The Milwaukee Bucks are an enigma of a team. They have a surplus of talent in their starting 5, and one of the best players in the game, so why is their W/L record not indicative of a team on the rise? Why after all the hype they have received coming into this year, are they limping into the playoffs.
They rank right in the middle of the pack, with 53.7 first half points per game. In comparison, Houston, averages 59 points per first half followed by New Orleans and Golden State with 58.1. They aren’t terrible but a middling first half every game is not going to propel a team into contention. Compare that number to 51.2 pts per second half which ranks 24th in the league it gives us a bearing on what the problem could be, and after further examination, they rank 27th in 4th quarter pts per game which solidifies the theory that this team can’t close out games. Their inability to take good shots at the end of games is frustrating. The rely solely on Giannis, whose shot hasn’t totally come along yet, to put the team on his back every night, and it’s simply unsustainable. This is a team that everyone was pumping up big time before the season, and in terms of having a player that can go off every night at any given time these are troubling statistics.
If I were to compare this team to any in recent memory, it would be to the first four years of Lebron on the Cavs. He gave maximum effort every night and although he did will them to a lot of wins, that can only go so far. Lebron was the only player with an RPM of over 2 on his team and his was 9.3. Which means when he was off the floor they were either barely treading or sinking.
This Bucks team has 13 less wins than that team. And arguably a better team. So why is this team not jiving? Giannis leads the team in 3 catagories. Points 27.4, rebounds 10.1 and blocks 1.4. Great numbers! And Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe Malcom Brogdon and Jabari Parker are all averaging double figures. Giannis is in 7th in the league in RPM with 5.29The next highest player is Eric Bledsoe with 1.5 all the way down at 75.
I understand Giannis is a fantastic player but it seems like the reason for this is the fact that later on in games he has the ball in his hands and defenses are forcing him to take shots he can’t make on a consistent bases. Much like Lebron earlier in his career. His fg% is 53% per game, but everywhere else on the court besides the paint at 71% is less than 40 percent and from 3 he is sitting at 30%. Those are not numbers that will bring a lot of wins. So not only is he not making shots, but when the game is on the line he still controls the ball through most of the final possessions, and this is why they aren’t winning.
His shot is something that definitely can improve as time goes on, he’s only been playing basketball a short amount of time and in the NBA 4 years, things are going to improve for this young team, give them time and they will be just fine.