Bucks Diary

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why I am so impatient

I have been criticized for being impatient regarding the Milwaukee Bucks. But I think there is good cause. The first 19 seasons of Bucks basketball were paradise, the last 20 seasons have been a desert of underachievement.

To assess the 39 year history of the Bucks, I commandeered Bill James baseball "6 Points of Achievement" formula for grading performances by a team in a season, adapted it to the equivalent achievements in basketball, and applied it to each season played by our Milwaukee Bucks. (James developed his formula to identify the best five year periods in each franchise's history. I have done the same for the Bucks, with that period in bold.)

Here is my basketball adapted formula. In each season you get one point for each of the following achievements:

1. Finishing with a winning record
2. Finishing with 50 wins
3. Finishing with 60 wins
4. Winning the division
5. Winning the conference
6. Winning the NBA Finals

Here is the story the formula tells about the history of the Milwaukee Bucks:

The First 19 Seasons of Milwaukee Bucks basketball

68-69: 0
69-70: 2
70-71: 6
71-72: 4
72-73: 4
73-74: 4
74-75: 0
75-76: 1
76-77: 0
77-78: 1
78-79: 0
79-80: 2
80-81: 4
81-82: 3
82-83: 3
83-84: 3
84-85: 3
85-86: 3
86-87: 2

Total Achievement Points: 45
Number of "zero achievement" seasons: 4

The Last 20 Seasons of Milwaukee Bucks basketball

87-88: 1
88-89: 1
89-90: 1
90-91: 1
91-92: 0
92-93: 0
93-94: 0
94-95: 0
95-96: 0
96-97: 0
97-98: 0
98-99: 1
99-00: 1
00-01: 3
01-02: 0
02-03: 1
03-04: 0
04-05: 0
05-06: 0
06-07: 0

Total Achievement Points: 10
Number of "zero achievement" seasons: 12


Bucks fans, if you're not building toward an NBA championship, you're wasting your time. In the past 20 seasons, your Milwaukee Bucks have been wasting your time. 12 empty seasons. A grand total of one multi-achievement season.

Moreover, the past 20 seasons of Bucks basketball have not, collectively, equalled the achievements of their first 6 seasons. We deserve better.

That's why I look at Bogut and Villanueva, and whoever else is on the roster, and ask the proactive question: Will he help get us there? If he won't, the time to act is now. We have waited and suffered for far too long.


At November 21, 2007 at 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a load of droppings.

Through no fault of their own, the Bucks luckily won a coin flip and drafted Lew Alcindor, the best center of his era. He led them to one championship and led them to another championship appearance. Other than this luck-induced era, there have been no Golden Years for the Bucks.

In the Sidney Moncrief-era, everyone always said the Bucks were a dangerous team that you had to look out for, but everyone knew they never had a realistic chance at the NBA Finals. In 1982-83, they lost the Conference Finals 4-1. In 83-84, they lost 4-1. In 84-85, they lost 4-0. In 85-86, they lost 4-0. Except for 82-83, the only reason they made it to the Conference Finals in the first place was because they didn’t have to face the 76ers or the Celtics in the semifinals.

Under you analysis, you should be pleased as punch with the modern Bucks. Just like the Sidney Moncrief-Bucks, the present-day Bucks have just as good as chance of getting lucky in the first and second rounds of the playoffs against other also-rans (Toronto, Cleveland, Charlotte, you pick ‘em) before getting swept by the Celtics in the Conference Finals.

Put your stats away. Enjoy the salad days while they are here.

At November 21, 2007 at 4:20 PM, Blogger TCW said...

Will do! And as a Packer fan, I sorely miss the salad days of David Whitehurst and Barry "The Tork" Torkelson.

At November 21, 2007 at 4:25 PM, Blogger TCW said...

Btw, I wasn't using statistics. The achievement points were just a checklist.

I use them because, if I relied completely on subjectivity I might be led to conclude that the Bucks are just as well positioned to reach the Eastern Conference Finals today as they were in the early 1980s, when they consistently winning 50 games a year.

That would be too stupid for words.

At November 22, 2007 at 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah it's nice to be able to enjoy a basketball game but this team needs wins and contention for a new arena and maybe just to keep the team in town. Clearly Ty can appreciate the ride along the way and I have no problem with anyone expecting more. There are some exciting things going on but we're not out of the middle just yet.


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