The Milwaukee Bucks have lost four out of their last five games by double digits. They have lost seven of the last nine. This isn’t a regression to the mean. This is getting punched in the face.
The slide began in a 102 – 98 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. Surprisingly, the Bucks won the field goal percentage battle even though Monta Ellis took 28 shots – Bucks had an eFG% of 48.4 to the Bobcats 45.7. The Bobcats defeated the Bucks at the free throw line with 30 free throw attempts to the Bucks 11.
Ramon Sessions lead the attack with ten free throws attempts (he converted all of them). The Sessions and Kemba Walker backcourt is especially apt at getting to the free throw line – when together on the court; they average 32 free throw attempts per 48 minutes. In comparison, Ellis and Brandon Jennings only average 19 free throw attempts per 48 minutes. The Bucks duo is better or equal in every statistical category, but because Sessions and Walker are so much better at getting to the free throw line, they have an infinitely greater plus-minus (0.2 compared to 7.3).
The Bobcats ability to get to the free throw line isn’t just a sharp contrast in efficiency compared to the Bucks – it creates problem for the Bucks defense. Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders had six and five fouls respectively against the Bobcats. Obviously, Sanders is at his best when he’s not in foul trouble. His two best performances (his triple-double and sixteen rebound game) came when he only had two fouls for the entire game, thus he was able to play over 30 minutes.
Jennings and Ellis have been downright dreadful defensively for the last nine games. Because of several injures, the BJellis backcourt has played by far the most minutes together out of all Bucks 2-man lineups. They’ve played 501 minutes together – the next highest Bucks 2-man lineup has played 324 minutes together. Two terrible perimeter defenders are going to be defending two guys that attack the basket ferociously (Walker and Sessions average five attempts at the rim a game). Which means the frontcourt is going to have to cover for a lot of mistakes. Which means that the best part of the Bucks defense is going to be in foul trouble for most of the game.
Choose the Form of the Destroyer
Are the Lakers going to trade Pau Gasol for Byron Mullens???????????????????
— FREE DREW GOODEN (@DrewGooden4MVP) December 5, 2012
Here’s something ridiculous
Jennings and Ellis are two of 16 players with a non-zero chance of scoring 30,000 points in their careers. I protest.
Bucks 19 FTs Bobcats 35 FTs