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Greetings! It has been awhile, but as in the past, please view this site as the equivalent of a fire alarm: In Emergency, Break Glass!
The fire of NBA superstar free agency hasn’t hit Milwaukee yet and may bypass our town – but we can see the smoke from other NBA outposts and it is time to discuss the problem. Once again we’ve seen the issue of a superstar’s soon to be free agency cause a league wide disruption leading to angst among multiple franchises. Rather than focusing on what is a very healthy and exciting on-court product, the league is instead focusing on the multiple angles by which Anthony Davis could be on the move due to his unwillingness to sign a “Super-Max” contract extension with New Orleans this summer.
As Bobby Marks noted on a recent Woj podcast, the two New York and two LA based teams will possibly have a total of SEVEN max salary slots for the summer of 2019 (The Nets with two, the Knicks with two, Clippers with two and the Lakers with one). As we’ve seen this past week, that situation forces the front offices of all 30 teams to figure out how it will impact their ability to navigate not just this summer but subsequent years down the road.
We’ll take a deep dive into the problem, the potential solution of a franchise player tag (different from the NFL version), and then a discussion of why the tag is something that could realistically be implemented if the owners so desired. Buckle up and let’s go!
The NBA has always been a league where a star player can have an outsized impact on the success of your franchise. Should your team acquire a star like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan or now LeBron James, you then have a pathway to an NBA title that 80%-90% of the other franchises do not possess. With that success flows ticket sales, fan interest and community involvement with your team. Milwaukee is currently experiencing such bounty with Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the Bucks to a league best record at the moment.
Continue reading →
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Last week’s resignation by John Hammond to take the Orlando GM job was viewed as a shocker by the local media and a portion of the fan base. Many lamented the loss of the man who drafted Giannis and who they were convinced would take the Bucks to The Finals in the years ahead.
Meanwhile another group of fans were relieved to see Hammond move on after nine years as GM. A period in which the team failed to win a playoff series or post a 50-win season, two common benchmarks of NBA success.
How do two subsets of fans of the same team have such different perceptions of the Hammond era? It comes down to his complicated tenure which can be summed up in two words: Giannis and Greivis. Continue reading →
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Happy New Year! Or soon to be New Year!
As noted last summer, this website will occasionally put out a piece or two when your SOB Editor finds the time and motivation to pen some thoughts to add to the fine Bucks blogosphere. The past two weeks have been a celebration of all things Giannis, highlighted by Bill Simmon’s piece last week where he proclaimed Giannis as the NBA’s next great superstar.
The superstardom of Giannis prompted some thoughts as to perhaps the key statistic relating to his rise to prominence. Namely free throw attempts per game (FTA or FTA’s). Many NBA players have produced very impressive seasons with high scoring, rebounding or assist totals. But few of those players become the superstars capable of carrying their teams to an NBA championship. The ability to get to the line seems to be one of those correlating factors. Are FTA’s a byproduct of a great NBA player? Why yes, yes they are.
This is why it is important to take stock of where Giannis ranks compared to historical Bucks and recent NBA superstars in the category of free throws attempted per game. As most veteran NBA watchers know, getting to the free throw line can be a major strategic advantage for a player and their team. Not only do you get two free shots but you also rack up the fouls against your opponent, potentially neutralizing their ability to tighten up the defense down the stretch and/or depleting their lineup via foul trouble.
There is a fairly significant correlation between how often a player gets to the free throw line and their impact on the court as evidenced by the current top 20 in the NBA in this category. Note Giannis is ranked ninth overall this season. He’s rising up that list quickly. How quickly you may ask?
For his career, Giannis is averaging 4.4 FTA per game.
For this current season that rises to 7.7 FTA per game
For the month of December that rises to Continue reading →