Comprehensive Milwaukee Bucks statistical analysis
With roughly 1/5th of the season gone by, I decided to do a comprehensive analysis of the Milwaukee Bucks season so far, to try to trick out the team's strengths and weaknesses as well as its most valuable and costliest players. As always, my analysis is based upon the Win Score metric, translated through % of playing time into what I refer to as each player's "Total Win Contribution" to the team. TWC is a rough gauge of each player's contribution toward making the Bucks an above 0.500 team.
I have also added a new wrinkle... a comparison of each player's contribution with the contribution the team could have gotten from a "replacement level" player, meaning a player the team could have acquired at little or no cost. This, I believe, provides the ultimate statement about the player's worth. If a player is providing the team with fewer wins than the team could have expected from the average "scrub" player, then that player is doing unnecessary damage to the team's bottom line. And the Bucks have several such players.
Notes on the Review
1. The Bucks do not have a single player on the roster who has played above average basketball at small forward. Starter Richard Jefferson has recently dipped below average, and every backup: Michael Redd, Luc Moute, Charlie Bell, and Joe Alexander, has produced below the opposition when manning the position. That position is really costing the Bucks at the moment.
2. At the moment, the Bucks have 3 main Win Contributors: Andrew Bogut, Ramon Sessions, and Luc Moute. Without those 3, you essentially have last season's Bucks: a team headed for 24 or 25 wins. Instead, the team is headed for about 34 wins, which is a decent improvement.
3. The rumor is the Bucks are planning to shut down Charlie Bell now that Michael Redd is back. Good move. No player has been costlier to the team. At the moment, Bell is playing well below replacement level. His play has been completely unacceptable.
4. Along with Bell, there are 4 other very costly Bucks, Joe Alexander, and the trio of backup big men: Dan Gadzuric, Malik Allen, and Francisco Elson. If the team merely replaced those players with scrub level big men replacements, the team would be, I project, above 0.500.
5. The team's highest paid players have so far not delivered. Richard Jefferson has been just barely above replacement value, which is an unacceptable contribution from a guy making as much as he makes. And Michael Redd, while very good when available, has made a very small positive impact due to his lack of availability. Again, I wonder how much of that unavailability was caused by the wear-and-tear of another off-season of international competition. Redd's primary responsibility should be to the Milwaukee Bucks, and I'm not sure if it is.