Posts Tagged ‘Michael Redd’

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 MVN.com 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.

FOOTNOTE TO THE POST

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.

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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?