There’s a great post on the site “Opposing Views” about the NBA’s Top 5 disappointments for the 2009-2010 season. Bucks fans will enjoy two of them, and I discuss why most of them really weren’t that “disappointing”.
Number one is the man the media told us the Bucks absolutely could not live without. Mr. Richard Jefferson. By trading him, the pundits told us, the Bucks were signaling that they were “tightening their belts” and in so doing they were giving up the season.
The blog that preceded this one, along with many other Bucks blogs, argued vehemently against that. Jefferson is and was an average small forward. He was severely overpaid. He was not the “missing piece” in any one’s championship puzzle.
I’ll bet Bucks fans barely remember that he was traded.
You will also note another “disappointment” was Charlie Villanueva. Some Bucks fans fretted about losing Villanueva. Not this one. The Pistons overpaid for him. He’s a good guy, he just wasn’t (in my mind) a good player. Its unsurprising that he Pistons defensive collapse coincided with his arrival.
The LA Lakers
A couple other notes. You see the Lakers as the number five disappointment. Again, based on an overblown view of what Ron Artest would bring them. I didn’t think they would be better, I thought they’d be a little worse. And I even put my money where my mouth was back in October and put up a prediction as to their win total, and I came within 0.6 of a win away from their final pythagorean total of 54.2 wins (my total, based on player’s 3 year MWS48 averages and the playing time projected by BasketballProspectus was 54.8 wins).
You can see on the Spurs side I had Jefferson tabbed for a slightly below average season, which is basically what he had (Win Shares, a metric that is based strictly on offensive/defensive efficiency and comes up with results similar to Marginal Win Score pegged RJ at 6.0 wins — I predicted 5.4 wins. If you click on the link, Win Shares can be found down in the “Advanced” Section. If you do click on the link, please note how close I came on Ginobli and Duncan’s wins, and of course how far off I was on Antonio McDyess).
The Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are on the “Disappointment” list also. Again, based on overblown expectations. Gilbert Arenas, similar to RJ, is simply not that skilled at producing wins. He’s skilled at scoring in volumes, but that is not what produces wins in the NBA. Like RJ, he is an average player… which is not bad, but not worth anywhere near the money he earns.
The Chicago Bulls
Finally, the Chicago Bulls are up there. I had the Bulls down for somewhere in the 42 win range. Their pythagorean ended up being 36 something wins. I don’t see how they were disappointing. They won about what they would be expected to win.