Milwaukee Bucks Status Check:
Road Record: 5-10
Last game: Lost 95-80 at home to the Hawks
Last 10 Games: 5-5
PPG: 90.8 (30th)
Opponents PPG: 92.7 (4th)
Offensive Rating: 100.0 (30th)
Defensive Rating: 102.2 (5th)
Pace: 90.4 (25th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .449 (30th)
Turnover Percentage: .132 (10th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .760 (6th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .261 (14th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .242 (8th)
Opp. eFG%: .488 (12th)
Opp. TO%: .154 (3rd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .239 (18th)
Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.
The Bucks were supposed to be better than this. They were supposed to be challenging the Bulls for the Central Division title. In theory, they could have been — some people would say “should have been” — one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference.
Those are the kinds of things I was reading before the season began. It kinda-sorta made sense. Last season, they ranked 2nd in Defensive Rating and won 46 games. Over the summer, they bolstered their roster by re-signing John Salmons and adding Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden. Plus, Brandon Jennings was supposed to be a year better and Andrew Bogut was back and healthy.
All things being equal, this year’s Bucks team should have been better than last year’s squad.
Ah…if only life worked that way.
In all fairness, there have been injuries. The Bucks are currently without leading scorer Brandon Jennings, Drew Gooden and Carlos Delfino. Corey Maggette and Andrew Bogut have both missed time.
Furthermore, John Salmons — while healthy — has been a disappointment. In 30 games with Milwaukee last season, Salmons averaged 19.9 PPG on 47 percent shooting. In 28 games this season, John is giving the Bucks only 13.5 PPG on 38 percent shooting. This is what I refer to as “Pre-Trade Deadline John Salmons.”
Not surprisingly, the Bucks are woeful on offense, ranking dead last in PPG, FPG, eFG% and Offensive Rating. They still have one of the league’s best defenses, but they have to lock down their opponents to win. As proof, they are 0-6 this season when giving up 50 percent shooting.
With the injuries and overall poor play, the Bucks have been wildly inconsistent. Last week, they blew out the Lakers in L.A. Last night, they got thumped at home by the Hawks. It’s hard to tell what the Bulls are in for tonight. On the one hand, playing at home after a couple days rest should give Chicago an advantage, and playing the second night of back-to-backs should be a disadvantage for Milwaukee.
And yet…the Bucks were embarrassed at home. This could be a pride game for them.
Fear the Deer.