Bucks-Hawks: Ranking the series MVPs so far

Who have been the most and least valuable performers for the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks in their first round playoff series that will conclude  tomorrow with Game 7 in Atlanta?

Using the Marginal Win Score derivative “Win Contribution” I ranked each of  the playoff series participants from Most Valuable to Least Valuable (or “Most Harmful” depending on how you phrase it).

Below are the aforementioned rankings.  I omitted the bit players like Jeff Teague, Primo Brezec, Charlie Bell, etal.

The first parenthesis is the player’s Marginal Win Score.  The second parenthesis is the player’s Win Contribution.  If you need an explanation of what each means, go to the Page section of this blog found in the column to the right and click on “How to read Win Charts”.

MVPs of the Bucks-Hawks playoff series through Game 6

1. Josh Smith, Atl…(+2.52)…(+0.400)
2. Al Horford, Atl…(+2.10)…(+0.308)
3. Marvin Williams, Atl…(+2.05)…(+0.266)
4. John Salmons, Milw…(+1.42)…(+0.236)
5. Ersan Ilyasova, Milw…(+1.73)…(+0.149)
6. Joe Johnson, Atl…(+0.73)…(+0.125)
7. Brandon Jennings, Milw…(+0.89)…(+0.124)
8. Luke Ridnour, Milw…(+0.66)…(+0.045)
9. Mike Bibby, Atl…(+0.27)…(+0.032)
10. Kurt Thomas, Milw…(-0.20)…(-0.024)
11. Dan Gadzuric, Milw…(-1.42)…(-0.075)
12. Maurice Evans, Atl…(-2.74)…(-0.142)
13. Jerry Stackhouse, Milw…(-1.75)…(-0.158)
14. Jamal Crawford, Atl…(-1.42)…(-0.174)
15. Zaza Pachulia, Atl…(-3.73)…(-0.208)
16. Carlos Delfino, Milw…(-1.59)…(-0.225)
17. Luc Richard Mbah Moute, Milw…(-2.44)…(-0.266)

Analysis:  the starting forward positions have been the key

Yes, the Atlanta Hawks caught a major break when Andrew Bogut was unable to participate in the series, but the Bucks might still have closed them out if the Bucks weren’t getting dramatically outplayed at the starting forward positions.

Milwaukee’s starting forwards Carlos Delfino and Luc Moute have had good games in this first round series, but overall they’ve been manhandled by Atlanta’s Marvin Williams and Josh Smith.  That has been the difference in the series.

Interestingly, almost every key player that had been struggling in the series had a good game in Game 6, including Moute, Delfino, and Crawford.  Unfortunately for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Atlanta Hawks continued to get good play from their two most valuable players (Josh Smith and Horford) while the Bucks two most valuable players in the series (Salmons and Jennings) had off games.

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One Response to “Bucks-Hawks: Ranking the series MVPs so far”

  1. palamida Says:

    Ty, I’ve said this in the past but i’ll state it again: it’s problematic to use MWS to evaluate a playoff series. While the results are still “true” they pose an innate problem:
    During the regular season each player is matched up against everyone – that is, Above average, average, and below average players for his position. Across a season we can observe (and measure) how a certain player performed against his “counterpart” which is basically matching him up against the league’s positional average.
    In the playoffs though, A player is usually matched up with 1-2 specific players and that skewes the results…
    Suppose the Bucks had encountered say… the Celtics in their first round matchup. Jennings for example would probably play similarly and yet matched up with the superior Rondo he would appear to have performed poorly.
    While the results would still be “true” i.e The bucks have been outplayed in the Pg position and that cost them x or y losses, this process would be “unfair” to Jennings as his poor performance would be more indicative of Rondo being the superior player to say… Bibby than that of his own production and worth – and that’s just arbitrary.
    I suppose the way to go about this would be something of the “PVOA” nature, meaning evaluating Jennings’s production in relative terms: How did he perform compared to how the average PG performs when matched up with Rondo – that sort of thing.
    Hope I got my point across, holler to assure me you’re getting my meaning :p
    P.S an example of the opposite effect: it’s expected that Smith would be very productive, it’s “unfair” to “punish” LRBM simply for being matched up with the opposition’s most productive player. Like I said, this happens every game since on every team some players are more productive than others but across a season you get the good with the bad with the average and they all cancel each other out.
    The data is robust and meaningful across a regular season but is simply misleading when used in the playoffs in the same manner.

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