Preferably, "Vote Smartly." (photo from www.okstatechamber.com)
After declaring its independence from Great Britain 84,600 days ago, the United States today turns its eyes and ears to Wisconsin, where millions (?) of citizens will cast their votes to help determine the country's new direction.
Obama or Hillary? McCain or Huckabee?
Try Yi or Villanueva? And Mason or Simmons?
Yesterday we outlined some dispiriting data that contradicted claims of the Bucks having bad luck this season. The story focused on the team's exceedingly poor point differential and their consistently unsuccessful different on-court units.
The lineup most frequently used so far is the one that started the first 25 games of the season together: Mo Williams/Michael Redd/Desmond Mason/Yi Jianlian/Andrew Bogut. After Mason went down with an injury the Bucks were forced to experiment with other starting lineups. Bobby Simmons and Charlie Bell filled the small forward gap with varying results. Injuries to Redd and Yi necessitated further tinkering, with Charlie Villanueva most notably taking advantage of his increased role, before he too was bitten by the injury bug. Interestingly, the lineup came full circle, with the Bucks starting the familiar group of Williams/Redd/Mason/Yi/Bogut against the Hornets (Brew Hoop recap) to conclude pre-All-Star play.
Nevertheless, there remains plenty of room for debate regarding who is best suited to start. Despite the imperfections of Williams, Redd, and Bogut, they are unquestionable starters given the current personnel. The real questions come at the forward positions.
Different philosophies will beget different lineups. Those who are still dreaming of a playoff spot might favor giving Yi/Mason a chance to open the second half of the season in hopes they can replicate the way the started the first. The raw numbers show Yi/Simmons and Yi/Bell have performed relatively well in substantial minutes. Then again, Villanueva is averaging 13.8 points and 10.3 rebounds on 47.9 % shooting from the field as a starter, and could potentially make the Bucks better while showcasing his trade value. And while the coaching staff apparently isn't, many of the rest of us are intrigued by the idea of seeing what Yi/Villanueva can do on the court together.
What say you?
Don't forget to vote... Seriously though, vote.