If there is something that could prevent the Bucks from repeating as champions this season, it may be their shooting. Last year, the Bucks finished the regular season third in the NBA in field goal percentage (48.7%). Looking at those stats a little closer, the Bucks shot 50.4% in wins and 45.8% in losses. Each of these stats were good for top five in the NBA. Additionally, the Bucks shot 49.1% at home and 48.4% on the road last season. Again, each were good for top five in the league. Why are these stats important to consider? Because unfortunately, there seems to be a much different story happening this season. Based on recent history, this may indicate what the future has in store, and it is not where Bucks fans would hope.
Milwaukee is shooting 45.4% overall this season, below any number from last season – win or lose, home or road. This field goal percentage is 17th in the NBA. There are currently nine Eastern Conference teams ahead of the Bucks in shooting, including the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. Both of these teams are outside of the playoffs in the standings right now. In wins, the Bucks are shooting 47.8% (20th in the NBA) and in losses they are shooting 41.6% (26th in the NBA). These shooting woes seemed to be present last postseason at times as well, but even then, the Bucks shot 46.2% throughout the playoffs.
Why is this important for the Bucks?
Shooting has become an integral part of success in the NBA. Over the last five seasons, the eventual NBA champion ended the regular season within the top five in shooting percentage. While the Bucks are currently fourth in the eastern conference standings and have the seventh best winning percentage in the NBA, their shooting is cause for concern for their long term success.
One interesting note is that the Bucks’ scoring per game does not seem to be impacted much by their shooting, relatively speaking. Milwaukee is currently fourth in the NBA in points per game (112.0ppg). This may be related to the fact that they are also fourth in the NBA in three-point attempts per game, and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (36%). However, compare it to their own production last season at the all-star break, and they are nearly seven points per game behind.
Something to keep an eye on:
As the NBA approaches it’s trade deadline, it will be interesting to see what moves the Bucks do or do not make. With Brook Lopez’s health moving forward this season still in question, they may look to address a need in terms of size. However, addressing their shooting needs may be a better indicator of long term success this season. Time will tell with what they choose to do, but each are significant areas to consider improving. The Bucks are still one of the best teams in the NBA, but addressing one or both of these needs could be a huge difference maker come the postseason.
For More Wisconsin Sports Content:
Follow me on Twitter @Andy_Sabinash follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content! To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here. Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!