The fight between the heart vs mind has always been a struggle for me. Last year, it seemed so much easier to predict the Bucks future. They basically played at 63 win pace, which was a nice improvement from the 60 wins from the year before. This was my prediction from last year using science.
Without going deep into the numbers, and just going with my gut, I would predict fewer regular seasons wins this season vs last year because of the turnover, the shorter preseason camp, and other teams figuring out Bud's system. As for the post season, I really have no idea, but there is a chance we do better than last year. But my gut tells me something is off (can't figure out what that might be).
Lets break down the past 4 years to see if we can find any trends. And use a little science.
In the past 4 years (first two under Kidd, last two under Bud)
0.7, 1.8, -0.5, -1.0 in tov/game differential. (the higher the number the better)
Each extra turnover created per game vs allowed is worth about 1.1 points per game.
As we know, Kidd loved creating turnovers more than Bud. But what about this year? Historically, Jrue has fewer turnovers/36 and more steals/36 than Bledsoe. I am going to guess that the Bucks will have a 0.0 tov% this year.
In the past 4 seasons, the Bucks offensive rebounding differential has been:
-1.5, -1.6, -0.6, 0.0
A year ago, I wrote on the topic of offensive rebounding as a potential area of improvement. link
The Bucks did improve some, but not as much as I hoped. However, there have been comments coming out of camp that Bud just got he memo a year late. Again, I think Jrue can be the catalyst for positive change. My prediction is that the Bucks will have +1.0 Oreb differential per game. They have the horses, they just need to to be less indifferent.
Free Throws Made Per Game Differential
In the past 4 years, the trend is -0.7, -0.1, 2.8, 1.6
My guess is that the Bucks will take more mid-range jumpers this year, which will lead to fewer free throws. Bledsoe took more free throws than Jrue last year per/36. My guess is that the Bucks will have a +1.0 free throw made diff.
The Bucks have dominated this area in the past two seasons.
0.4. 1.8, 8.8, and an NBA best in the 3 point era of 10.1
I am afraid that I see a regression for the Bucks in this stat in the coming season. Poorer rim defense without Robin Lopez, and more mid-range jumpers on offense. I envision a +5.0 in 2% diff this year.
The trend the 4 past years has been +1.7, -1.8, -0.8, 0.0
Kind of funny/sad that the Bucks best season in 3% diff was under Kidd. IMO, this might be the most important stat for the Bucks this upcoming season. Will Giannis keep jacking up early shot clock 3's? Will Bud make the right adjustments? Will Forbes try hard, yet not make a difference? Is Craig overrated on defense? Will Donte improve from beyond the arc? Is DJ Wilson the answer?
So many questions, and I am not confident in any of the answers. My prediction is a frustrating 0.0 3% diff.
In the past 4 years the Bucks have improved from 42, 44, 60, 63 win pace. Lets run the above numbers through my super computer....................... And the answer is 48 wins out of 72.
One more prediction, if the Bucks can not improve their 3% diff above +0.5, they will not make it to the finals.