When I was a shorty, I loved Marques Johnson. I don’t remember that much about his game (except for his electrifying pull-up jumpers… he could stop on a dime and just rip the cords). But I remember that he always made me really proud to be a Bucks fan. There was a period of time there, especially after the team got Lanier and Moncrief, where the Bucks were so much fun to watch, and number 8 was my favorite. I’m sure my memory exaggerates things, but I just remember that in big situations, he was as dependable as the dollar bill.
Anyway, if you notice from the summer posts, I’m a history buff. (As I commented to “Chicago Tim” the readership… eh, not so much).
Back to my point. I just calculated Marques Johnson’s MWS48 numbers from the playoffs for his rookie season. As you recall from a few posts ago, I have already declared Johnson the Bucks greatest rookie, better than Kareem.
Well, in his rookie season, when the “Brash Young Bucks” made an improbable run to the Western Conference Finals (the season after they had the number one pick), Marques Johnson put up playoff numbers I am almost certain that no Buck has ever matched.
His 1978 Playoff Marginal Win Score I just calculated at an unfathomable +6.95! If you follow this blog, you will know that those are gargantuan numbers, particularly for a power forward (the position Johnson played in his rookie season). Those are Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain numbers.
Of the Bucks 5.2 pythagorean wins, I credit Marques Johnson — one player — with producing 2.3! That’s unheard of!
Lets look at the specifics. Johnson averaged a whopping 32.3 points and 16.7 rebounds per 48 minutes, on 55% FGA shooting. The guy was allegedly 6-7, 218 pounds! He was just a phenomenal player. (He looked closer to 6’5, to be honest).
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I don’t care if he was free-basing in the locker room, based upon what he did on the court, how is his number 8 not hanging in the rafters? (And Junior Bridgeman’s and Brian Winters’… and Lanier’s, for that matter… are???)