There’s no getting around it: the Bucks were a horrible offensive team last season. Milwaukee finished dead last in offensive efficiency, dead last in True Shooting and Effective Field Goal Percentage, dead last in plain old field goal percentage, and dead last in points per game.
Unsurprisingly, the thing the Bucks are talking about right now is how the big draft-day trade that sent away Corey Maggette and John Salmons and brought in Beno Udrih and Stephen Jackson will make the Bucks better offensively next season. Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has the story:
If all goes according to the Bucks’ plan, the changes will relieve some of the ball-handling pressure on Jennings and give the team more playmaking options on the floor.
Say Jackson and Jennings are in the backcourt, with Carlos Delfino at small forward, Drew Gooden or Ersan Ilyasova at power forward and Andrew Bogut at center. That would be a conventional lineup.
Or maybe put the 6-foot-7 Livingston in the lineup with Udrih, Jackson, Delfino and Bogut.
There are plenty of options for Bucks coach Scott Skiles.
“It’s not crazy talk to think you could put Brandon and Beno, or Shaun or Carlos, and Stevie (Jackson) in the game with Bogut,” Skiles said.
“You could have three or four ballhandlers out there. Handling the ball and passing the ball, there’s no question we improved.”
The Bucks hope to take some pressure off their shooters by becoming better at finishing plays at the rim: (According to Hoopdata.com, the Bucks finished — you guessed it — dead last in FG% on shots at the rim last season.)
One area that troubled the Bucks last season was an inability to finish plays at the basket.
“That has put so much pressure on our perimeter shooting,” Skiles said. “Both of those guys (Jackson and Udrih) are finishing-type players and their numbers show that. And Shaun will go in there around the rim and be creative and finish.
“We’re focused, of course, on our perimeter shooting. But we always come back to (what it would mean) if we would shoot a higher percentage around the rim, get some dunks and some easy baskets that other teams get.
“Then you don’t have a tendency to overreact to Carlos (Delfino) missing a three. When all the pressure is on your perimeter shooting all the time, it’s not a good mix.”
The Bucks’ offense has nowhere to go but up after their miserable showing last season — time will tell if their new-look lineup will allow their offense to improve enough to get the team back to the playoffs after a disappointing 35-47 season.