FREE $25 when you Join Now – Use your Free $25 to get a BEST BET at NO cost!

Stories

Stories

Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

1 Members
  • Type:
    Joinless
  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
  • Last Update:
    05/01/2021 4:21 PM

2013/14 NBA Team Preview: Milwaukee Bucks

Season Review 2012/13:

Advanced Stats
Numbers
Rank
Pace
94.7
3
Offense
103.6
22
Defense
105.2
12
Rebound
49.5
19

4 Factors
Offense
Numbers
Rank
Defense
Numbers
Rank
eFG%
47.6
24
eFG%
49.2
10
TO%
12.7
3
TO%
14.4
6
Reb%
27.9
11
Reb%
28.7
28
FT%
17.4
26
FT%
20.1
15

Monthly Performance
Record
OffRtg
DefRtg
November
 7-7
102.9
105.6
December
 9-6
103.1
102.1
January
 8-7
107.6
107.1
February
 4-8
102.7
107.4
March
 7-9
108.8
112.2
April
 3-7
104.7
104.9


For a franchise like the Milwaukee Bucks, going to the playoffs will always be a motive to consider any season as a positive one. This happened last season with Milwaukee grabbing the final spot on the Eastern Conference, but there wasn’t a great merit from them, as they ended the season with a 38-44 record and eventually the Bucks got swept by the Miami Heat in the first round of the postseason.

A losing streak of four games at the end of December was enough for Scott Skiles to quite the job, something that promoted Jim Boylan into the Interim Head Coach until the end of the season. The results under Boylan’s leadership weren’t great:

Scott Skiles vs. Jim Boylan
Coaches
Record
OffRtg
DefRtg
Pace
Skiles
 16-16
102.9
104.9
92.4
Boylan
 22-28
106.6
107.8
94.1
           
Milwaukee started to play in a faster pace and they were indeed the fastest paced team in the Eastern Conference. That allowed them to improve their offense, but on the other side, their defense struggled big time.

It’s almost impossible for a team to succeed on the NBA when their starting backcourt is responsible for more than 33 attempted shots per game, while having a low efficiency number of 41.6% and 39.9% FG! This happened with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis last season and so, the Bucks struggled into being an efficient offensive team.

If we add to this, the terrible start of the season from Ersan Ilyasova, who shot a terrible 34.9% FG in November, something that made him getting demoted into the bench, Scott Skiles struggled into turning the Bucks into a competitive team, but the truth is that the Bucks were 16-16 when Skiles left the team.

This acceptable record was achieved thanks to an underrated defense led by the team’s biggest surprise last season: Larry Sanders! His defensive presence was phenomenal throughout the whole season and his evolution was spectacular, having in account that he had averaged just 14.5 and 12.4 minutes per game on his first two seasons in the league. His minutes jumped into 27.3 minutes/game last season and he took advantage of that to improve all his numbers across the board.

The Bucks added J.J. Redick to the roster close to the trade deadline, but Boylan couldn’t find a solution to take full advantage of Redick, something tough to happen as Ellis and Jennings were taking so many shots per game.

The Bucks were a mediocre team all season long and they were never able to show that they could win a series on the playoffs. In fact, they grabbed that final playoff spot in the East mostly due to the lack of competition on their conference than due to their own merit.


Offseason Report:

The good news for Milwaukee is that they finally convinced themselves that they would never improve with such inefficient backcourt formed by Ellis and Jennings, so they decided not to resign with both players. Monta Ellis went to Dallas, while the Bucks traded Brandon Jennings for Brandon Knight. Both J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy also left the team, so the Bucks will have a completely new backcourt for the new season.

Besides Brandon Knight, the Bucks grabbed Luke Ridnour on trade with Minnesota, where they took advantage of the fact that the Wolves wanted to clear cap space and so, they offered Ridnour “for nothing” in return. O.J. Mayo agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract with the Bucks to be the team’s starting SG, while Gary Neal agreed to a two-year, $7 million deal to give more depth to the team and a much more efficient outside shooter than the ones they had last season.

For the frontcourt, the Bucks signed Caron Butler for Ish Smith and Slava Kravtsov, while Zaza Pachulia is the team’s main post player acquisition for the new season.


Season Preview:

It was clear that Jim Boylan wouldn’t continue as the team’s Head Coach for the new season, given the team’s poor results in the second half of the past season. To replace him, the Bucks signed Larry Drew, who was the Atlanta Hawks Coach until last season.

In my opinion, Larry Draw did an excellent job in Atlanta over the last few seasons. He had no problem in changing starting lineups given the matchups that they were facing, but his main strength was to change an ISO-centric offense into an offense that was #2 in the league last season in assists per game (24.5), just behind San Antonio.

The task won’t be easy for Drew, as the team will have a lot of new players this season and quality wise, the team doesn’t have a go-to-player on offense.

Larry Sanders will possibly be the team’s franchise face for the upcoming season and this shows us immediately the potential offensive problems that the team will have. Sanders is coming from a huge breakthrough season, but especially on defense, where he was really tough to score at the rim against him. With 55 games as a starter and 27 minutes per game, Sanders will need to continue his breakthrough this season and play around 34 minutes per game. He will also need to improve his conduct, as he continues having a lot of disciplinary problems with 3.3 personal fouls per game (#5 in the league), five ejections (#1 in the league) and 14 technical fouls (#3 in the league). If Sanders is capable of improving his conduct and plays five more minutes per game this season, then he will be a main contender for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

With a whole new backcourt, it will be interesting to see who Drew will pick for the starting lineup. Brandon Knight struggled at the PG position in Detroit, so I doubt that Drew will trust blindly on him at this position. Luke Ridnour will be a more natural option, but his lack of athleticism will be a clear weakness at the defensive end. O.J. Mayo will be the team’s natural SG and he is coming from a season in Dallas, where he finally managed to be a starter after two poor seasons in Memphis. His 45% FG, 40% 3pts and 82% FT numbers left good indications for the future, but the truth is that Mayo continues to look uninterested at times, with poor focus and bad decision making. On the other hand, Gary Neal will offer instant shooting coming off the bench and he will be an excellent combo guard backup.

Milwaukee’s frontcourt will have more options depth wise, but it’s quite one-dimensional. Ersan Ilyasova is the only frontcourt player that can be an offensive threat for the opponents and so, it’s vital that he has a season similar to the second half of the past season where he shot 48.7% FG and 45% 3pts, while scoring 17.2 points per game, much better than the 44% FG and 11.2 points/game from the first half of the season. On the other side, Zaza Pachulia, John Henson and Ekpe Udoh are all serviceable backup players that will give the team a lot of hustle and energy coming off the bench.

If Milwaukee somehow manages to be competitive this season is because we will be in presence of a team that will be in the defensive Top 10 of the league. If that doesn’t happen, the Bucks lack the offensive talent to manage to be competitive with just a “decent” defense. The most likely scenario for them is to spend this season fighting for a high draft pick next season.

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

Email Share Sent

Your share has been sent.

x

Quick View

Loading...

Future Game

League:

Teams:

Date:

Time:

Pick:

Bet Type:

Odds:

Picked:

Contests: ,

Full Pick Details

x

Multi Quick View

Loading...

Pick Name
Odds: Odds
Picked: Stamp

x

Quick View

Rank:

Member:

Team:

Wins:

Losses:

Ties:

x

Pregame.com Join Contest

x