Turning Points

Turning Points

Not sure about turning points. But sure about points.

In the last 13 games (since All-Star Weekend that is), the Bucks have turned into one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA. Exactly sixth best of all, insists the chart above.

Over the past seven games, they are averaging 104.3 points, and that doesn't include the 130 spot they dropped on Philadelphia a couple weeks ago.

So next time your friend says these Bucks games right now are pointless, well, here you are. With just about all of them.

Adrien and Ramon

Milwaukee began playing offense like it was 1999 (remember that 1999-00 offense?) right around the time that Coolio played that halftime show against Indiana at home on Feb. 22. Perhaps more relevant: That was also the first night that Jeff Adrien and Ramon Sessions suited up for the Bucks.

On a team that has started 14 different players this season, Adrien and Sessions have yet to hit the starting five. Still they have made a positive impact off the bench, and this is not the part of the story where you become upset about the trade jeopardizing draft position because that is not what has happened. However. Watching Adrien swing for rebounds and Sessions drive to the line has made February and March a bit sweeter to the night eye.

Boards and Stripes

About that: Adrien and Sessions rank number one and two (Bucks stats only) in PER on the team, and it is not close.

What are they doing so very maximally?

Adrien rates as the team's best rebounder -- offensive, defensive, overall -- and one of the best in the NBA. Since arriving in Milwaukee, Sessions boasts an astronomical free throw rate that would top every other guard in the league by a nice margin.

Related: Since adding Adrien and Sessions, the Bucks rank seventh in the NBA in Rebound Percentage and sixth in the NBA in free throws made per game. Overall this season, the Bucks rank in the bottom six of both categories. This is a significant improvement.

Second Line

You may also have noticed recently that coach Larry Drew has frequently substituted all five reserves in at the same time to play together. Like a hockey line.

That second unit has often looked a lot like this:
John Henson
Jeff Adrien
Giannis Antetokounmpo
O.J. Mayo
Ramon Sessions

In fact, that quintet already ranks fourth among five-man combinations on the team this season in terms of minutes played. Even better, they have a +5 differential in 86 minutes together. And so now the team that was suiting up seven or eight healthy players not so long ago, today brings a bench group that rivals its starting five.

Cool Nights

The starters have pushed the offense in good directions as well, with Ersan Ilyasova ritually rounding into form with the Spring air, and Khris Middleton still up at 42.9 % on threes on a high volume.

People are also spilling ink about Brandon Knight like they should, because he is sharp. Since the All-Star Game, the starting point guard is averaging 20.1 points along with 5.1 assists with a 45.1 FG%. His dunks are up, his turnovers are down, and he is right in the middle of the offensive renewal in Milwaukee.

Defense

It is points for all however. Because the Bucks rank 27th in defensive efficiency since All-Star Weekend, and this is more than a footnote, more of a full-bodied note. So despite the offensive burst, the Bucks carry not half as many wins (4) as losses (9) since All-Star Weekend. Despite making a league-best 12 straight baskets to start the game in Minnesota, they lost the game. Which for now feels about as bad as the offense.

Alex Boeder

Writing and the Bucks. Two of my passions. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009. I started writing for the Bucks in 2012. Before that, I co-founded and wrote for BrewHoop. I have written for the Milwaukee BrewersSB NationESPN MilwaukeeSlam Online, and so on. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at adboeder@gmail.com.