If I’m Milwaukee Bucks new Head Coach Mike Budenholzer today, the numbers from last night’s loss to the boys who’d knocked them from last spring’s playoffs must seem more than a little mystifying – his team shows an edge in virtually every category.
Generally, the outcome of a basketball game is revealed in the overall FG%, total rebounds and total turnovers – hold a statistical advantage in two of those areas and you win. (I think it was Dmitris-UK who once dubbed this the “Two out of Three Rule.”)
It turns out that last night at the TD Garden wasn’t “Generally.” The Bucks outshot Boston .482 - .446 and out-rebounded the C’s 45 – 42 (49 – 48 when we add in significant Team Rebounds). Milwaukee held an 11 - 4 edge in Follow-Up points, and they worked their way to 30 Free Throw Attempts (good for 12 conversions) compared to 13 FT tries that earned but half as many conversions.
And while Milwaukee committed 14 Turnovers to the Celtics 13, Coach B’s feisty Bucks were able to generate 16 points from Celtic miscues while yielding only nine off their own misplays.
But the Stevens Syndicate took about twice as many three-pointers (55 – 29) and made damn near three times as many (24 – 9).
It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack – er, I mean, Coach Bud.
Abacus Revelation for the Road
And here's the most improbable part of this numerical conundrum -- the "Equation of the Game" suggests that the Celtics should have won by more.
Both teams had 41 successful FG's, but Milwaukee had 12 "Free Throw Conversions" to Boston's six, creating a 53 to 47 advantage. In other words, the Bucks had six more "stops." Milwaukee +12 points.
But the C's earned 22 "Striping" points (24 treys minus two missed FT's) to a mere ONE (nine treys, eight missed FT's) for the Freak & Co. Boston +21 points.