Bucks Diary

Monday, June 30, 2008

Jefferson brings reliable scoring to the Bucks


Though scoring in general is overrated by NBA teams, I think there is something valuable about what I call "reliable scoring". I define reliable scoring as "points per minute above average plus points per field goal attempt above average". The formula is (Points per 48 minutes - 19.8 + (Points per attempt -1.22 * attempts)= reliable points per 48).

If you remember, I did a survey of the "reliable scoring" on every NBA roster last January. It turned out the Bucks were 29th out of 30 NBA teams in that category. The Bucks had only 14.4 "reliable scoring" points on their roster, with 11.2 of those points coming from Michael Redd. The average NBA team, according to my January numbers, had 25.5 reliable scoring points on their roster, so the Bucks, as you can see, were woefully below average.

Richard Jefferson should instantly change that. If he scores at the pace he set last season, he would become the Bucks most reliable scorer with 11.5 reliable points per 48 minutes of action. He would also raise the Bucks reliable points on their roster to 26.3, thereby moving the team above the NBA average.

So reliable scoring is something he should add. There are two cautions, however. First, Jefferson's reliable scoring average last season was well above his career average of 6.5 reliable points. Second, when I did my survey in January, Jefferson's relaible scoring average was 15.2 points per 48. So his numbers dipped back somewhat once Jason Kidd left, but they were still quite good, and will still add needed reliable points to the Bucks.

Overall, Jefferson was a very efficient scorer last season for the Nets. He shot the ball well, he shot free throws well, and he attacked the basket like few Milwaukee Bucks did last season (his FTA/FGA was 51.1%, compared to the NBA average of 30.6%, and the Bucks average of 29.3%.) The areas where Jefferson struggled last season, compared to how he's produced over his career, were in the peripherals -- rebounding, steals, blocked shots, and turnovers. Especially rebounding, an area where he's really taken a dip over the last couple of seasons.

I'll go over that in my next post.

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