Tag Archives: NBA All-Stars 2010

NBA All-Stars: Bogut and Milwaukee snubbed again!

Andrew Bogut, bad back and all, blocks New York Knicks F/C David Lee's shot in New York, Dec. 2008.Cripes, this is too much.  

NBA Commissioner David Stern, he who names all injury replacements for All-Star games, today chose New York Knicks big man David Lee “over” Bucks center Andrew Bogut, ESPN reported. Lee will replace the Sixers Allen Iverson, who’s really getting too old for this All-Star stuff anyway.

David Lee? Haven’t the Knicks lost and lost badly enough (50 pts at home to Dallas) to eliminate Lee from consideration? The Knicks are 19-32, heading for another lottery. But Commish Stern just couldn’t pass on another opportunity to again screw small market Milwaukee (oh, remember the 2001 East Finals). New York is New York after all, home though it is to a truly bad NBA team that plays little or no defense.

Well, we’ll always have the rookie game … And Brandon Jennings’ new gumby hairdo!  Heck, there’s even a ‘do poll on the Bucks site.

Lee is an excellent player who puts up All-Star numbers with 20 pts and 11 boards a game — but Bogut does this too, and more. In the 12 games since the Bucks returned from a bum trip West, Bogut has averaged 18.6 pts and 9.7 rebs. Good enough for Dallas right there, Mr. Stern.

What’s separates Bogut from Lee is that the Bucks center plays both ends of the floor. I realize this is unheard of in New York, and nobody really wants to see a lot of defense in the All-Star game but AB is charged with anchoring Scott Skiles’ 7th-rated defense. In those 12 games, Bogut has blocked 29 shots, an avg. of 2.41 per game, good enough for 2nd in the NBA behind the game’s best center, Dwight Howard.

But there’s more Mr. Stern: In those 12 games since the West road trip, the Bucks are 8-4. They’re winning! In fact, since Michael Redd was injured in Los Angeles Jan. 10, the Bucks record is 9-8. Could be better, I know, but it was the first long western trip for our rookie point guard.   

And let’s not forget that the Knicks under coach Mike D’Antoni have yet to beat Bogut and the Bucks. Since D’Antoni took over in NY in 2008, the Knicks and Lee are 0-5 against Scott Skiles’ Bucks — when Bogut suits up. The Knicks lone victory came last March at the BC while Bogut was recovering from his season-ending back injury.

Bogut is back, he’s healthy and the Bucks (24-27) are in the playoff hunt. Against D’Antoni’s Knicks earlier this season, the Bucks center scored 22 pts and hauled in 8 rebs Nov. 7 to lead the Bucks to a 102-87 win. Lee had 18 pts, 7 rebs.

Last weekend in NY, Bogut left the game early with a migraine and it just might have cost him the All-Star spot (assuming the games matter to Commish Stern). Lee scored 32 pts and grabbed 15 boards in the Knicks 114-107 loss to the Bucks. I’d like to emphasize the word “loss” in the previous phrase.

Like me, the Knicks blogger at Buckets Over Broadway is “stunned” that Atlanta’s Josh Smith wasn’t the automatic choice as first East reserve. Smith was clearly the more deserving Hawk than Al Horford, who the East coaches picked as the back-up center to All-Star starter Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. 

Buckets Over Broadway also concurs that “major market is another huge plus in Lee’s favor over Milwaukee’s Bogut.  Anyway, one thing’s for certain: initial reports that Stern only chose Lee because they have the same first name have proven to be false.”

The selection of Horford by the coaches, of course started this mess, all this transitive snubbing. How Horford amassed the necessary votes at center is still a mystery, considering that he’s overpowered at the position when matched against Howard and Bogut, and other full grown centers. Bogut has certainly overpowered Horford ever since Horford came into the league.

No less a source than Howard’s coach, Stan Van Gundy, who will also coach the 2010 East All-Star team agrees: If Howard gets a back-up at center in the All-Star game, Bogut should be the guy.

What does a guy have to do, block 100 shots?  Check that, Bogues happens to have blocked only 98.

NBA All-Stars: Indeed, Andrew Bogut was snubbed

As many Bucks fans are aware, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford was named to the NBA East All-Star team in a vote of the East coaches. It is generally understood that this occurred because fantasy ball favorite David Lee’s Knicks can’t beat anybody and because Andrew Bogut’s ever-improving Bucks are still a few wins and maybe a whole lot else away from being taken seriously.

The Bucks don’t win enough, in other words. Or is it because Bogut has not been healthy enough in the last two seasons?

Or because Bogut’s own coach, Scott Skiles, is so critical of his center that he won’t advocate that Bogut should be an All-Star — not even to say that his center was snubbed?

Or because GM John Hammond’s mixed direction with the Bucks has undermined the success of both the team and its 25-year-old center?

Or is it because the Bucks media department didn’t seem to remember that the NBA holds an annual February event, something to do with “All-Stars” and that it might be a good idea to generate a campaign for the team’s center? The Charlotte Bobcats had a classroom or three of kids writing letters to East coaches on behalf of forward Gerald Wallace, an East reserve. The Cavaliers campaign on behalf of Mo Williams last season bordered on the ridiculous.

Or is it because so few in and around the NBA pay attention to the Milwaukee Bucks or Andrew Bogut, even when he’s scoring 32 points in wins vs. the Raptors?

So many questions, and probably too many missed games (due to injury) in the last 100 for the Bucks center.  But moving to the present …

Bogut should be an All-Star. The Bucks haven’t won … yet. But they’re beginning to and have won four of six since returning from the 6-game trip West. Under Skiles and with their “young money” point guard — with Bogut increasingly in the role of offensive centerpiece — and a few young, tough, talented forwards, the Bucks are moving in the right direction. Yes, they’re still a terrible road team (5-18) until further notice, but then, the Hawks (11-11) are very beatable on the road, too.

Enuff said about the Hawks’ Horford or Lee from the Knicks or the Bulls Joakim Noah (Luol Deng is the more deserving Bull) — or any other East center other than Dwight Howard currently being touted ahead of AB. It is not as though these players (other than Howard) routinely outplay the Bucks center — in fact quite the opposite is true, as Bogut has proven in the head-to-head matchups.

And now Howard’s coach in Orlando, Stan Van Gundy, says Bogut is not only All-Star caliber but that he’s more of a true center than most of those other guys.

So it’s time now to do what I sometimes do in my spare time: spend some time on basketball-reference.com. In this exercise we’ll see how Bogut has done against his rivals in the East.

Here are Bogut’s game logs from this season (note the performances in the Knicks and the three Bulls games (Bucks are 2-1 vs. the Bulls).

Bogut’s gamelogs from last season. Note the lone Atlanta game Bogut played in, his last of the season, a Bucks win at the BC inspired off-the-bench by Bogut. AB”s 9 points, 6 rebs — plus 2 blocks and 2 steals — in 16 mins should have made a believer out of Hawks coach Mike Woodson.

Gamelogs from the 2007-08 season. Neither Horford or Bogut were as good as they are now, which calls the relevance of these games into question — but the outcome of that matchup makes for interesting fodder. The Bucks with Bogut in the lineup are 3-2 against the Hawks over the last three seasons with four to play this season.

While we’re at it, let’s take a peek at the NBA shot-blocking leader board. (Actually, the linked sheet shows all NBA categories). Bogut is 4th in blocks per game and in the top 10 in total blocks despite missing six games. He’s also on a number of rebounding stat boards and ranks 9th in Defensive rating. Note that it’s not Horford on these defensive lists with Bogues, but Horford’s teammate Josh Smith, who, like Bogut, should be going to Dallas.

The Bucks are the 9th rated defensive team in the league, a big improvement over last season when they fell out of the top 15 after Bogut’s back injury.

The case for Bogut representing the East in Dallas is strong, made stronger by recent Bucks wins against the Raptors, Sixers and the Heat. Maybe some of those wins came too late for Bogut’s All-star campaign. And maybe it’s just time to watch the highlights from Saturday and be glad the Bucks are getting in the W column.

Here’s a thing: Due to changes at the Journal Sentinel, I have to build a new home for this blog. Lucky us, the domain name Bob Boozer Jinx was still available. Imagine that. Well, it’s mine now and I’ll be migrating things over there in the coming weeks.

As you can see, we’ve been quite busy around here this week.