Bucks Diary

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bucks doing better than you think, Buckfan

Last season around this time BucksNation thought the Bucks were off to a hot start. In fact they weren't. Now I'm hearing commentary suggesting this season its the "same old Bucks". Its not.

Last year's seeming fast start was an aberration. When I exposed it by publishing the team's Point Value over Average numbers (which suggested that even though the Bucks had a winning record they were actually playing well below average) people wondered if I ought to adjust my methodology. Actually it was dead-on. By Christmas I had the team had a PVOA rating of -6.91, which foretold their season ending efficiency differential of -7.25 pretty accurately.

This season, the story has reversed. Even though the Bucks have lost 6 of 8, I believe, they are by and large playing near average basketball... which is a huge improvement for this franchise of late. If you're following my "NBA Advanced Power Ranking" blog, I have the team situated near the middle of the NBA.

Yeah, they've had some stinker games, like the severly below average defense in the loss to Denver this week... where the defense was brutal... but not many. And their clunkers haven't really even clunked that bad (in Denver the offense was above average).

Most of the games this season have been like last night's game against Utah. The Bucks lost, but by PVOA standards the team played slightly above average on both offense and defense compared to the rest of the NBA. They just happened to be playing one of the toughest home teams in the Association, and, unfortunately, an average performance at Utah will always equate into a loss.

But overall, if the team continues to play at the level it has been playing at, I would project them to be around a 35-36 win team. Which is not the "same old Bucks" of the last two nightmare seasons.


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