Bucks Diary

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bucks are a train wreck

I realize you can go too far with statistics, and I realize I am prone to hyperbole, but based on my midseason audit, and on the Professor of Hoopology's own mid season audit at the WoW Journal, Larry Harris has constructed an awful basketball team. I'm not trying to throw mud, believe me, I'm just calling it like the evidence portrays it.

If you look at the Professor's numbers, and scroll down to the Bucks, the important thing to take away is this. A team must have 3 or 4 core stars and a stable of productive role players. The Bucks have 3 mediocre stars and a bench that is unspeakably awful. And I'm not just going by "Win Score" with that last assessment.

This weekend I looked at every significant statistical area I could think of to try to assess the areas in which the Bucks were strong and the areas in which they were not. To do this, I compared the Bucks production in all of those categories against the NBA average, and I did the same for Bucks opponents. Here's my findings if you're interested.

The Good Areas

Let me summarize my findings this way: the only "good" areas I could find where the Bucks were above average are:

1) Offensive Rebounding: On a per chance basis the Bucks are grabbing slightly more than the Association per chance average.

2) Assists per Made FG: The Bucks have more assists than the Associaiton average, but I don't know what value this has because it certainly hasn't led to a more efficient or productive offense. So I don't even know what that means.

Problem Areas

Here are some of the areas where the Bucks are bad, in no particular order:

1. 3 pt field goals allowed: This is killng the Bucks. They are the worst team in the Association at defending the three.

2. Overall defense: A lot of it has to do with the 3 point problem, but the Bucks are below average in every single significant defensive category.

3. Overall offense: The Bucks can't make shots. They don't have enough guys who can score... 2s, 3s, free throws... they're getting killed in every imaginable area.

4. Free Throws Attempted: The Bucks refuse to attack the basket... and yet they can't shoot from the outside!! Thus, they have the worst of both worlds -- as jump shooters who can't shoot, they are getting outscored from the outside and they are getting outscored from the charity stripe simultaneously.

5. Unforced Turnovers: Turnovers that are not explained by having the ball stolen, I call "unforced turnovers" even though I realize that's a misnomer. Anyway, the Bucks are an alarming 17% above average on these kind of turnovers. That either indicates sloppiness or a lack of ballhandlers. Probably both.

The Bad Bucks Bench

This is a category onto itself. I went through the stats on 82games.com looking for players to pin the blame on for the bad defense. Here's what I found. With the exception of Michael Redd... who gives up an above average FG%, but who surrenders a below average amount of points to the guys he covers, the Bucks starters are just basically mediocre defenders.

But the bench players are brutally bad (except for Bell who plays admirable defense). Oh, and with the occasional exception of Charlie Villanueva, they don't score either. Here are the numbers.

Wait, first here's what they mean. On defense, for each player I compared the FG% they give up to the guy they guard against the NBA average FG% at that position. I also compared the number of points per 48 they give up with the NBA average at the position. On offense, I compared I added or subtracted the player's points per 48 by the NBA positional average, and then awarded or subtracted points for efficiency by comparing their points to their FGAs and then multiplied the average number of points per shot (1.22) by their FGAs.


Michael Redd
Defense: SG (+4.7% FGA; -1.7 Pts/48 given up) SF (+5.3%; -2.0 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: +12.35 Pts/48 scored

Andrew Bogut
Defense: C (+3.6%; +0.70 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: +1.90 Pts/48 scored

Mo Williams
Defense: PG (+3.6%; +1.20 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: +2.60 Pts/48 scored

Yi Jianlian
Defense: PF (+3.3%; +1.0 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: -4.20 Pts/48 scored

Desmond Mason
Defense: SF (+3.7%; 0.0 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: -6.00 Pts/48 scored

Bench Players

Bobby Simmons
Defense: SF (+4.9%; +3.3 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: -6.90 Pts/48 scored

Charlie Villanueva
Defense: PF (+7.4%; +4.3 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: +0.70 Pts/48 scored

Charlie Bell
Defense: SG/PG/SF (-1.9%; -0.86 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: -13.20 Pts/48 scored

Royal Ivey
Defense: SG (+9.2%; +3.8 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: -4.40 Pts/48 scored

Michael Ruffin
Defense: C (+14.6%; +6.60 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: -8.9 Pts/48 scored

Jake Voskuhl
Defense: PF (+8.7%; -.03 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: -5.01 Pts/48 scored

Dan Gadzuric
Defense: C (-4.5%; -.04 Pts/48 given up)
Offense: -2.01 Pts/48 scored


I'll discuss this more in the coming days. I'm too tired to keep typing now. I welcome your thoughts.


At February 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm at Gadz comparing favorably to the other two bench bigs. Sure he plays like a dummy sometimes but I always have to hear about the strong defensive presence from Ruffin and Voskuhl.

Then again Larry K probably wouldn't even have let Villanueva show off before the deadline without Yi's shoulder. Stotts got this same team killed by injuries and never lost by 40 for fuck's sake.


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