2012 Player Capsules: Joel Przybilla

An old man with no old man tricks

I was talking to Jeremy after the Joel Przybilla signing. He said that at the time, he felt the Bucks could have taken Lakers in 2001. “But Shaq,” I said. “Well I remember thinking the Bucks had Przybilla,” he said. Then we laughed.

The Bucks traded Jason Collier and a future first round draft pick for Przybilla to bring frontcourt depth to a playoff team.  In Przybilla, the Bucks saw a tall guy with exceptional athleticism for his size – good players have grown from less. It’s easy to see why some people thought he could have done just enough against Shaq. But Przybilla’s first tenure in Milwaukee and his entire career has been marred by a lack of growth and generally not being very good.

Przybilla’s calling card has always had his leaping ability. Even better, he’s a seven footer that can jump. It is why he snatches boards and stuffs countless shots. His thunderous dunks are his sole contribution on offense. But it is his crutch, not his springboard.

Przybilla is an aggressive defender – eager to provide help defense, but this lets his man often get great position on the block. Offensively, any critique of Przybilla is almost cruel and unfair. The guy’s never had an opportunity to develop a shot because he can’t hold on the ball for more than three seconds without coughing it up to the other team.

The last two paragraphs were a basic critique of Przybilla before his two major knee surgeries.

My boss told me a story about a database analyst. He showed on time and stayed late every once in a while. He did his job well. Nothing spectacular, just satisfactory and he was well-liked by all his coworkers. Then he was laid off.

There’s always training at my job. We’re encouraged to keep up with industry news. This isn’t just so the company can benefit from the best and brightest products. It’s so we don’t end up in a job market with nothing more than skills related to a 15 year old database, low job prospects and former coworkers to nod to at the grocery store.

The Bucks signed a Przybilla with nothing to offer. He can’t jump. He’s always among the league leaders in turnover rate – a few times he has been the league leader by a huge margin.  Przybilla at his best is just average. His best seasons had Win Scores and PERs slightly above league average. Now his stats are scraping the bottom of the barrel. He is a tall pylon with six fouls. It’s almost a tragedy, but that would mean that Przybilla no longer being able to jump robs the fans of something special. It doesn’t. He’s just another middle class man the job market passed.

Ian Segovia swears that these player capsules won’t be completely negative. Give him a follow on Twitter @Ian_Segovia

Categories: Bucks Player Features,Player Profiles

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      • Yes, all of this is true but overly harsh given his minimal role on the team. Tall people have feelings too.
        I mean, he was above average in the league for a couple of years, Im doubtful we’ll be able to say the same about Larry Sanders

  1. For all the negativity about Przybilla, I’ll still take him over the possibility of having to see Gooden play center again this year.

  2. the day the Bucks drafted Przybilla I was excited.. an athletic big man with upside.. that was then, this is now.. I wanted Darko

  3. YES> 100% correct.
    Oh, two more things: he’ll take minutes from some young player who might have a future.
    And he is BORING.

    •  @flyingking Like who? Dalembert is the only other true center we’ve got. The Bucks tried, and were incredibly unsuccessful, playing Sanders, Udoh etc. at center last season. They’re power forwards, and that means the Przybilla signing doesn’t affect them. 

      •  @jeremyschmidt Ok, not literally everything. But you must know what I mean. I get enough negativity from all the fans in Milwaukee that root for whatever other team because they’re good at the moment, I just don’t expect as much of it from a Bucks dedicated site, that’s all.

    •  @LightItUp is being negative about people who are being negative considered “ironic”?.. Look here 5 points except for @flyingking everyone wants the team to be successful and are passionate about the positives as well as the negatives in acquisitions.. It’s hard to argue that the team hasn’t been run well over the decades, so we are waiting for something to be excited about so the team doesn’t become the “Seattle Baristas” by the year 2017
      The Proof is in the Pudding.. Never really understood the phrase, but still works