Bucks Diary

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beautiful basketball at the BC


Have you ever imagined a basketball world without defense? We saw a glimpse of it last night at the BC as the Bucks had one of their best offensive showings (and worst defensive showings) of the season. I'll tell you what, though, I'd rather watch that than the "No Offense No Defense" brand of ball the Bucks have been playing for most of the season.

Team Win Score evaluation

A team's overall Win Score average for any particular game is a good indication of their team offensive efficiency in that particular game. By the same token, their opponent's overall Win Score average is a good indication of their defensive efficiency (in fact, if you compare each team's overall offensive and defensive Win Score averages to the NBA average and then split the difference, you can pretty accurately compute the team's expected win total).

Last night the Bucks team Win Score average was 57.5, compared to their season average of 37.1, and the NBA average of 42.1 (the top Win Score offensive team, according to Draftexpress.com is the Phoenix Suns at 56.5). On the other hand, their defensive Win Score was 57.9, compared to their season average of 47.3.

So they had a great offensive game and a less than great defensive game. But, unlike most of the Milwaukee Bucks games this season, last night's game was fun to watch.

The Ugly Index says Two Beautiful Games

I saw two outstanding NBA basketball games last night. The Bucks loss to the Hornets and later the Suns narrow loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Remember my Ugly Index? The Ugly Index is my way of judging the aesthetic quality of basketball games. If you recall, the formula is: Turnovers + Fouls + Missed Shots / Points Scored. As you may further recall, the Ugly Index NBA norm for this season and for seasons prior is .80 and up, meaning you normally get more than .8 "ugly" plays for each point scored.

Well, last night's Bucks-Hornets games was a .60 on the Ugly Index, and the Suns-Warriors game was a sparkling clean .51. Thus, even accounting for each game's lack of defensive prowess, those were four teams that executed at a high level.

What might have been

I know I am a sworn critic of those who go back in time and say "We should have done this" or "We should have done that" without taking into account the circumstances surrounding the decision. I am referring here to the Bucks decision to draft Andrew Bogut and pass on Chris Paul.

There was NO possible way the Bucks were going to draft Paul. They already had TJ Ford, and there was no consensus indicating Paul was going to turn into the player he is today. Had Harris drafted Paul and passed on both Andrew Bogut and Marvin Williams, given the climate of opinion at the time, he probably would have been fired.

But dammit, you can't help once in a while imagining what might have been. Bogut is a slightly above average starter. Chris Paul is a borderline superstar. The Hornets are verging on elite status, and its all because of two simple moves: the drafting of Paul and the trade for Tyson Chandler.

As of a week and a half ago, Chris Paul was the fourth greatest Win Producer in the NBA. If he continues to play at the high level he has played at for the first half of the season, he will add 22.4 wins to the Hornets ledger. By comparison, in 1970 Kareem added 21.6 wins to the Bucks ledger.

Go back to the link and you will also see that Tyson Chandler is the 8th most productive Win Producer in the NBA. He is the ultimate role player and together the two by themselves are projected to add 39+ wins to the Hornets. You piece together 21 wins out of the rest of the roster and you've obviously got a 60 win season.

By comparison, the Bucks two top Win Producers, Redd and Bogut, project to add 17 wins to the Bucks.

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