-to" like an ineffective and selfish point guard. Its demoralizing.

And Blake's turned his game around

If the foregoing weren't bad enough, former Buck bricklayer Steve Blake, the man we gave up to get Boykins, has undergone a Rocky Mountain renaissaince. They couldn't be happier with the guy. After a completely unproductive stint in Green and Red, he's suddenly come to life for the Nuggets. He's still not the most productive player in the world, but you can't argue with the results the Nuggets are gettng with him on the court. Their efficiency differential is +7.0. With him on the bench it sinks to +0.9. And suddenly he's found his shooting touch, scorching the nets at an eFG% of 56.3.

Did the Nuggets screw us?

I'm not saying we should have kept Blake. It wasn't working out with him in Green and Red, and the situation was unlikely to improve. What I am saying, though, is we are getting much less than advertised from Earl the Pearl. Except when he's on the bench.


At February 5, 2007 at 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blake's improvement makes me wonder again about stotts. what was about stotts that he couldn't put the fire in this boy's belly? what he get the other day? 19 and 14 assists? jesus christ, i wish we had a point guard that could dish that much...

At February 5, 2007 at 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you didn't see Blake's play at Milwaukee. The other aspects of his game, per minute, were in line with his previous season (his one good pro year), except he missed many open shots. Now would you as a coach give minutes to someone who was shooting over 15% less than his previous efg%? Since the move this year, his shooting has returned and he is getting the minutes to allow the numbers you note. Now unless you can show that Stotts did something that caused Blake to shoot poorly (or actually like his career shooting until last year), then find some different mud.

At February 5, 2007 at 3:06 PM, Anonymous Epicurus said...

Well, actually I talked to Stotts and he said that the one person he could control on the team was Blake so he had to keep him in check. Blake was depressed and finally was allowed to play to his potential in Denver.

At February 5, 2007 at 4:24 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Any Denver Nugget fan will agree with your column, after the last couple years of watching him, reading this is like a huge "no duh" to us. What he's doing in Milwaukee is nothing new, the guy sucks, no wonder we were laughing so hard after the trade when so many Bucks fans on some message boards were acting like they just got a steal. Boykins sucks, he doesn't get wins.

At February 5, 2007 at 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fake Epicurus, why don't you save your trolling to other forums. Now do you have anything serious to say here?

Boykins is what he is and always will be--someone who can put points on the board, but inefficiently. The Bucks will Williams and Redd down needed someone who could score in the backcourt. They knew, I'm sure, they were surrendering effiency, but Blake, a nonscorer, wasn't bringing that either. So not a bad trade.

The interesting thing that Boykins is doing now is hitting threes, but he is terrible on that which he did better for his career- intermediate shots and drives. He also is not picking up fouls and having more opportunity to do what he does best--shoot freethrows.

Now I relinquish time for the Fake Epicurus and his high wit.

At February 5, 2007 at 10:52 PM, Blogger Jamison Parker said...

Dude, boykins sucks, that's all there is to it. I don't know why you guys were excited to get him in the first place. It used to make me sick to hear the ovations he would get when his name was called at the pepsi center. All the soccer moms and kids who loved their Earl because he is short didn't realize that the team sucked ass when he got onto the floor. Sorry to say this, but you've got yourself a problem there. It's not like anyone else will take him...

At February 7, 2007 at 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boykins is still better than steve blake, and if nothing else hes more fun to watch. julius hodge will end up being the real gem in this deal.

At February 9, 2007 at 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahahaha you guys just waived hodge(what a gem) and is no way boykins better than hodge. All boykins is, is a chucker doesn't care about the team just wants to put up points and anyone can put up career numbers against him on the defensive side

At February 9, 2007 at 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOSING IS FUN TO WATCH cuz that is what boykins brings maybe you should talk to him about passing

At February 11, 2007 at 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this was a garbage deal for both teams, i dont know why everyones pretending this is anything else. blake is one of the worst players in the league and boykins was a quick fix that could have really worked for the bucks, at a minimal risk. chill out everyone. blake sucks.


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