duRanting about the Bucks
Before I start my rants about last night's debacle in Seattle, did anyone notice how close I came to accurately predicting the score? I had it flipped, and I was 2 off. I had the Bucks winning 103-99, based purely on PVOA calculations. The difficulty was, you have to assume one or the other of the teams will control, and I assumed the more veteran Bucks would... and I was wrong. But my underlying numbers were dead on.
1. Okay... Seattle F Kevin Durant may end up being the greatest basketball player of all time, but by any objective standard he is currently a substandard NBA player. That's just a fact. Yet last night the Bucks transformed him into an extremely above average NBA player. What was the Bucks secret? Simple, no defense.
Coming into the game, by position adjusted Win Score, a very accurate measure of productive success, Kevin Durant was amongst the worst rookies in the NBA at nearly -5.00. By comparison, Big Dog Robinson (a similar player with similar good and bad tendencies) was only -0.56 as a rookie, and even the hideous Todd Day (a player of generically similar game and physical stature) was only a -1.12 rookie.
Durant's just been bad, plain and simple. Or rather, its more accurate to say that he's been severely counterproductive for the Sonics, if their goal is accumulating victories.
Yet last night he posted a Win Score of +8.90 -- those are superstar numbers that more closely reflect his collegiate productivity. I'll bet he wishes he could play against the Bucks every night. Their defense represents the NBA's path of least resistance.
2. God Bless Desmond Mason, he's a great guy and he's got sort of a "cool" way about him, but he's giving the Bucks nothing on either end of the court. No defense and consistently below average productivity. Its time for a change.
I'm begging Coach K to at least try a Villanueva-Yi-Bogut lineup. How could the defense get any worse than the Ghandhi like defense Mason plays?
In fact, last night K should have put Yi on Durant, and just had him try to choke off Durant's jump shot with his length. Yi could have gotten Durant driving... out of his comfort zone. Then the defense could have collapsed on his penetration. Durant wouldn't have passed off, he'd have taken wild shots. Instead, Coach K stuck with Mason on him and Durant basically did what he wanted.
3. Another reason to try Yi at the 3 is because he just can't handle a physical 4. Wilcox ate him alive early. Bogut had to switch onto Wilcox, and that basically derailed the terrific game Bogut was having on the offensive end of the floor as he now had to expend on defense.
4. Where has Mo Williams gone? He has been AWFUL on this road trip. And so have his backups. Why not call Sessions up and just let him learn on the job? He's got to be better than "Royale without Cheese" Ivey or the Charlie "milk carton" Bell.
5. Antlerheads, I hope you appreciate the high level of play the Bucks are getting from SG Michael Redd. If this were hockey, we would say he is "standing on his head". Last night he had a +11.20 performance, which is incredible. He basically kept the Bucks in the game by himself in the second half. How long before he loses patience with the rest of the team, though?