- Vic Feuerherd of the Wisconsin State Journal says that while it may seem obvious, passing really has been the key to the Bucks' recent success. Look no further than the Bucks' last loss, a blowout to the world champs in San Antonio.
The analysis found that the Bucks made just 1.35 passes per possession compared to the Spurs' four.
When Krystkowiak asked his players the next day at practice if they knew how many passes per possession they made, the closest answer was 2.5.
"Until you can put it in data form and tell the guys exactly what they did, it's hard to grasp," Krystkowiak said. Krystkowiak saw the impact once again in the Bucks' 111-107 victory Tuesday night in Cleveland.
- The Bucks now rank 15th in John Hollinger's power rankings, which are calculated using a combination of recent and overall scoring margin and strength of schedule. Before you start ranting about how computers don't know anything, keep in mind that the Bucks still have a negative scoring differential thanks to those blowout losses in San Antonio and Orlando. Historically, teams don't reproduce "clutch" play year-to-year; teams' records in close games revolve far more around luck and even the best teams show large variability in their ability to win close games from season to season. So maintaining a winning record over a long period will generally require you to outscore you opponents overall.
- Tom Enlund has an interesting sidenote on Larry Krystkowiak's brief stint playing for the Lakers in 96/97. As it so happened, that was the rookie year of none other than Kobe Bryant.
"I can remember having a couple of 10-day contracts with the Lakers and there were only two people who didn’t play in some games – me and Kobe," said Krystkowiak. "I remember sitting with him on the bench in his first year in the league. People forget that it wasn’t easy for him in his rookie year
"I was on the other end of the life cycle where I’m out of tread and he had plenty left so I just kept telling him to hang in there like you’d try to tell any young player... that your day is going to come. And he certainly didn’t want to hear it because nobody wants to be sitting there."
Friday Bucks Notes
By Frank Madden