Second half success, the defense of Nate Wolters and other Bucks thoughts

Lance Stephenson shoots over Zaza Pachulia? (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Were you born ready? Lance Stephenson was. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

1) Are the Bucks a little bit too good for their own good?  

In the 52 games prior to the All-Star break, the Bucks scored 96.5 points per 100 possessions, and they yielded 106.6 over the same interval on defense.  That’s a net of -10.1 points per 100 possessions.

Per 100 possessions in the five games since the break, the Bucks are scoring 106.1 points and allowing 106.0 — for a net of positive 0.1 points per 100 possessions. And yes, a game against the deliciously hard-tanking 76ers skews the numbers a bit, but consider that the Bucks played the team with the league’s best record (Indiana) twice too.

On a related note, the Bucks currently ‘lead’ the 76ers by 3.5 games in the race to the most ping-pong balls.

2) Ramon Sessions does something that the other Bucks don’t.

For the 2013-14 season, the NBA is tracking players using its SportVU system.  The revolutionary data is available on One stat being tracked is “drives”, which the database defines as “any touch that starts at least 20 feet of the hoop and is dribbled within 10 feet of the hoop and excludes fast breaks.”

The top-8 players in total points from drives this season are (in order): Monta Ellis, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas, Tony Parker, LeBron James, Jeff Teague, and Ramon Sessions.

3) Nate Wolters plays defense.

A Vine allows you to use up to six seconds of video. So here are six seconds of Lance Stephenson trying to shake Wolters in Thursday’s game. Cut off from the the front of the clip are four more seconds of Lance dribbling.
None of it worked. Nate stayed with him step for step and blocked the end result.

Wolters hasn’t played as much since spraining his ankle last week, but his rookie season Synergy defensive numbers (0.77 points allowed per possession, opponents shooting 34.7% FG) are still supremely good.

4) Carlos Delfino is healthier.

Below is a picture from Carlos Delfino taking in a basketball game in Argentina this week.

He’s not in a walking boot any longer. Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times wrote that Delfino “is expected to join the Milwaukee Bucks shortly.” He also said that Delfino may see his first post-foot injury action playing for Argentina’s national team in the world championships this summer.

With two young, competent small forwards already on the roster (Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton), perhaps a summer audition is the best showcase for a trade that clears playing time for their rising talent.

Another option — one that may not work with the Bucks’ style or personnel — would be to use Delfino a bit at power forward.  The Rockets tried it a few times and it didn’t play out too horribly for them. Plus, the Bucks did something similar to get Caron Butler minutes this season before buying out of his contract yesterday.

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 8.27.51 AM

(Photo credit: Prensa Unión)

Those flat-soled shoes don’t necessarily look like the world’s most foot-friendly orthotic wear. (Whoops, I’m over-analyzing again.)

And my oh my, does Delfino ever look just like his father.

5) John Henson is missing a lot of free throws.

Henson has made just 1 of his most recent 14 free throws. That seems hard to do. Many are barely penetrating the airspace hovering over the rim and I’m still not convinced he’s right handed.

Are left-handed, hook shot free throws allowed?  If not, can he shoot them underhand?

6) The big Bucks are coming.

Junior Bridgeman played more minutes than any other Buck. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored more points than any other Buck (or any other NBA player for that matter). They were once traded for each other.

Both players will be honored at the BMOHBC over the span of the next two home games.

Categories: Stats and Stuff

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  1. You, @FatOJMayo, and I had a quick discussion via twitter regarding Henson’s free throws last night…still think it should be talked about between him and the coaches to possibly switch hands to see if it works out. Since switching shooting hands (not entirely positive whether he has kept it that way all season), Tristan Thompson has boosted his free throw percentage by .113 since his rookie season.

    Regardless, this trade seems to have given them not only a spark for these past few games especially against one of the best teams in the league, but two MUCH more competent pieces to at least get a little excited about.

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  3. Concerning Delfino — couldn’t he play some SG next year? Especially, if the Bucks don’t draft Wiggins or another SG type player in the first round because his size could be a nice asset at that position; though, I’d rather see Kris Middleton become the starter at SG next year.

    • In certain situations, yes, but I’m not sure Middleton or Delfino is going to be quick enough to defend that spot on a regular basis.

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