The Milwaukee Bucks are still waiting to start training camp on Oct. 2, but the individual player projections from John Hollinger of ESPN have already arrived. Did the stats guru predict more improvement from Brandon Jennings? An all-star caliber season for Monta Ellis? Another strong season for Ersan Ilyasova? A triple-double average for Drew Gooden? I've broken down the numbers in two different ways -- (1) a portrait of how players stack up relative to each other on the Bucks' roster, and (2) projected numbers compared to 2010-11 NBA positional averages --in order to give you a better idea of exactly what Hollinger thinks is in store for Milwaukee this year.
(1) Intra-Roster Comparison
- The bad news is that Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are projected to have the the two lowest FG percentages, yet they are also expected to use the highest percentage of possessions of anyone on the roster. Welcome to the 2012-13, Milwaukee Bucks! Ellis (49.1 TS%) is only expected to score more efficiently than Larry Sanders (45.9 TS%), Ekpe Udoh (48.3 TS%) and Drew Gooden (49.0 TS%). Jennings beats out those four guys and also Joel Przybilla and Beno Udrih. Impressed yet?
- If a 15.0 PER is used as the benchmark for an average NBA player, the Bucks are only in line to have five slightly above-average performers this year, according to Hollinger's metric -- Jennings, Ellis, Ilyasova, Gooden and Dalembert. Recall that a PER of 18 is equivalent to a solid second option, and that a PER of 20 would make a player a borderline All-Star.
- Mike Dunleavy and Ersan Ilyasova are expected to be the most efficient scorers on the squad.
- The crystal ball says Joel Przybilla will grab some rebounds and otherwise suck at basketball. I think we already knew this...
- Tobias Harris, John Henson and Doron Lamb aren't included in the projections, because there isn't enough information on their performance level to generate meaningful predictions.
(2) Intra-Positional Comparison
- Green means above the NBA positional average for 2010-11, red means below that mark. I used '10-11 because last season was the weirdo lockout year. A 15.0 PER is also used, because that seems more reasonable.
- Every projected player in the rotation is expected to post a below-average TS% except for Mike Dunleavy, Ersan Ilyasova and LRMAM (who hits exactly average for NBA forwards). So....yeah.
- Sanders, LRMAM, Ilyasova, Gooden, Dalembert and Przybilla are all expected to post good rebounding numbers. Only Ekpe Udoh gets the frowny face and/or sad trombone on this one.
- The Bucks will probably take good care of the basketball this year -- a semi-redeeming quality if you aren't very good at turning possessions into points -- as only Larry Sanders and Joel Przybilla are expected to post above-average turnover rates. Those two won't be touching the ball very often either, so they don't really matter in this respect.
- Drew Gooden is once again expected to post a top-3 PER on the team! Yeehaw partystyles!
See anything that interests you? Notice something that I didn't mention? Feel free to pass along your thoughts and reactions in the comments section. The site has experienced a makeover, but the comments section and the overall commenting interface is exactly the same as it was before, so post your thoughts and let's talk 2012-13 Bucks.