The 2010 NBA All-Star starters have been announced, and now the coaches will vote seven reserves to each conference’s team. Should Bogut be one of them?
Like so many things in the realm of NBA mediocrity where the Bucks dwell, it depends who you ask. Ask Cleveland Cavs coach Mike Brown and the answer would likely be “no.” Bogut has rarely played well against Zydrunas Ilgauskas in his career, and turned in two poor, foul-plagued efforts against Big Z and Shaq this season (total of 11 points and 16 boards in two Bucks losses).
Ask Dallas Mavs Coach Rick Carlisle and Bogut would no doubt get a resounding endorsement after the 32-pt, 9 board work Bogues laid on Eric Dampier Tuesday. Unfortunately, Carlisle doesn’t get to vote on the East reserves. The scheduling reality that the Bucks have played more games against the West than any team in the East but Miami (the Heat and Bucks have eached played 21 games against the West) hasn’t helped Bogut’s All-Star chances.
Neither has Bogut’s inconsistent play, which likely bothers Bucks coach Scott Skiles more than it does the other East coaches, most of whom have experienced enough of Bogut on his good days to cast a vote his way.
But the biggest obstacle to Bogut finally being named Dwight Howard’s backup at center for the East is NBA media’s habit of ignoring all things Milwaukee — while promoting members of hapless teams such as the Knicks.
Yes, New Yorkers, David Lee is a fine, fine player who puts up a good stat line and would be the perfect power foward for many teams, including the Bucks. But Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and Lee have NEVER defeated the Scott Skiles and Andrew Bogut Bucks. Not once. The lone victory the Knicks have had since D’Antoni took over in New York was last spring in Milwaukee while Bogut was sidelined with his season-ending back injury. Bogut is 4-0 against Lee since D’Antoni took over, including’>http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200911070MIL.html”>including a 22-point, 9-board effort in Milwaukee Nov. 7. Lee had a nice game, too: 18 pts, 8 rebs. But he’s too small to guard Bogut and in general Lee’s defense is no less suspect than that of his teammates. It’s a safe bet to assume that Bogut will get D’Antoni’s vote. (Coaches cannot vote for their own players).
But the media (and NBA.com no less) seem to think Lee has the inside track at center for the East — or at least Lee was thought to have the inside track before the Knicks debacle last’>http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201001240NYK.html”>last Sunday against the Mavs. Losing 128-78 at home should remove any Knick from honor consideration, including Lee. If coaches held onto their ballots through the weekend, the latest Knicks embarassment just might work in Bogut’s favor.
But some still feel that players such Joakim Noah and Al Horford have a better shot than Bogut, which makes me wonder whether the media covering the league pays much attention at all to Bucks games. The Bucks are just behind the Bulls in the standings and are 2-1 vs. their Chicago rivals. And Bogut has had his way with Noah this season, including 27 pts, 13 rebs and six blocks Jan. 8 against the Bulls. If there’s any justice in the league, Bulls coach Vinnie Del Negro will be casting a vote Bogut’s way this week.