Bucks surprising… offense???

When I broke down the Milwaukee Bucks at the beginning of the season I had them winning 37.6 games.  That is exactly where they are headed at the moment. (BTW, all of a sudden everyone is claiming the same thing… “I had the Bucks winning somewhere between 35 and 40″… I did a comprehensive preseason survey and I never saw anything of the kind.  Every expert I surveyed — and I listed them all on Bucks Diary — had the Bucks hitting the bottom of the barrel in the Eastern Conference.)

I was slightly wrong about how they would get to that total, though.  I assumed that the Bucks would derive more of their wins on the defensive end.  In fact, my 37.6 win prediction was an amalgamation of two things — the team roster’s career Win Score averages (offensive wins) and Coach Skiles past defensive winning percentages at a similar point with the teams he previously coached (defensive wins).  It hasn’t quite worked out as those two numbers suggested it might.

While Coach Skiles has absolutely worked a defensive miracle in Milwaukee (remember the Krystkowiak season?) with a roster that doesn’t exactly scream “defense”, nevertheless the Bucks defensive winning percentage has been slightly below his above referenced average.  Its the Bucks slightly better than expected offense that has made up the stagger.

I just did a breakdown of “offensive wins” and “defensive wins” this afternoon (I also updated the Bucks Win Chart).  Here’s how I see the offensive and defensive win break down after 48 games.

Bucks Offensive Winning Percentage: .422% ….10.1__13.9
Bucks Defensive Winning  Percentage: .498%….11.9__12.1

How did I come up with those numbers?

For the offensive numbers, I compared the Bucks Team Win Score per game average (40.73) with the overall NBA Team Win Score per game average (43.10), and then calculated the number of  “half-wins” you would expect that difference to produce.  (I credit half of the  game results to offense and half to defense).  That number comes out to 10.1 half wins, which is a little better than the team roster’s collective career average suggested they would produce.

For the defensive numbers, I did the same thing except I used the Bucks Opponents’ Team Win Score per game average (43.23).  Given the NBA average, the expected half-wins that number would produce over 48 games would be 11.9, just slightly under .500%, and less than the .530% “Skiles average” I expected the Bucks to produce.

Skiles still has the defensive magic

None of this is meant to suggest that Coach Skiles has lost his defensive touch.  Quite the contrary.  Think about the clay he was given to mold.  The Bucks are a severely undersized team consisting of, for lack of a better term, “non-athletes”.  The only real “defensive ace” on the roster is Luc Moute.  The starting lineup consists of him, a scrawny point guard, a shooting guard who wears a huge knee brace, a European perimeter player, and a heavy footed center.  Off the bench comes a heavier footed  power forward (Ilyasova), another scrawny point guard (Ridnour), an ancient power forward masquerading as a backup center (Thomas), the world’s skinniest power forward (Warrick), and a guy who is one month removed from YMCA pickup games (Stackhouse).  The fact that Skiles has them playing any kind of good defense is a credit to his abilities as a coach.

FOOTNOTE:  I know I haven’t been posting quite as regularly and I see the numbers on the blog are plummeting as a result.  This is not purposeful. I simply haven’t had a single free second of time to write.  I ask you to bear with me through this period and I promise to do what I can to keep the site updated.  I don’t want anyone to think I’m shutting down, because I absolutely am not.  Thanks, Ty.

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2 Responses to “Bucks surprising… offense???”

  1. Healthcare Economist Says:

    Ty, Keep up the good work! I’m a loyal reader and the more you post the better. Even if you’re busy, I do appreciate you taking the time to do the stats needed to write your blog posts. Thanks for your hard work.

    Jason Shafrin

    • tywill33 Says:

      I know you’re a loyal reader dude, I followed you backwards to your site. First off, cool site, and second, thanks for the link!!! And third, thanks for the kind words!

      I’ll do my best to keep up!!! Thanks again!! (you notice how many exclamations you’ve earned?? Its like a “text”)

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