Bucks erstwhile shooting guard Michael Redd is “on the brink” of a comeback after 14 months of rehab from major knee surgery. But is Redd, ever the source of fan debate about personal scoring vs. team basketball, relevant to the 2011 Milwaukee Bucks?
NBA.com feature columnist Steve Aschburner wades through the psychological dilemmas for the team and for Redd, who is expected to return sometime this week (Friday, the Bucks say). Along the way, Aschburner makes some welcome and refreshing notes about Redd’s former play that are not often aired in Wisconsin media.
Redd has been a volume shooter, averaging 18.3 field goal attempts in his five full seasons scoring more than 20 points per game for Milwaukee. His career numbers in both true-shooting percentage (.560) and effective field-goal percentage (.505) rank down the list from the game’s most efficient marksmen. So as desperate as the Bucks need buckets, Redd — even the old version of Redd — might not be [able to] slip so easily into a team that has had to play without him. LINK to Aschburner article.
Actually, those insights have been aired often here, and occasionally at Brewhoop and other Bucks fan blogs. But such analysis of Redd’s game has been absent from the daily, mainstream coverage of the Bucks.
There is that $91 million contract still on the books for a few months, and, well, it’s difficult enough for the Bucks to sell tickets in the small Milwaukee market without a pile of negative press about the player and absurdly horrendous contract the team shackled itself to five summers ago.
At issue is that old “scorer vs. team offensive efficiency” that was dealt with in “Basketball by the Numbers” and other sources, wherein there is a “too selfish” line that gets crossed by NBA scorers. Joe Johnson’s regularly over that line, and Kobe Bryant certainly crosses it from time to time, with great purpose and intent. Lebron? How about the Cavs problems in the 2009 and 2010 playoffs. This season, not so bad as the Cavs postseason meltdowns, but the Heat have had their share of ball movement problems, especially when trying to close out games.
Michael Redd was over that line almost every night for five years, and the Bucks were never able to put a winning product on the court with their volume shooting guard as the number 1 scoring option.
Meanwhile, the dominance of Redd generally impaired the development needs of the team and caused conflicts with coaches (Larry Krystkowiak, Scott Skiles), until the last three years under coach Skiles, with Redd missing 180 of 231 Bucks games.
It’s strictly regarded policy here at The Bob Boozer Jinx that Redd can only serve to retard whatever the Bucks hope to accomplish this season or next. He may prove me wrong, but his history suggests that he can’t and won’t.
But enough out of me. Please take some time, if you have some, to give Aschburner’s feature a read. Here’s another excerpt.
The NBA has a shadow squad of once-electric players forever altered by injuries, guys such as McDyess in San Antonio, Tracy McGrady in Detroit and Gilbert Arenas in Orlando. Redd got to watch Arenas up close Wednesday as he shuffled through a five-point, 2-of-6 shooting night for the Magic. They aren’t who they once were, their teams aren’t organized around them and it can be a humbling, difficult experience.
That’s good stuff.