Yours truly has a considerable amount of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for a talented “writer”, like Kelly Dwyer, who happens to use the wacky world of the NBA as on outlet for his artistic skill-set.
Where the problem arises, however, is when certain writers, stats gurus and other observers attempt to provide their “analysis” of how a specific basketball team actually functions, as a collective unit, in a positive, neutral, or negative way … and, unfortunately, completely miss the proverbial boat.
This is what Brandon Jennings was quoted as saying, about the state of the Bucks franchise, last Friday:
BUCKS BEAT: Many officials concerned about their status
“Some guys have the mind-set of winning on the team and some guys just don’t. We traded a lot of pieces I feel like we should have kept, but that’s part of the business and you’ve got to roll with it.’‘
This is part of what Kelly Dwyer wrote in his article about Brandon Jennings & Co.:
Brandon Jennings is not happy with his new teammates
“Yeah, man. You can’t mess with success. There was a reason they feared the deer, and the reason was … Luke Ridnour?
Because last year’s roster and rotation is really only missing Ridnour, and 15-minutes-per-game big man Kurt Thomas.”
This is what Milwaukee’s line-up looked like last year:
i. In the immediate aftermath of the ‘trade deadline’, when
they beat the Miami Heat;
ii. At the end of the regular season schedule last year, when they beat the Boston Celtics, on the final day of the season;
iii. When they were eliminated from the Eastern Conference
Playoffs, in Game 7 of the 1st Round, by the Atlanta Hawks.
Milwaukee’s roster last season, after the trade deadline, included the following players:
Brandon Jennings, John Salmons, Carlos Delfino, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Andrew Bogut, Ersan Ilyasova, Luke Ridnour, Royal Ivey, Charlie Bell, Jerry Stackhouse, Darnell Jackson, Francisco Elson, Kurt Thomas, Dan Gadzuric and Primoz Brezec
each of whom was instrumental to the Bucks’ success at one point or another.
This is what the Bucks’ line-up looked like last night, when they lost at Orlando [72-78] … which means that a current list of the additions and subtractions from their roster last season actually looks like this:
1 Earl Boykins [best described as a veteran scorer]
2 Corey Maggette [best described as a veteran scorer]
3 Drew Gooden
4 Keyon Dooling
5 Larry Sanders
6 Chris Douglas-Roberts
7 Michael Redd
[plus, Jon Brockman who was out of the line-up yesterday]
1 Luke Ridnour [best described as a non selfish veteran]
2 Charlie Bell [best described as a non selfish veteran]
3 Dan Gadzuric [best described as a non selfish veteran]
4 Francisco Elso [best described a non selfish veteran]
5 Royal Ivey [best described as a non selfish youngster]
6 Darnell Jackson [best described as a non selfish youngster]
7 Primoz Brezec
8 Jerry Stackhouse
If you consider the respective skill-sets and other important personal attributes of the players who the Bucks have added to this year’s team … based on MORE THAN just their individual “production numbers” … compared to the COHESIVE collection of players they had last year … especially, amongst their set of Reserves [i.e. players No. 9-15] … it should be relatively easy to see the CORRECTNESS of what Brandon Jennings was talking about, when he was quoted on the current situation in Milwaukee.
From a ‘basketball analysis’ perspective …
It is a basic – but crucial – error in basketball judgment to think that the contributions of the non-rotational players on a given roster are NOT absolutely fundamental to the success or failure of a team in the NBA.