I currently have the Bucks winning around 47 games. I realize that is not a very popular prognostication, but there it is. Hey, it’s hardly the Wizards (check out Arturo’s awesome destruction of their roster… its dead on analysis, and apparently Ted Leonisis (sp?) took exception to it!)
Anyway, I’m not going to fudge the numbers to achieve a sunnier result. First of all, who even gives a shit what my forecast is? It is what it is, as they say in locker rooms. Second, if you start fudging numbers, wait I already made this point in the last post…. anyway, for the moment I will stay at 47, dealer.
But remember, my win predictions are normally conservative, and the last two seasons they have been two short of the actual total and five short of the actual total, respectively. So generally there is some built-in room for upside. Below are some possibilities.
Possibilities for more Bucks Wins
1. A move back to small forward boosts Corey Maggette’s win production back up where they were three seasons ago, before he went to Golden State.
Likelihood: Pretty strong. Even though Corey is getting long in the tooth, and even though he hasn’t been much of a possession creator the last two seasons, I could see him producing one more very good season for the Milwaukee Bucks.
2. Salmons performs the entire season at the level he performed the last two months of last season.
Likelihood: Weak. He provides no precedent I can rely on. He has never been able to sustain the level of production he provided after the trade over an entire season.
3. Bogut steps his production up one more level, or finally plays a whole injury free season.
Likelihood: Weak on the first point, moderate on the second. I think over the last two seasons Bogut has established his level of production, and I can’t really forecast that production going up. On the other hand, his injury last season was a bit flukish, so I could see him playing somewhere close to “full-time” minutes.
4. Drew Gooden plays better than I expect him to play.
Likelihood: Low. I have no faith in Gooden. Over the last three seasons he has played for six teams. Two of his stops have been productive. Four have not. And one of the productive stops was a 300 minute stint with San Antonio. Gooden is a fair rebounder, but a poor shooter for a power forward, and a sketchy defender.
5. Jennings and/or Ilyasova step(s) up two levels rather than the one level I am predicting.
Likelihood: Moderate to Low. I already built-in a pretty strong improvement for both, and I think they will each provide that much. But expecting a real “Kevin Durant” leap up in win production is unreasonable.
6. The Jersey Boys play much better in Cream City.
Likelihood: I have no idea. Three seasons ago, Dooling was an above average win producer for the Orlando Magic. Two seasons ago, CDR was a promising rookie. Last season both sucked. I had high hopes for CDR coming out of college, but I have little faith in him now. But maybe all he needs is a touch of “Scotty”.
7. Skiles falls in love with Jon Brockman and gives him Gooden’s minutes in the regular rotation.
Likelihood: Somewhat low. As a rookie with Sacramento, Jon Brockman was extremely productive. But Skiles generally favors either (a) shooters, or (b )athletes. Brockman really is neither. But here’s hoping he eventually replaces Gooden in the starting five. Don’t hold your breath.