Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Bogut’

Bucks are losing every positional battle except Point Guard

February 8, 2012

If you think the Milwaukee Bucks don’t miss injured C Andrew Bogut, take a look at the Positional Win Chart below.  I created the chart by calculating the Marginal Win Score average and corresponding winning percentage at each position on the court for the Bucks and their collective opponents, using the Positional Statistics available on

Milwaukee Bucks Positional Win Chart


Jennings winning the Point

Brandon Jennings is winning his battle at Point Guard, as I outlined in an earlier post.  He’s having a fine season.   But generally speaking, the Milwaukee Bucks are not.  As a team, the Bucks are losing every position other than Point Guard, and without Bogut’s presence they are getting absolutely MASSACRED at the Center position.

As the chart shows, 4.1 of the team’s losses can be attributed to the disparity in statistical production between the Bucks Centers and their Opponents Centers.  The Bucks are absolutely bleeding out at that position.  Gooden is a volume scorer who plays no defense and doesn’t keep his opponents off the boards.  Sanders is a joke.  And Brockman has been hurt.  The Bucks really need to shore up the frontline.

And, they need to start winning at some position other than the Point Guard.  I’m hoping that will be small forward, but Carlos Delfino has been slumping, and Mike Dunleavy can’t seem to stay healthy.

That’s life as a mediocre NBA team, I guess.


Milwaukee Bucks “Needs Improvement” list

January 13, 2010

Here are some random items Bucks players need to work on in the second half of the season:

Andrew Bogut

1. Defensive eFG

In general Andrew Bogut does a nice job of limiting the production of his opponent centers.  There’s one area he can do better in though: opponent field goal percentage.  He is currently allowing centers to shoot 53.3%, which is below average and Bogut’s worst on the ball defense since his second season.

2. No Jumpers Andy!

Remember my post a couple seasons (and a couple of blogs) back about Andrew Bogut and his useless jump shooting?  Essentially I reckoned he could be a much better win producer if he simply stopped shooting jumpers.  Last season he basically did and the results followed.  Now he’s back to shooting them and his eFG is way down.  I’d fine him every time he shot one.

3. Fear not the free throw line

If you look at Andrew Bogut’s “clutch” stats its obvious that late in close games he goes soft.  His jump shot percentage goes way up, and his numbers go way down.  I know why.  He doesn’t want to risk having to shoot a free throw.  That’s stupid!  Even if he makes only one of two, that’s much better than the average Buck possession.

Brandon Jennings

1. Get some Nash

Did you realize that when Brandon Jennings goes into the lane he gets his shot blocked 21% of the time, but when the supposedly “unathletic” Steve Nash goes into the lane he gets his shot blocked a mere 4% of the time?  Athleticism is THE most over rated trait in basketball.  Basketball skill and craftiness are much more important.  Jennings needs to learn how to finish at the rim then he will be complete.

Luc Moute

1. Get on the offensive boards

The one  area where Luc Moute’s game has diminshed is the offensive boards.  He still gets an above average percent, but with his limited offense he needs to do better than that.  He has to live off those easy put backs.

Hak Warrick

1. Finish in the lane

Warrick is making only 44% of his “close” shots.  He has to better than that… he’s a power forward.

Carlos Delfino

1. Find the three

Without the three, Delfino is useless offensively.  I realize its a high variance shot, but a half a season of missing is a high enough variance I think.

Every Buck

1. Get on the offensive glass

When you can’t shoot a lick, you have to pound the offensive glass relentlessly for second chancers.  The Bucks are currently 21st in the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage.  They have to do better than that.  I doubt they will, though.  Last season they were 22nd.

2. Better free throw line defense

I’m being sarcastic.  But did you realize this is the second season in a row the Bucks opponents have  shot a higher than average free throw percentage against them?  That’s got to be bad luck, right?  Anyway, it costs the team real wins.  Last season the Bucks were the unluckiest “free throw  in the entire NBA.  This season they’ve improved to third unluckiest.  (and it doesn’t have anything to do with the extra opportunities the Bucks give up either.  Indiana gave up the second most opportunities last season yet their opponents shot well under the NBA average… and one has to assume they played virtually the same schedule as Milwaukee.  Curious.)

Tough Day’s Night for Bango

January 12, 2010

I was going to write a post a few weeks ago expressing concern about Coach Skiles health, specifically his heart, but I was afraid it would be received as a lame attempt at comedy.

But my concerns were genuine.  He seems to have the kind of personality that lends itself to heart problems, and he probably has a few physical markers as well.  Then on top of that he coaches  a basketball team that must cause him tremendous anguish.  Its not a positive recipe.  Hopefully his episode on the West Coast yesterday will end up being a false alarm.

The Redd Situation… End of the Era?

Michael Redd is all but finished physically, yet he holds a 17 million dollar option for next season that he would be a fool to waive.  I predict this is not going to end pretty.  I’m not familiar with their contractual options, but you know the Bucks will use every available means to attempt to get out from under their obligations to Redd.  They have to.  They would be just as foolish not to.

And so things will get rough.  But for today, you had to feel for Michael Redd.  He must feel as though he were climbing a slippery mountain and he just slid all the way back down to the valley.  He’s where he was last season, where he never thought he’d be again, and it has to be crushing him inside.  He said as much when asked.

“Shaken. I’m a man of faith but I’m a little shaken. You never expect it to happen and then for it to happen again….”

As a Bucks fan, I guess I have to hope that he becomes a medical casualty so that the Bucks can use the money they owe him on someone — or more likely someones — who can actually help them win basketball games next season.  You can’t waste whole seasons on sentiment when you’ve wasted so many on incompetence.

With that crass acknowledgment, I have to say I’m sort of pulling for the guy.  I was genuinely moved by the words he used at his press conference, “Something in my heart won’t let me give up”.

How can you root against a guy like that?

The Ghost that won’t die

I updated the Bucks Win Chart to reflect the team’s fine effort on the road against the Phoenix Suns.  As I said to a commenter, I thought the 22 year curse of Neal Walk (a player whom Bill Simmons refers to as “the hairiest in NBA history“) was finally vanquished.   I thought the ghosts of the Alcindor flip were finally gone.  I thought the deal we made with Lucifer for six years of glory was finally paid in full.

Then Bogut missed that little bunny.  Just a little bun-bun, and he couldn’t quite work it over the rim.   And the Antlers took their annual “L” in Phoenix.

But, as I say repeatedly, don’t overemphasize “key moments”.  Games are won and lost because of every single play made in the game, not just the ones that come nearest to the end.  And, overall, Bogut had a nice defensive night.  But I wish he would have made that layup.

The player of the game for the Bucks, however, was PF “Hack” Warrick.  He had an awesome game.  If he keeps this kind of play up, perhaps the Bucks fortunes will turn.

Remember, I said “If”…

Why was I so wrong about the Bucks?

January 11, 2010

Its time to call myself to task.  Remember back in the days preceding the current Milwaukee Bucks season when I made my final Bucks win projection?

Remember the hubris?  Based on preseason performance, and other variables, I claimed the Milwaukee Bucks would win 40 games, and I provided an estimated win chart to back up my prediction.  At this moment, nearly half way into the season, the team projects closer to 33 wins.  How, or rather “why”, did I get it so wrong?

An Examination of My Errors

Lets examine.  Because went down, the post itself is no longer accessible, but I still have the google document with the original win chart.  Here it is.  I have added two columns to the chart to show how far off I was on my original prediction based upon each player’s win contribution (because that takes into consideration not only the player’s performance but also his availability).

Initially, it looks as though I was way off.  Oddly enough, the one guy I got right was Ersan Ilyasova, and that was based upon a guesstimate more than anything.  But more often I got players production numbers pretty wrong.

The players I got really wrong were Ridnour, Bogut, Redd, Moute, and Thomas.  Four of them I was too optimistic about, and Ridnour I was too pessimistic about. (Remember I wrote Meeks off altogether based on his poor preseason, but for the purposes of the chart Ukic’s numbers serve as the generic “3rd string SG” numbers).  You could also say I got Jennings wrong, but everyday he is working very hard to make my numbers right.

Reexamining based on average Bucks seasons

But actually, upon further examination, I didn’t do too badly at all.  The one area that is supposed to be the most reliable, each player’s offensive Win Score statistics, turned out to be the area that mucked me up.  There’s no way to account for that.  And the area that should be most difficult to predict — each player’s “defensive” Win Score statistics — I actually got almost exactly right.

A second chart

I did a follow up chart that compares each player’s numbers to date versus the numbers they would be producing if they merely met their average career offensive Win Score numbers.  Meaning, I held their current defensive (or “Opponent”) Win Score per 48 averages constant, and then plugged in their career offensive (or “Individual”) Win Score numbers and then I calculated what their new MWS48 averages and win production would be.  Here is that new chart.

As you can see, if every Milwaukee Bucks player who had NBA experience coming into this season played the exact same defense and merely produced their personal average offensive numbers (save for Ilyasova who clearly had improved in Europe over the NBA numbers he put up as an 18 year old, so I didn’t include him), the Bucks would actually be exactly where projected them to be.  Remember, that isn’t asking for their best performance, just their run-of-the-mill performance.

Is this good news going forward?  Maybe, but probably not.  As you can see, the one player who was most underperforming himself was, of course, Michael Redd.  He was a whopping 1.1 wins under average.  And now he’s gone.  The next biggest underperformer has been Luc Moute.  Since he was a rookie last season its hard to tell if this season is the aberration or if last season was, or if the numbers he’s producing this season are actually his norm.

Players who might provide for some improvement are Charlie Bell, Hakim Warrick, and Carlos Delfino.  If each of them can continue with their respective defensive numbers, and then can merely add their average offensive numbers to that, the Bucks could improve.

But actually, the one player Bucks fans may legitimately place some hope in is a surprise.  It’s Jodie Meeks (the player I was so low on I didn’t even include him in my preseason win chart!).  He’s actually having a pretty good offensive season, much better than Michael Redd was having.  What he needs to do is clean up his defense.  If he can improve there, he could — surprisingly — be an upgrade from Redd.

Bogut’s having “Above Average” Season?

One other point.  Andrew Bogut is actually performing above his career numbers at the moment.  As you recall coming into this season I did a career win resume for Andrew that showed that for most of his career he’s been just an average center.

The disappointment for me is that Bogut is performing well below the numbers he produced last season.  I was hoping (probably against logic) that Bogut had established a new norm for himself last season.  It looks instead like last season was a bit of an outlier, as they say.

Also, it seems as though he is a really situational center.  Meaning, it seems as though he can produce well against poor centers, but if you put someone decent in front of him he really doesn’t do much.   I have an idea how I can check that theory and I will report back with my findings.


I just reexamined my original win chart once again.  Actually, if I had to do it all over, I probably wouldn’t change anything.  None of the numbers are ridiculous.  Most of them were actually fairly conservative — except for the playing minutes, I guess, and I relied on BasketballProspectus for those.

Otherwise, nothing was really out-of-whack.  Bogut was coming off a +2.40 MWS48 season and I projected him at +1.80.  I projected Redd under his career average, and the same goes for Moute.  In fact, every one of the projections was made under each of the player’s demonstrated best season.

The problem is, everyone except Ridnour is well below his best season, never mind his “average” season.  And Kurt Thomas, a player I really relied on despite the fact that he showed some wear on his tires in the preseason, has simply dropped off the cliff.  In retrospect the team would have been much better served had they kept Amir Johnson and given the backup center minutes to him.  He’s having a productive season in Toronto.

Updated Milwaukee Bucks Win Chart (01-06-10)

January 6, 2010

I’ve updated the Milwaukee Bucks Win Chart through last night’s Game 32 win.

CLICK HERE to see the Updated Milwaukee Bucks Win Chart

In this chart, unlike any of the previous charts, I added a column documenting the change in each player’s Player Win Average from the previous chart.  So now you can see who, according to my method, has played at a higher or lower level in between charts.

Michael Redd’s continuing struggles

My numbers indicate that the largest drop in performance belongs to the highest paid player on the team, SG/SF Michael Redd.  He’s giving nice efforts, I think, but the results just haven’t been there.  As I’ve stated in the past, he looks out-of-shape and his shooting legs aren’t underneath him.  His poor performance is probably the main reason the Bucks probably aren’t going to meet the win totals we forecast at the beginning of the season.

Moute not meeting expectations either

Another player who has disappointed me has been Luc Moute.  He is performing below the threshold he set for himself last season.

Bogut steady

I realize C Andrew Bogut has been a focal point of frustration for Bucks fans, but he’s actually playing well overall.  The thing that I think frustrates fans is the up and down nature of his performances.  But that may simply be a reflection of the fact that he’s probably better than 60% of the matchups he faces and worse than the other 40%.  He feasts where he can and starves at times as well.  I don’t think it has a lot to do with “aggression” level, as Coach Skiles sometimes suggests.

Warrick back to his career norms

Last summer I did an analysis of Hakim Warrick’s career MWS48 and found that it was -1.22.  Not so good.  However, last season with Memphis he posted a -0.26.  I was hoping he would post something similar, perhaps better, for the Bucks this season.  Initially it looked like he would.  It no longer does.  Since about the middle of December his MWS48 numbers have been “regressing to the mean” as they say.    After starting the season just above average, with every new Win Chart Warrick slumps nearer and nearer to his -1.22 norm.  He is currently at -1.02.  Maybe he will turn back in the other direction.  I hope so.

Keep an eye on Meeks

The one player who improved the most over the last 9 days was Jodie Meeks.  His college numbers suggest he should be somewhere just below average as a win producer but he’s been way below average.  Hopefully he has turned the corner and we can expecting better things from him from here on out.  The Bucks desperately need someone to step up and produce at the 2 guard spot.  Maybe Meeks is the guy to do it.

Terrific win for the Bucks

January 3, 2010

The Bucks looked like a sinking ship, so they needed last night’s thrilling overtime win desperately.  By every possible measurement I have on hand the Bucks played a very good game last night, powered once again by their defense.

Do not undersell the Oklahoma City Thunder.  They are very soon going to be a terrific team, and they are right now a very good team, especially on the road.

The Thunder came into the game with a 9-7 road record, and unlike the record of the Chicago Bulls, it was no fluke.  The Thunder’s Team Win Score on the road coming into the game was 40.8, and their Opposition Win Score was 38.6.

Last night the Bucks held the Thunder down with their defense, and did just enough with their offense to win in overtime.  (SideBar:  How long were the two teams stuck on 88-88??!!  For like, 5 minutes?  And what were the degree of difficulty on those Michael Redd jumpers at the end of regulation??!!)

By Win Score terms, the Bucks defense was way above average, enough to cover for the fact that their offense was below average.

By Point Value over Average, the offense was just slightly below average (-2.1) while the defense was well above average (+8.2).  Either way you slice that was a gritty gutty performance by the Bucks.  (BTW, if you guys liked my old Point Value over Average NBA Power Rankings, the reason I’m not doing them anymore is because “The Basketball Geek” — I love that name — is doing the exact same thing over on his site, and he updates his rankings daily.  Here’s the link.  As you can see, the Bucks are floundering at number 20, but I think there are brighter days ahead for the Green and Cardinal).

The Bogut Factor

Forget Jennings, the most pivotal player on the Milwaukee Bucks is center Andrew Bogut.  When he plays well, the team wins.  When he does not play well, the team loses.  Its that simple.

Last night he played exceptionally well, recording a WS48 of 20.12.  It helped that he was defended by the awful Nenad Kristic for a lot of the night, but you take what you can get.

If you watched the game, I thought it was a poignant moment near the end there when he and Michael Redd were discussing some strategy and each had his arm around the other, a sort of “brothers in arms” moment.

Both players are coming off injury and both have been under intense scrutiny this season.  Both were terrific last night.

What were you aiming at?

If you take out the veterans Bogut, Redd, and Ridnour, the rest of the Bucks roster shot a laughable 15-for-55 from the field.   That’s 27.2%.

Guys, basketball is not that hard a game.  All you have to do is put the round thing into the cylinder thing.  And I think I’ve seen demonstrations proving that four (or was it more?) basketballs can fit into the cylinder at one time.  So its not exactly an Evel Kenevil stunt were talking about.

What is the problem here?

Bogut in Wins and Losses

December 29, 2009

Another game, another loss.  This loss, believe it or not, was not nearly as shameful as the preceding two losses.  Charlotte is an excellent defensive team, and an excellent home team.

That said, the Bucks need wins badly.  Since their 8-3 start, the Bucks are now on an 18 game stretch in which they have gone a dreadful 4-14.  Sure there were some nice losing efforts in there, but that’s a loser’s lament.  Sooner or later you need to put “W’s” up on the board.

But remember how quickly things can change.  It wasn’t long ago the Packers were 4-4 and looking headed nowhere.  Everyone and my brother wanted Mike McCarthy fired (On the way to the Badgers-Michigan game he was doing an awesome imitation of McCarthy that had me nearly wetting my pants.  Essentially, he kept repeating “We’re gonna have to look at the film and get that cleaned up” in McCarthy’s gruff Western PA accent).

One thing that might help turn the tide is better shooting from Bogut.  For some reason he’s been highly inconsistent from the field.  This is out of character for him, and its killing the Bucks.

Prompted by Blake’s comments, I checked his numbers in Wins and in Losses.  Now remember, I would venture to say every player has better numbers in wins that losses, but Bogut’s gulf seems particularly immense.

His Win Score per 48 in Games the Bucks Win is 17.81.  Very good.  His WS48 in Games the Bucks Lose is 8.11.  Wimpy, wimpy.

His numbers in games lost are down across the board, but the most drastic decline is clearly his field goal accuracy.  In Games the Bucks Win he is shooting 59.3% from the field.  In Games the Bucks Lose he is shooting 41.1% from the field.  Bill Russell thinks that’s bad shooting.  Generic 1950s center from a bad NBA team thinks he can do better than 41.1%.

Are Bogut’s recent injuries to blame?  I have no idea.  My guess is the injuries play some role, but that’s just excuse making.  Why is he able to make shots in some of the games and not all?

The bottom line is Bogut needs to step his game up.  He’s supposed to be one of the team’s best players.  Good players are consistent players.  Bogut used to be a consistent player, and the Bucks desperately need him to be that player again.

Updated Milwaukee Bucks Win Chart

December 28, 2009 just updated their statistical information and I used it to update the Milwaukee Bucks Win Chart.  (Click Here to see the chart updated to 12-27-09).

If you do not know how to make sense of the information in the chart, there is a page dedicated to it in the column to the right.

Bucks have structural problems

I was really anticipating this update because I wanted to pin some responsibility somewhere for the Bucks woes.  To be honest, I was with one of the commenters who speculated it could be Michael Redd’s fault.  My information doesn’t suggest that.  My information suggests its been a dip in the play of the players I refer to as the team’s “structural players”: SF Carlos Delfino, PF Hakim Warrick, PF/C Ersan Ilyasova, and SF/PF Luc Moute.  Each of those 4 have seen a dramatic decline in their Player Win Averages over the last ten days, and that has really led to the Bucks slide.

Yes, Luke Ridnour’s numbers have declined but he really had nowhere to go but down.  He is not an elite point guard, yet he was producing like one.  The scary thing is, the team was relying on him to continue producing like one.  Bad bet.

As for Mr. Redd, his play has actually improved drastically, but it could hardly have gotten worse.  He’s still not at his normal production level, but at least there is now hope he might get there.

Don’t blame Tiny

Bogut and Jennings, the team’s mainstays, basically held at the level they were playing at the last time I updated the Bucks Win Chart on December 16th.

Sure, Bogut has regressed from the super season he had last season, but only half way back to his previously established average in the prior seasons (he was basically a .500% player prior to last season).  I sort of expected he might do that.  As athletes are fond of saying, “He is who he is”.  Bogut struggles on some nights, and dominates on others.  He’s not a bust, he’s a good center.  But I don’t think there’s any chance he will ever be an elite center.

Point guard Brandon Jennings, I have no problem with (a little Yiddish sentence structure).  Others I’m guessing do have a problem with him because, to paraphrase Denny Green, “he isn’t who they thought he was” (ESPN has taken to posting what I call “sarcastic statistics” for Jennings on their underscreen scroll.  You know, unremarkable statistics with some negative emphasis — usually poor field goal shooting).

But I warned BucksNation against overinflated expectation.  Without the hype, and considering his age and experience,  Brandon Jennings is well outperforming any reasonable expectation at this point.

Of course when Homer True is claiming in November that you “saved the franchise”, and Jim Paschke spends a month referencing you into every aspect of every game, I’d say any notion of balance or “reason” pretty much flew out the window.

I also need to mention Charlie Bell, a player I frequently target for my ad hominem attacks.  Bell is also playing well above my expectation and well above anyone else at his position and he deserves to keep getting minutes.

But the Bucks really need to get one or more of those aforementioned “structural players” going again.  I think Delfino and Moute can reimprove, and I have hopes for Ilyasova, but I have to be honest with you: I hate Hakim Warrick.  He’s never consistently produced strong “win” numbers, and I doubt he ever will.  His game is mismatched with his body and with his talent.  He basically has a “strong player” game without having the strength or efficiency needed to pull it off.  The numbers he is putting up now are right in line with his career averages, so I don’t know.

In closing, I guess my question to Bucks management is this.  When will the organization end its infatuation with “floor stretchers” (i.e. “We think ____ can really stretch the floor”) and finally invest in some “floor shrinkers”?  You can’t have a winning team that cannot make two point field goals.  This is the National Basketball Association, not the Euro League.

Dissecting Bango Buck

December 27, 2009

For two years now my Marginal Win Score system has been more accurate than Pythagorean Wins with regard to your Milwaukee Bucks.  Pythagorean Wins, a system that relies on points scored and allowed, currently suggests the Bucks “should be” a 13.7 win team.  Marginal Win Score, which takes a more holistic approach, is not as impressed.  It sees the Bucks as a 12.5 win team.  Basically, it sees them as they are.

But why doesn’t MWS like the Bucks?  Or, what flaw does it recognize in the Bucks portfolio?  I decided to dissect the different parts of MWS to find out.

Click here to see the chart I did.  Its self explanatory.

Scoring Effectiveness the general problem

Once you break Marginal Win Score into its component parts, and then compare the NBA average with the Bucks average and their opponent average, the issue becomes crystal clear.  Its what I refer to as “scoring effectiveness”.  That is calculated as (Points – FGAs – .5FTAs).  In other words, when a team gets to end a possession with a scoring attempt, how well do they convert those possessions into points?

For the Milwaukee Bucks, the answer is clear: not very well.  The team is about even with their opponents in nearly every category except scoring effectiveness, where the Bucks deficit is huge.

Things get even more interesting when you break down the Bucks MWS into “Games Won” and “Games Lost”.  Then you can see the issue even more clearly.

Click Here to see the Bucks comparative MWS in Games Won.  Click Here to see the Bucks comparative MWS in Games Lost.

As you can see, there is not a huge swing in any one category between “Games Won” and “Games Lost” save for one: Scoring Effectiveness.  In Games Won, the Bucks are above average in both Offensive and Defensive Scoring Effectiveness, in Games Lost they are well below average in each of those categories.

Not really a free throw problem

Are those Scoring Effectiveness numbers being driven by the Bucks well-known free throw attempt gap?  Well, yes and no.  Click Here to see a further breakdown between FG Effectiveness and FT Effectiveness.

Two points to make about that chart.

One, you can see from the NBA averages that it is very hard to live off FG shooting alone, as the Bucks are sort of trying to do.  Even though, as the other charts showed, the NBA Scoring Effectiveness is +5.6 points per scoring possession used, NBA teams actually average less than one point per field goal scoring possession used.  The positive point average per scoring possession is driven by points generated at the free throw line.  So the Bucks are putting themselves at a massive disadvantage by not attacking the basket.

Two, you can see from the chart that the Bucks have about the same “free throw gap” in Games Won as they have in Games Lost.  The huge difference between the two categories is contained in the Field Goal category.  The Bucks are an above average FG shooting team and an above average FG defensive team in Games Won, and exactly the opposite in Games Lost.

So yes, lack of points from the line hurts the Bucks, but the difference between them winning and losing this season has been points from the field.

Bottom Line: Bogut and 3 pt Defense

If I broke this baby down even further you would see that the true difference between winning and losing for the Bucks is 2pt FG shooting and 3pt FG defense.

In both Games Won and Games Lost the Bucks shoot about the same from behind the 3 point arc, but there is a stark difference in the team’s two point shooting.

The Bucks do not shoot well from two point range in either wins or losses.  But in Games Won, the Bucks are slightly below the NBA average from 2pt range (the NBA average is 48.8%, the Bucks make 48.1% in wins).  While in Games Lost, they make a way below average 43.7%.

So the Bucks need the 2s to fall.  And about the only player on the team who has shown the capacity to make 2s above average is center Andrew Bogut.  So the Bucks cannot afford for him to have a lousy shooting night on any night.

Wrapping up quickly, the second key to victory for the Bucks appears to be 3pt defense.  In Wins, the Bucks hold opponents to 28% from behind the arc.  In Losses, opponents shoot an above average 38% from behind the arc.  Meanwhile the team is pretty consistently around average when it comes to 2 point defense.  For the season, in fact, the team is allowing 48.7% of opponent 2s to score, while the NBA average is 48.8%.


So the bottom line is, the team is almost always a decent 3 point shooting team, a decent 2 point defensive team, and a lousy free throw point generating and surrendering team.

Since those are pretty constant, the key differences then between winning and losing for the Bucks is whether the team can at least be respectable rather than putrid from 2 point range, and whether they can be well above average in 3 point defense.