Yesterday I said the Milwaukee Bucks Game One loss to the Atlanta Hawks was “encouraging”. In a sense it was, but let’s not forget they were thoroughly beaten down. Despite the deficit being only 10 points, by Marginal Win Score, their chances of winning it with the marginal production gap was about 2 in 10. Not real good.
Moreover, if you look at the Atlanta Hawks Win Contribution numbers, almost all of their regular players contributions were very positive. That’s kind of a bad sign if you’re an Antlerhead.
But if you look closer, its obvious where the game was lost. At the very position I thought the Bucks might have an advantage — small forward. Carlos Delfino, and especially Jerry Stackhouse, got crushed by the duo of Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson. Just curbstomped.
In fact, Williams had the Hawks highest Win Contribution. Can’t happen. Cannot happen. If the Bucks are going to lose, it should be at the center position or at power forward. But they held strong at those positions. The game was lost at small forward. They cannot lose battles on the perimeter like that.
Here is the Atlanta Hawks Game One performances ranked by Win Contribution, with Marginal Win Score per 48 listed first.
Atlanta Hawks Game One (vs. Milwaukee Bucks)
1. SF Marvin Williams…(+10.50)…..(+1.030)
2. PF Josh Smith…(+4.05)…..(+0.658)
3. SG/SF/PF Joe Johnson…(+3.35)…..(+0.600)
4. PG Mike Bibby…(+4.43)…..(+0.600)
5. PG/SG Jamal Crawford…(+3.00)…..(+0.300)
6. C Al Horford…(+0.00)…..(+0.000)
7. C Zaza Pachulia…(-0.50)…..(-0.050)
8. PG Jeff Teague…(-6.00)….(-0.150)
9. PF Joe Smith…(-10.90)…..(-0.250)
Here’s something about the list that disturbed me. Each of the Hawks frontline players made a positive or neutral Win Contribution. That means they were superior to the Bucks across the top 6 guys (technically, Jennings actually outplayed Bibby). Or, at least, the Bucks as a whole could not outplay the Hawks top 6.
The encouraging thing is that Atlanta coach Mike Woodson had to ride his top six players extremely hard. Perhaps that will cost him later on if the Bucks can extend.
But the Bucks better play a lot better if they hope to extend. I think they will. I don’t know if that’s my head or my heart, though.