Bucks Diary

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Michael Redd Paradox

The irony of Michael Redd's career is that he could have been a legitimate superstar if he had just remained a role player.

Instead, by trying to be a superstar, or at least trying to fulfill what I assume his vision is of a superstar's role ("Its time for him to take over the game"... how many times have we heard that vapid cliche during NBA telecasts?), Redd actually ended up becoming an overpaid second-tier player.

The good news for Bucks fans is, with the help of Coach Skiles, Redd could be returning to his better form.

As the chart clearly shows, there is an inverse relationship between the number of Bucks possessions Michael Redd uses per 48 minutes and the amount of wins he produces for the team (gauged by his Win Score per 48 minutes). This preseason, Redd has gotten back to the usage numbers he had in his first two seasons, and his productivity has risen in kind.

In Redd's first two seasons, when he was just a role player, he was fantastically productive. His Win Score was comparable to Kobe Bryant's.

Once he signed his big money contract, things changed. He took it upon himself to become the focal point of the Bucks offense, consuming many more of the team's offensive possessions, and his productivity slipped. By trying to do more, Redd actually did much less (in terms of Wins Produced).

But this preseason, under Coach Skiles new "Be more judicious, Mike" dicta, Redd has used far fewer possessions and has gotten back to his formerly productive self.

Will it last? I have my doubts. Its one thing to make a big show in meaningless preseason games, its another thing to carry that mentality into meaningful regular season games (in fact, my cynical side thinks the fewer possessions used by Redd this preseason might just be Redd pouting, or Redd trying to make a point to Skiles and to the fans. Did you see his Dennis Krause media day interview? His body language, if not his words, clearly indicated he was extremely annoyed by the "Do you shoot too much?" and "Can you accept critical coaching?" questions Krause asked).

Lets wait and see what happens when the real bullets start to fly after Opening Night. What will happen then? Will Redd fall back on his inefficient habits? And if he does, will Skiles tolerate the reversion, or will he clip Redd's ears?

The answer to those questions will tell us whether Redd's seeming offensive renaissance is real or not.


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