This is our first post in a series what will chronicle the offensive performance of each team in the 2010-2011 NBA season. We will perform our analysis based on the four factors as detailed by Dean Oliver and distilled in our previous post.
Offensive Rating - 101.6 (30th)
Four Factors Performance
effective Field Goal % - 46.7% (30th)
Turnover % - 13% (9th)
Offensive Rebounding % - 24.7% (22nd)
Free Throw/Field Goal Attempts Ratio - 21.7% (21st)
The explanation for Milwaukee's putrid offensive performance is pretty simple - they didn't make shots. While a league worst Effective Field Goal % provides the bulk of the explanation, we do need to dig a little bit to gain some context. Although there's a relationship between eFG% and ORating, there are some cases this year where teams have made up for poor shooting (Portland, for one).
The problem with Milwaukee was that they complemented their terrible shooting with poor rebounding and penetration numbers. They ranked 22nd in Offensive Rebounding % and 21st in Free Throw Attempts as a percentage of Field Goal Attempts. Both of these events can help an offense that cannot shoot well. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, they did neither of these well enough to offset their shooting woes.
The bright side is that they protected the ball very well, having the 9th lowest turnover % in the league. Possessions are paramount for any team, but the importance of a single possession is magnified when that team struggles to the degree that Milwaukee struggled. Luckily for them they were able to protect the ball well enough. Ballhandling more in line with the rest of their offensive numbers had the potential to lead to a historically bad offense.