As the NBA season nears its midway point symbolized by All-Star Weekend, I felt it was about time to make a significant point towards the Milwaukee Bucks success at home this season. While many NBA experts feel they hold the secrets to Bucks success or lack thereof, I believe I may have discovered and hold the ingredient that gives them true home court advantage at the Bradley Center, me.
Before you begin laughing, hear me out; the team currently holds a 12-7 overall record at home this year. For the game’s I’ve been in town for they’re 10-4, not that big of a difference right?…WRONG! Let’s take a more in-depth look on the results to prove my point.
So far this season there’s been 19 home games; I’ve been in town to attend 14 of them. When I’m there the Bucks have won 10 games and has lost just 4 games. Of the 4 losses I’ve attended, 3 of the 4 are losses of 2 points or less (5 total points), 2 (or half) of the losses have been overtime game winning buzzer beaters courtesy of Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant. In reality, I’ve only been a part of one bad loss which came December 6th against the Cleveland Cavaliers as the Bucks went onto lose by 15 in a game that was never close.
Also take note of the four losses I’ve seen starting with a 4 game home winning streak snapped by the Mavericks in overtime, then a loss to the Orlando Magic by 2, followed by a poor outing against the Cavaliers, then a loss to the Lakers in overtime.
Look at the teams just mentioned, the Magic and Cavaliers squared off in the Eastern Conference Finals last year with the Magic representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. The Mavericks are currently the second best team in the Western Conference and of course the Los Angeles Lakers are the defending NBA Champions, as well as the best team in basketball as we speak.
While those team names speak for themselves, let’s overview the other 10 teams the Bucks have faced when I’m there. The Bucks hold wins against the Pistons, Knicks, Nuggets, Warriors, Nets (of course), Bobcats, Bulls, Raptors (twice), and the Trailblazers. 9 of the 13 teams faced are currently in line to make the playoffs yet to be fair it’s worth also stating that the 4 non-playoff teams faced are horrendous (Knicks, Nets, Warriors, & (I never thought I’d say this…) Pistons. In all if we currently added together these 13 team records (played Raptors twice) up they’re sitting at an overall record of 281-260 which well beyond .500 and that’s including New Jersey’s 3 wins & 38 losses!
Now moving onto the 5 Bucks home games I’ve missed, the Bucks went 2-3, losing 2 of the 3 by at least 12 points. They only won 2 games and one of them came in double overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Teams faced include the Kings, Wizards, Spurs, Thunder, and Bulls. Currently 3 of those 5 teams would make the playoffs but overall strength of those teams aren’t nearly as close to the 13 teams I’ve seen them face. Compared to the combined 281-260 combined record of the teams I’ve seen, the teams I missed have a combined record of 96-109, which is well below the .500 mark.
Overall team efficiency on both ends of the floor is drastically different as well. When I’m there the Bucks average 104.9 ppg and limit their opponents to just under the 100 ppg with 99.6 which makes for a +5.3 differential favoring the Bucks. Games when I’m gone the Bucks only manage to put up an average of 97.6 ppg and allow their opponents to average 101.4 ppg, which is a bad -3.8 differential favoring the opponent. This means the Bucks score on average +7.3 ppg when I’m there while also limiting opponents to -1.8 ppg. Tell me that’s not a huge difference!
On a final note, it’s not just the Bucks as a team that plays better; I also am the lucky charm to Yung Buck himself. Bucks rookie guard Brandon Jennings currently is averaging 18 ppg on the year, but when I’m there he averages 23.2 ppg. Now get this, when I’m NOT there Jennings averages a ugly 10 ppg and I’ve never seen Jennings score less than double-digits, something he’s done a few times this season. I stress an ugly 10 ppg for Jennings because of the amount of shots he attempts each game.
Could this just be shear coincidence, yes, it very well could be but it’s definitely drastic change in events each game I show up. Going into tonight’s home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves the Bucks are 10-4 with me there, not to mention they’re 4-0 when I’ve been fortunate enough to be at the games on a media pass. If you’re wondering about tonight’s game, well let’s just say I’ve already seen the Timberwolves this year during preseason and yes the Bucks won that game too and of course I’ll show up tonight
. Until the season reaches spring break the Milwaukee Bucks shouldn’t have a difficult time winning at home. The Bradley Center may contain Andrew Bogut’s rowdy fan club “Squad 6” that plays an effect on the final outcome but I argue I very well could be the Bucks’ best kept secret.