My thoughts on the Bucks win over the Grizz
If you read my post yesterday, you will know that offensive rebounding was one of only two things I found the Bucks did well. Last night it was enough to carry them to victory against Memphis, 102-97.
Click on the red for Last night's Win Scores and Win Contributions
The Bucks still allowed Memphis to shoot an above average 37.9% from behind the three point line, and they got to the free throw line less than half the times the Grizzlies got there, but thanks mainly to some outstanding work on the offensive boards by Charlie Villanueva, the Bucks had 15 more shot opportunities and it was enough to take them over the top.
Chinese Math: Addition by Subtracting Yi
In his 1966 book "Percentage Baseball", Professor Earnshaw Cook demonstrated that baseball managers had little impact on the outcome of baseball games with one exception. He proved mathematically that managers often cost their team's victories by playing the wrong people.
I don't know if the same holds for basketball coaches, but I've been frustrated and baffled for weeks now by Coach K's insistence on giving the bulk of the minutes at power forward to Yi Jianlian, a guy who clearly shot his wad around Christmas, and giving any minutes at all to G Royal Ivey... a guy who doesn't really do anything particularly well. In fact, I think Crisco's rotational decision have cost his team games. I don't know that, and can't prove it, but that is my strong inclination.
According to Winsproduced.com, Yi has not played a single above average game since January 2nd, and Ivey has played a grand total of 2 in the same time frame. And its not as if either guy is playing particularly good defense this season (although Ivey is somehow reputed to be a great defender. The field goal percentage and scoring output of the men he has guarded says that is a categorical myth. Statistically, he's one of the worst defenders on the team.)
Last night Coach K was forced to change up. Villanueva was thrust into the role of starting power forward by Yi's shoulder injury. He provided the Bucks with their first positive Win Contribution from the Power Forward position in over a month. The Bucks would not have won without him. If I were the Bucks I would tell Yi to take his time getting well... and I'd find a way to have Ivey join him on the bench.
Is Bogut going into another funk?
This is what frustrates me about Andrew Bogut. He can have such a great stretch of games one month, and then erase it the next with an equal string of bad games. He's the Geoff Jenkins of the Milwaukee Bucks. Mr. Feast or Famine (relatively speaking).
After a January feast, it appears he's headed toward famine again. Its not certain, but a trend is certainly afoot. According to Winsproduced, after putting together a string of 11 straight above average games last month, he has now put together 3 straight brutal performances and 4 in his last 7.
Shhhh... Bobby Simmons is having a good 2008
At the risk of placing the Bucks Diary jinx on him, I have to point out that SF/PF Bobby Simmons is having a very nice calendar year 2008. If you look at my Win Score numbers above, he was a big Win Contributor last night, and, unofficially, he's had something like 11 good games out of 16 played this year.
I say "unofficially" because for some reason Winsproduced chooses not to recognize Bobby Simmons as an active NBA player. Of course, up until a month ago he gave no indication that he was, so that's somewhat understandable... but its growing less and less so by the day.