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John Schuhmann

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Despite a top-five defensive rating, the Bucks failed to make the playoffs last season.
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StatsCube: Bucks need more inside offense from Bogut


Posted Dec 2 2011 7:10AM

To get ready for the 2011-12 season, NBA.com StatsCube breaks down the critical numbers for all 30 teams.

Looking to build on their first playoff appearance in four years, the Milwaukee Bucks acquired some high-priced talent last summer. But the Bucks were arguably the most disappointing team in the league last season, one of five 2010 playoff teams that failed to return to the postseason in 2011.

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2010-11 Basics
Record: 35-47
Pace: 92.1 (25)
OffRtg: 99.0 (30)
DefRtg: 99.9 (4)
Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions

Once again, the Bucks were an excellent defensive team under coach Scott Skiles. Skiles' teams have finished in the top six of the league defensively in six of his seven full seasons as a coach.

Usually, that is a foundation for success as five of those Skiles teams made the playoffs. But the 2010-11 Bucks were the only one of the league's top 16 defensive teams to not make the postseason because they were so awful offensively.

So awful that the Bucks were one of only three teams in the last 20 years to finish in the top five defensively and fail to make the playoffs. No other team in that span has had a worse record when ranking in the top five in defensive efficiency.

Worst record, top five defensive teams, last 20 years
Season Team W L PCT OffRtg Rank DefRtg Rank Playoffs?
2010-11 Milwaukee 35 47 0.427 99.0 30 99.9 4 No
2001-02 Miami 36 46 0.439 96.0 27 97.6 4 No
2005-06 Indiana 41 41 0.500 101.6 21 99.9 4 Yes
1996-97 Cleveland 42 40 0.512 102.0 19 99.4 5 No
1994-95 Atlanta 42 40 0.512 103.9 18 102.8 5 Yes
1993-94 Denver 42 40 0.512 101.0 20 99.5 5 Yes
From bad to worst

Last summer, the Bucks traded for Corey Maggette and signed Drew Gooden to improve their offense. But Milwaukee regressed dramatically, scoring 3.0 fewer points per 100 possessions than it did the previous season.

Unfortunately, a history of bad offense comes right along with Skiles' history of great defense. In his seven full seasons as coach, his teams have never finished better than 20th in offensive efficiency.

Scott Skiles' full seasons as coach
Season Team W L PCT Pace RK OffRtg RK DefRtg RK NetRtg RK Playoffs?
2000-01 Phoenix 51 31 0.622 95.7 5 97.5 22 95.4 2 +2.1 13 Yes
2004-05 Chicago 47 35 0.573 95.1 10 98.5 26 97.5 2 +1.0 13 Yes
2005-06 Chicago 41 41 0.500 95.7 5 101.3 23 100.2 6 +1.0 14 Yes
2006-07 Chicago 49 33 0.598 96.0 6 102.5 20 97.0 1 +5.4 5 Yes
2008-09 Milwaukee 34 48 0.415 95.2 11 103.8 23 104.9 15 -1.2 19 No
2009-10 Milwaukee 46 36 0.561 94.0 21 102.0 23 100.9 3 +1.0 15 Yes
2010-11 Milwaukee 35 47 0.427 92.1 25 99.0 30 99.9 4 -1.0 17 No

The only thing that the Bucks were decent at offensively was avoiding turnovers. They committed just 14.5 per 100 possessions, which was the 10th lowest rate in the league. But they didn't get to the free throw line very often, didn't offensive rebound well and shot poorly.

The Bucks ranked 24th in 3-point percentage and 30th in 2-point percentage. They also ranked last when it came to inside-the-paint field goal percentage.

Lowest field goal percentage inside the paint
Team FGM FGA FG%
Milwaukee 1,463 2,914 50.2%
Minnesota 1,663 3,312 50.2%
Cleveland 1,655 3,224 51.3%
New Jersey 1,598 3,089 51.7%
Indiana 1,577 3,009 52.4%

Andrew Bogut is one of the best centers in the league and no player is more important to the Bucks' defense. But Bogut does not give Milwaukee much of an inside offensive presence. With his shooting (49.5 percent) and free throw (44.2 percent) numbers affected by his injured elbow, Bogut ranked 67th in the league with just 558 total points scored in the restricted area or at the free throw line.

The Bucks' offensive issues don't end with Bogut. Brandon Jennings led the Bucks in field goal attempts, but ranked 172nd in effective field goal percentage among the league's 181 players who attempted at least 500 shots. John Salmons, who took just 28 fewer shots than Jennings, ranked 156th.

The only Buck who took at least 500 shots and had a true shooting percentage above 52 percent (the league average was 54.1 percent) was Maggette. He shot a decent percentage from the field and did exactly what the Bucks acquired him for by getting to the line a team-high 325 times.

Faltering when it counts

Awful offense wasn't the only reason Milwaukee missed the playoffs. Its efficiency differential (-1.0 points per 100 possessions) was seventh best in the Eastern Conference, better than that of Atlanta (-1.4) and Indiana (-1.5). But the Hawks (27-18) and Pacers (19-18) each had winning records in single-digit games.

The Bucks shot 37 percent in clutch situations (only the Kings shot worse) and were 19-27 in single-digit games. Most famously, they blew a six-point lead in the final minutes of a late-season game in Charlotte when they missed their final 11 shots from the field. Five of the 11 shots came from within the restricted area and seven of the 11 were taken by Jennings.

Four days later, they lost a one-point game in Indiana that basically determined which team made the playoffs.

A mix-and-match kind of crew

The Bucks didn't have much continuity as Bogut (17), Jennings (19), Carlos Delfino (33), Gooden (47), Ersan Ilyasova (22) and Maggette (15) missed a combined 153 games. Only one of Skiles' lineups played in more than 16 games together, and that one played together just 27 times.

The previous season, injuries weren't an issue, but a deadline-day deal for Salmons broke up whatever continuity the Bucks had. Finally, Skiles' first season was marked by major injuries to Bogut and Michael Redd.

The Bucks' most-used lineup over the last three seasons -- Jennings, Salmons, Delfino, Luc Mbah a Moute and Bogut -- has played together in just 46 games, barely half a season. And now, Salmons is back on the Sacramento Kings.

Doing the roster shuffle

Salmons and Maggette were sent away in a draft-day, three-team trade that yielded the Bucks Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and Beno Udrih.

The Charlotte Bobcats were a better offensive team over the last two seasons with Jackson on the floor, and he led them in usage rate each season. But, with a 52.0 true shooting percentage over those two seasons, he hasn't been a very efficient scorer.

Udrih, however, is an efficient point guard who ranked seventh in effective field goal percentage and eighth in true shooting percentage among players under 6-foot-4 who logged at least 750 minutes last season. Only Steve Nash, Jodie Meeks, Stephen Curry and Ty Lawson ranked higher in both categories.

Highest true shooting percentage among players 6-4 and under
Player GP MIN FGM FGA FG% eFG% TS%
Chauncey Billups 72 2310 339 794 42.7% 51.9% 61.7%
Steve Nash 75 2497 399 811 49.2% 54.2% 60.1%
Jodie Meeks 74 2062 242 570 42.5% 54.6% 60.0%
Stephen Curry 74 2489 505 1053 48.0% 55.1% 59.5%
Ty Lawson 80 2103 346 688 50.3% 55.3% 59.3%
JJ Redick 59 1513 197 447 44.1% 53.8% 58.9%
George Hill 76 2148 287 633 45.3% 51.4% 58.8%
Beno Udrih 79 2734 412 824 50.0% 53.9% 58.7%
Dwyane Wade 76 2823 692 1384 50.0% 52.3% 58.1%
Chris Paul 80 2880 430 928 46.3% 50.2% 57.8%
Minimum 750 minutes played TS% = Points / (2*(FGM + (0.44*FTA)))

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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