Total Eclipse of the Yucks: TWC Boxscore for Bucks vs. Suns
At points last night, the Bucks seemed to be in the game, but that was mostly a mirage. The team was thoroughly outplayed at several positions and never really had a decent "window" for victory. In other words, the Bucks were playing "uphill" all night.
1. There were only 3 "black" games turned in by the Bucks, and only 2 legitimate ones: Andrew Bogut and Charlie Villanueva (I discount, generally, the results produced by a player who plays less than 1.5% of the total playing minutes... thus Tyronn Lue's black game is less than legitimate). Both Bogut and Villanueva were excellent against stiff competition (combined TWC: +1.253). Their slew of replacements at the 4 and 5 (Moute, Elson, Gadzuric, and Croshere) were less than awful (combined TWC: -1.597).
2. The one constraint upon the "Win Score" metric is available statistics. I think of this every time I watch Steve Nash play. There ought to be what I refer to as "Plus Statistics". By that I mean, the stats keepers ought to distinguish between an ordinary assist and an assist that only Steve Nash could make... assists that are mainly created by his keen passing. The same is true of rebounding, scoring, shot blocking, steals... there are ordinary statistics and then there are extraordinary statistics. I think at some point we have to distinguish between the two and then run more regression models to determine the precise impact "Plus" players have on the game. But at this stage, that's just a thought bubble in my head. (It would really help at the collegiate scouting level as well. It would allow teams to discount artificially inflated production numbers and through that process derive better predictive models for professional production).
3. Tonight's game against Golden State is the one the team should have been targeting all along. Its a winnable game, and they must win it. The odds of them beating Los Angeles or Phoenix on the road were quite long, but Golden State, home or away, is a beatable team for the Bucks.