Bucks center Andrew Bogut missed the cut for the 2010 NBA All-Defensive teams despite being 2nd in the league only to Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard in blocked shots and defensive rating. The two All-D teams are selected by position in a vote of the league’s 30 head coaches.
What’s defensive rating? That’s the all-important stat that shows how many points per 100 possessions a team allows when a player is on the floor. Howard, as usual, had no peer with a 95.4 rating, while Bogut was all alone at #2 in the 98.0 range. The rest of the league leader board picks up at #3 with Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace (99.7).
Howard led the league in blocked shots (228 total, 2.8 per game) with Bogut (175, 2.5) right behind him despite missing 13 games and being hampered with injuries early in the season. Josh Smith was a distant third with 2.1 blocks per game.
The Bucks were the #3 defensive team in the NBA, right there with Howard’s Magic and Larry Brown’s Bobocats (Wallace). The Bucks were the only team in the NBA’s top 5 that did not have a player voted all-NBA defensive. Recognition for Bogut and the Bucks was a no-brainer here.
It sucks to be an NBA center not named Dwight Howard.
Howard, the Defensive Player of the Year, took his rightful place as 1st-team All-D center. Out of 29 possible votes (coaches can’t vote for their own players), Howard received 28 1st-team votes.
Naming the #2 center should have been easy enough in a position by position vote, which is what the NBA says the All-defensive vote is supposed to be. So where did those backup center votes go? To Clippers-Trailblazers ageless wonder Marcus Camby (10 votes) and Bogut (8). Bulls center Joakim Noah (4) and the Celtics’ Kendrick Perkins (2) also received 2nd-team votes, with Perkins and Camby lucking into a 1st-team vote apiece.
Centers receiving votes: 1) Dwight Howard; 2) Marcus Camby; 3) Andrew Bogut; 4) Joakim Noah; 5) Kendrick Perkins.
Wild cards: Tim Duncan and Andy Varejao
OK, so Camby was the selection as All-defensive 2nd team center, correct?
Nope. It was Tim Duncan, who was on 13 ballots — mostly as a forward. I haven’t seen the ballots but if Howard’s the #1 center on every ballot but two, then at least six of Duncan’s 8 1st team votes are as a forward. I’m assuming most of Duncan’s five 2nd-team votes were in the forward slot as well. Varejao played a fair amount of center in the absences of Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas in Cleveland, so it’s fair to say that a couple of Andy’s 2nd team votes may have been center votes. A couple.
The NBA obviously didn’t stick to its position-by-position results with the center spot and Duncan, who does actually play center in San Antonio (this is the opposite of the “Duncan as forward” All-Star ballot thing). Here Duncan gets most of his points as a 1st-team forward. Doesn’t it seem that the obvious thing would be to bump a forward (Varejao in this case) off this list? It makes more sense than snubbing the centers.
It gets a little more complicated when you realize that Duncan actually plays more center than Camby, a Clippers forward for most of this season. So here you have a guy who plays mostly center (Duncan), voted in as a forward, bumping a guy voted as a center who mostly played forward (Camby). When it’s time for the year-end accolades, it sucks to be a center not named Dwight Howard
I realize that the Milwaukee Bucks aren’t the first NBA team that comes to mind for media vote awards like Rookie of the Year, but it’s a problem when the coaches can’t even remember the Bucks. And it’s a problem when the league’s 2nd-best defensive center, the anchor of the #3 defense in the league, #2 in blocked shots and defensive rating, can’t get recognized.
For anybody that thinks I’m overstating the issue (who cares about 2nd-team defensive awards, right?), Bogut would have missed the 3rd team, too, had the league stuck to its voting results …
— Camby was 11th with 12 pts. Bogut was 16th, tied with teammate Luc Mbah a Moute (8 pts each). Guard Jason Kidd, Camby, forward Ron Artest, point guard Deron Williams and guard Kirk Hinrich finished just ahead of Bogues and Mbah a Moute.