On 82games.com, Jon Nichols has developed an interesting defensive rating system
that compiles several different defensive numbers and awards each player a composite score between 0-100. The top defensive player in the NBA (Tim Duncan) scored a 100, while the bottom two defensive players in the NBA (Tyronn Lue and Jeff McGinnis) scored zeroes.
Last year's Bucks, as you might expect, all received either mediocre or downright poor defensive scores. The top Bucks defender was, unsurprisingly, Ruben Patterson, who scored a 58, which is merely okay. The second best defender on the Bucks, very surprisingly, was Dan Gadzuric, who scored a 53. He was followed by Skinner and Bogut at 43 each, Michael Redd at 42, Charlie Villanueva at 31, Mo Williams at 24, and Charlie Bell at 15. Oh, by the way, the completely useless Earl Boykins scored a team low 7. The whole team fared pretty poorly by this guy's measure, when you consider that the immobile Chris Webber scored a 78. (which calls into question the entire rating system... I watched Andrew Bogut isolate on Webber last season and absolutely eat him alive! But lets just go with it for the moment).
Of the Bucks pickups this off-season, Desmond Mason scored a dismal 14 (hey oh! he doesn't play defense either!), and Jake Voskuhl scored a 27, which is extremely low for a big man. I guess our new found commitment to acquiring defense is just empty talk.
But I don't know how much I'm sold on this system yet. Here are some stunning numbers compiled by former Bucks. TJ Ford compiled a 76! Maybe he was a better defender than the naked eye could capture. Another seeming nondefensive former Buck, Zaza Pachulia, scored an 86. And Rafer Alston, who never appeared to play much defense in Milwaukee, scored an incredible 92. It goes further. Tim Thomas, the disinterested one, somehow scored a 72. On the other hand, Jamaal Magliore scored a measly 35, which sounds about right.
All in all, it may not be a perfect rating system, but it does provide some intriguing information on just how bad the Bucks might be defensively this season.