As a Milwaukee Bucks fan, many of us know that excitement is often quickly followed by disappointment. The losses this week to the Charlotte Bobcats and Miami Heat provided that disappointment, but it shouldn’t be too severe. The Bobcats loss was marred by questionable foul calls late and not every team is capable of taking the Heat to overtime. The Bucks are still in first place. Let’s not become all gloom-and-doom so quickly. Here’s your recap of the week.
Yesterday on Sports Illustrated’s The Point Forward, Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney both said that they buy the Bucks’ early season returns. Mahoney doesn’t believe that the team will make it out of the first round of the playoffs, but in his opinion that’s no reason to play for the lottery.
The Bucks are an incomplete and imperfect team, but they somehow make it all work despite all of the skill and positional redundancies strewn throughout the roster. That’s impressive, and not something to forfeit for the sake of a pick at the tail end of the lottery.
On Wednesday, Zach Lowe of Grantland created an NBA All-Chuckers team and of course Monta Ellis was on the roster. While, Lowe mostly writes about the Golden State Warriors and how they may miss Ellis, he ends on this accurate summary of Ellis’ game.
But this is where we get to defense. Ellis’s defensive fundamentals are awful, and his teams have hemorrhaged points whenever he has been on the floor. That has continued in Milwaukee. It may be that Ellis is a more valuable offensive player than we thought, but is such a poor defender as to nullify that value.
On Monday, Steve von Horn of Brew Hoop got all graphical on the efficiencies of the Bucks’ many different lineups. This piece is great. Go read it. Graphs are fun.
Also on Monday, Matt Moore of CBS Sports picked Brandon Jennings as his Eastern Conference Player of the Week and the Bucks as his Eastern Conference Team of the Week. Accolades! Here’s his write-up on the team before their losses to the Bobcats and Heat.
Brandon Jennings has this team running on all cylinders and, man, that sounds weird to say. The Bucks have the 11th-best defensive efficiency in the league this season and the 12th-best offense. It’s not elite, but it’s good enough to get them second in the East and a plus-9.3 efficiency mark this week.
And finally on Monday, Alex Boeder of Bucks.com got similarly graphical when discussing how the Bucks rate in eFG%, turnover percentage, rebound percentage and free throw ratio. Boeder has been writing great stuff this year. Check it out.