Mea Culpa: I blew it on the Ford-for-Villanueva trade
When the TJ Ford for Charlie Villanueva trade went down, I thought the Bucks pulled off a huge steal. Villanueva had scored 48 against the Bucks the previous season, and Ford was injury prone and had just been abused by Chauncey Billups in the playoffs. I was wrong. Dead wrong.
In my defense, I wasn't using a Moneyball approach to Bucks basketball at the time, so I was prone to logical reasoning errors and conventional wisdom fallacies. And I made them ("Always trade big" "He's a scorer", "He's got so much upside").
Fast forward three years and TJ Ford is leading a bigtime resurgence in Indiana. He had a huge game last night, and I just calculated his Total Win Contribution to the Pacers at +0.448. That's better than Tony Parker, and it means Ford's play alone would convert a .500 team into one that would finish the season approximately 13.6 games over 0.500. That's MVP caliber basketball.
Meanwhile the Bucks still don't know if Charlie Villanueva is their answer at the power forward. I'll help them out. He isn't! As I demonstrated mathematically this summer, its a myth to say Charlie V is an inconsistent player. He is, in fact, unusually consistent. Every single season he has finished at or near 9.2 Win Score points (well below average for a power forward), while surrendering at or near 13 Win Score points to his counterpart opponents.
If you saw my Bucks Total Win Contribution chart for thus far this season, you will know he's at it again. His numbers, projected over 82 games, would turn an average team into a 38 win team. The guy we traded is above average. The guy we traded for is a Win toilet. Typical Bucks. But there may be a way out.
Rescue David Lee
I'm going to beat the drum for the normally uberproductive David Lee once again. He looks absolutely lost on the Knicks in D'Antoni's foreign "little guys rule" offense, and his numbers are beginning to reflect his alienation. He's a blue collar basketball player on a Eurotrash basketball team.
On the other hand, Villanueva would consider D'Antoni's perimeter dominated scheme's paradise. And just maybe the Knicks would go for it. I would try.