Bucks Diary

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is Maurice Williams a point fraud?

I've often accused the Bucks starting "point guard" Mo Williams of being a shooting guard masquerading as a point guard. There's a great deal of evidence to support that accusation.

For a point guard, Mo Williams is way too fond of seeing himself shoot the ball. Among starting point guards in the Eastern Conference, only World B. Arenas of the Washington Bullets takes more shots per minute than Mo Williams (.52 for Arenas vs .42 for Williams). Even Stephon Marbury of the Knicks (.34) takes far fewer shots than Williams. In fact, TJ Ford of Toronto (.40) is the only other starting point guard in the East who averages at least .40 shots per minute (have the Bucks even had a point guard in this decade?).

You could excuse Mo for calling his own number so often if he concurrently set up his teammates. But he doesn't. Only Arenas (.28), Tyronn Lue of Atlanta (.38), and Jameer Nelson of Orlando (.37), have a lower assist/FGA ratio than Williams (.39).

So among Eastern Conference point guards, only Gilbert Arenas is a bigger point fraud than Mo. But Arenas can argue that his approach is good for his team. Last season Arenas averaged a healthy 1.35 Pts/FGA, comparable to the Bucks' Michael Redd, who averaged 1.38 Pts/FGA. So his gunning arguably benefited his team.

Mo Williams cannot make the same argument. His Pts/FGA average last season was a paltry 1.12, which, if Charlie Villanueva is the Bucks starter at power forward and Bobby Simmons at small forward, would rank fifth among the Bucks five starters. In fact, if you look at the Bucks top eight players, only Charlie Bell has a worse Pts/FGA average than Williams. Mo needs to check himself and start acting like a point guard.

Here is how a proper point guard acts. He limits his own shots and looks to set up his teammates. The purest point guard in the East, Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets, averages an economical .31 FGA/min, and a robust .80 Ass/FGA. Andre Miller of the Philadelphia 76ers averages .30 FGA/min and .68 Ass/FGA. And Chauncey Billups of the Detroit Pistons averages .32 FGA/min and .62 Ass/min. Those three are playmakers who can score. The Bucks are stuck with a shooter who will occasionally pass.


At October 30, 2007 at 3:42 PM, Blogger Adam said...

Yeah, if only Mo would have deferred more to Boykins, Noel, Skinner, Reiner, and whatever other clowns were out on the floor last year, the Bucks would have won the ring.

I think you're missing a lot of context here. A point guard who is the best scorer on the floor and a point guard who is the 3rd or 4th best scorer on the floor ought to have very different ast/fga ratios.

I'm not interested in knowing how Mo's passing to Skinner and Reiner compares to Kidd's passing to Carter and Jefferson, and neither should you be.

If Mo is hurting the team's efg% this year by shooting instead of passing to a lineup of Redd/Yi/Bogut, then we'll talk. But he's still the second best scorer on the team, and thus any good coach would want him to shoot now and then.

At October 30, 2007 at 6:50 PM, Blogger Diesel said...

I like Mo. He is not a traditional PG but there aren't too many of those left out there. I think Mo is going to get only better with proper coaching. I expect his game to only get better.

At October 30, 2007 at 6:52 PM, Blogger Diesel said...

Plus, if Pat Riley was willing to give fat cash to MW, then that says a lot for me. I really respect Riley's eye for talent.

At October 30, 2007 at 9:10 PM, Anonymous Glenn said...

Three points. The first was touched on by Adam; so much of last season was equivalent to garbage time in a blowout that the team benched many of their scorers, including Charlie V., Redd and Bogut.

Second point is that Mo has already signed his contract. Lets say that last season he was jacking up shots to pad his stats, than this year he doesn't have to worry about that, hopefully.

Finally, stats don't tell the whole story, and that is true of most sports except baseball, where watching stats for some people is almost more fun than the game itself. I'm not saying that Mo Williams is going to wake up one day and be Chauncey Billups, but if you look at the way Billups played before his best years in Detroit you might notice some similarities with the still young Mo Williams.

At October 30, 2007 at 9:15 PM, Anonymous Glenn said...

After posting my last comment I headed over the The Bratwurst and read the player previews posted there. Here is how he puts it:

"So does Mo shoot too much? Last season he took the 5th most shots per 40 minutes of all point guards (behind Arenas, Parker, Cassell and Davis) with 16.87, but the difference between him and the #21 point guard (Stephon Marbury) was only 2.81 shots per 40! That’s less than 1 per quarter! Also, Mo had several games where he was the only starter in uniform, so his scoring was necessary."

Just a thought.

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