Typical Ama’re: Bogut injury video replay shows no commitment to defense or laziness

Lazy.  Disinterested.  Noncommittal.  Bad.  All of these words and more have been used to describe the defensive play of the Phoenix Suns and their star forward Amar’e (apostrophe please) Stoudemire. A certain Hall of Fame center with four championship rings to his name used some of them when he played in Phoenix, thinking that some public discussion of the Suns defensive principles might help to improve his team. It didn’t.

What would Shaq have called this play, Amar’e trailing Bucks center Andrew Bogut on a breakaway dunk?

“Passive-aggressive” comes to mind. Dangerous. The preliminary reports say that Andrew Bogut’s right elbow was “slightly” dislocated in the fall. X-Rays revealed no broken bones. There’s no word yet on how long Bogut will be out, or whether he’ll be back in time for the playoffs, which begin in two weeks.

Stoudemire was assessed a flagrant foul for the shove in Bogut’s back on the breakaway. The discussion is already centered on whether or not Stoudemire intended to foul or injure the Bucks center. Of course he didn’t intentionally put his arm into the back of Bogut in midair. Of course he didn’t intend for Bogut to fall the way he did.

Such intentions would have required commitment, and Ama’re Stoudemire isn’t committed to playing defense, much less running hard down the court to the defensive end.

No hard fouls from this guy. No flying, Lebron James-like attempt to block the shot into the next county. Not Ama’re.

There’s no commitment to laziness, either. You see Ama’re running with Bogut, too late, trying to catch up, failing, but catching just enough of his quarry to lay an arm on his back and shove — not a hard, committed shove — just a little one, enough to throw Bogut off balance and flatten his jump, pushing his legs out of equilibrium. A committed lazy player would have given up and watched Bogut dunk it. But not Ama’re.

Amar’e Stoudemire on defense apparently can’t seem to commit to laziness or a foul.  Or, as we all saw in the 2007 Western Conference semifinal vs. the Spurs, to leaving the bench during a fight.  He … kinda left the bench but … kinda didn’t. He not only missed the fight but the next game, as the NBA suspended him for leaving the bench and the Suns lost the series. He didn’t “intend” to commit that wrong either.

So Amar’e didn’t “intend” to commit a foul that caused a potential season-ending injury to a would-be All-Pro center with the playoffs approaching. I get that.

It’s typical Ama’re — forever doomed to be a half-baked star in a league of fully committed stars. And once again, he’s wrong.

AP recap: Bucks 107, Suns 98.

Note: I wrote this post during the 2nd half of the Bucks-Suns game and had it posted within an hour or so after the game, if not sooner. It accurately summed up how I feel about Amar’e as a player, and still does a few days after the injury.  The video of Bogut’s fall that I posted initially was the video clip of the Suns live broadcast because it was the only one I could initially find online.  However, as fans all over the country debated the play, how Bogut’s fall became so horrific and whether Ama’re had done anything wrong, it occurred to me that people probably weren’t looking at the same video.  The comments have been that divergent.

There are in fact, two videos offering two different views of the play.  What I’ll do here is post both videos.  The FoxSportsNorth Bucks broadcast, which shows in slo-mo the contact and the timing of when and why Bogut grabs the rim, is embedded above. The Suns broadcast, which has been the more widely viewed video, is below.

9 thoughts on “Typical Ama’re: Bogut injury video replay shows no commitment to defense or laziness

  1. J.D. Mo. Post author

    I don’t believe Amare has a malicious bone in his body, and I hope this blog doesn’t suggest that I think he does. I do think that he’s never been altogether with it as a defender and how he played Bogut’s breakaway shows his lack of conscientiousness on that end of the court.

    I’ve seen a number of similar plays since Saturday. RJ ran out on a Kobe jumpshot and Kobe gave chase after Duncan grabbed the miss and made a long pass to RJ. Kobe almost got there but RJ beat him to the hoop. Instead of positioning directly behind RJ, Kobe took a side angle and did what you’re supposed to do — swipe at the ball. You don’t put your hand in the middle of the players back on that play.

    Kurt Thomas chasing Brad Miller last night — it sounds funny even to say that!! — Thomas came at the play from the side and swiped at the ball. He bumped Miller as Miller laid it in (no dunking for those two) and was called for the foul. But the key there again is that he did not get behind Miller and give a little shove in the back — KT went for the ball.

    Suns fans, Amare fans, looking at the play have to wonder why Amare didn’t go for the ball. What he did do would have handed the Bucks an extra point regardless. Foolish, unthinking, bad defense … typical for Amare on the D end of the floor.

  2. B.J

    As a player I know that even a little bump can throw you off when you are fully elevated, I dont think Amare was trying to hurt him, but I think he caused it … and I agree, Amare needs to concede the basket here

  3. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Blind rage? Never. But we see what we can see.

    My crystal ball saw the Hawks losing Game 6 of the first round in the playoffs in Milwaukee and the series ending there. If both teams can hold position from here on out, I’m now seeing the Hawks struggling to close out the feisty Bucks in Atlanta, Game 5, desperately trying to avoid going back to Milwaukee …

  4. areyoukiddingme

    I will just have to agree to disagree with you. Watched the video plenty, no way, no how Amar’e caused that. I am a hawks fan and it is pretty clear to see as an outsider. I understand that as a bucks fan you see it different, and I am fine with that. You have every right to have a little blind fan rage right now.

  5. J.D. Mo. Post author

    On his own, untouched and flying full speed down the court, it’s hard to imagine Bogut breaking his hand, spraining his wrist and dislocating his shoulder in the fall. Pushed from behind by a trailing Ama’re (who should have laid off and conceded the bucket once he knew he was beat) created quite a different question of mid-air balance, one that Bogut tried to deal with by grabbing the rim.

    Who knows how Bogut would have finished the play had he not been pushed. But I don’t see it ending with AB writhing on the floor in pain.

  6. areyoukiddingme

    You actually think Amar’e caused bogut to lose control and fling himself up into the air, lose grip on the rim, and slam to the ground? Pretty far-fetched analysis. “just a little one, enough to throw Bogut off balance and his legs flying out from under him”…seriously?. Are you sure it wasn’t boguts full steam ahead, off balance, two handed, hang on the rim dunk that sent his legs flying out from under him? Of course that is not a possibility.

    As for Bogut, I hope he has a speedy recovery. It looked bad, and definitely happened to one of the best in the game. Very unfortunate, but to try and blame Amar’e is just plain ignorant

  7. Kevin

    Ersan will rebound, but then you have mostly a perimeter team, which has be shaky all year. I want him to mix it up, but they are really way too small without Bogut. Kurt is really a power forward and Brezec deserves a chance. Ersan or Luc Richard could play at 3. That would clog up the middle. I don’t know if Skiles will experiment, but that may be their only chance.

  8. J.D. Mo. Post author

    I would think small-ball — Delfino, Salmons, Mbah a Moute, Ilyasova. This will put a lot of pressure on Ersan to rebound, but what a small, versatile, talented and tough group.

    Also, for the first time this season, I’m glad Kurt Thomas is around. I’ve always thought the best thing to have done would have been to buy out Thomas, keep Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems, and resign Sessions. We would have had Amir but no Delfino in that scenario. I’m not back-pedalling on that but I am willing to take back everything rotten I’ve ever written about Kurt Thomas. In this situation, it’s real good to have a veteran of 1,400 paint wars on the roster.

  9. Kevin

    Man, I have been watching this team for 38 years and I think there definitely is a curse. Lucius Allen in 1974, Buckner and Bridgeman in 1982, Cowens in 1983, Cummings and Pressey in 1989. So it took 21 years to happen again, but they’ve only had one year worth talking about since then before this year. Now I can’t wait to see how Skiles handles this. Will it be with his small ball lineups or could he would go big, starting Brezec and Thomas? That would provide more offense and defense, as Luc Richard doesn’t score much and his size will be more of a liability without Bogut in there to back him up. Surround them with shooters and then there is balance.

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