Tag:Andrew Bogut
Posted on: June 20, 2011 3:40 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Your 'Insane Timberwolves Rumor' roundup

Posted by Matt Moore

Only with the Timberwolves would a No.2 overall pick be considered a burden. But that's the case as just as soon as the Wolves found their spot in the lottery, rumors of them trying to trade it sprang to life. And as Thursday's draft inches ever closer, they've gotten out of control. They're multiplying like Gremlins. Seriously, if you see one, don't feed it after midnight. Here's what we've got. These are rumors and should be viewed with skepticism, but they pass the "okay, that's not so absurd it's laughable"/"that can't possibly work under the current CBA" test. 


Pau Gasol for Kevin Love and the No.2.  Yeah, that's what you call a blockbuster deal. It sounds insane, until you think about it. The Wolves do want an established star. Gasol is buds with Rubio out of Spain. The Lakers have been frustrated with Gasol and Love would rebound and hit threes while not challenging Bryant. Then you think about it some more and it's still completely insane. Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld floated some substantiation of the idea touched on by ESPN in a chat session about Gasol being on the Wolves' radar. Respected cap analyst Larry Coon tweeted over the weekend that there "may be some fire" there. Coon also said Love and the No.2 is too much, and that Love has not been put on the table. The big thing here is that moving Gasol means risking the championship window which is assuredly still open as long as Gasol is still within range of his prime, which he is, though the distance is increasing. Plus Love's poor defense could be a big issue under Mike Brown. But there's a decent around of smoke around this one, even if the flames seem plastic.

Here's a fun one. The ESPN radio affiliate out of Minneapolis reported over the weekend that conversations had taken place between the Wolves and Bucks, sending the No.2 pick for Andrew Bogut and the No.10 pick. Darren Wolfson of local television confirmed the report and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says it's possible, but Milwaukee isn't biting. If Milwaukee were chasing the deal, it would mean that something was seriously wrong with Bogut's wrist, which would probably kill the trade in a physical anyway. And with Darko Milicic on the books for four more years, the deal only gets more confusing.

Weirdly, the one established player who the Wolves could use who is on the block, and the one team that could use the No.2 as a building block in starting over is Monta Ellis and the Golden State Warriors. But while it makes a lot of sense, there's no one biting, so far. 

Thankfully a rumor that had Washington offering up JaVale McGee was shot down by the Washington Post. Trying to imagine McGee in the Minnesota winter trying to clown around with Ricky Rubio while Kevin Love cries at his locker was a little much to take in as a mental image. 

Posted on: April 8, 2011 2:39 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Andrew Bogut done for rest of season

Posted by Royce Young

When teams start realizing there's nothing left to play for, you start seeing players shut down. And the latest is Andrew Bogut.

Via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Bogut is done for the rest of the season as he'll have athroscopic surgery on his right elbow. Of course you'll remember that's the elbow that Bogut injured horrifically last season on a hard fall.

I guess "rest of the season" makes things sound like a big deal, but it's just four games. But it could be key in making sure he's healthy for training camp. Just an extra week ahead is big in recovery. That is of course, if there is a next season.

It had already been decided that Bogut would have surgery following the season but with the Bucks eliminated from the postseason, they're getting a head start.

Bogut played through discomfort and pain this entire season and had to deal with lingering affects from it. With him last season, Bogut was a near All-Star big man and helped lead the postseason. But after his injury, the team wasn't the same. And since he wasn't the same this year, therefore the team disappointed.

It's not like he had a horrible year though. Bogut played in 65 games averaging 12.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. In rebounds and blocks, those are actually career highs. But he was clearly uncomfortable and had to compensate for not being able to fully extend his right arm.

Bogut's year is more a tribute of what a tough player he is than anything else. That injury was just horrible and his recovery hasn't gone that well. Yet he played in three-fourths of his team's games and put up really solid numbers. Tip of the cap, Mr. Bogut.

Hopefully this helps him because Bogut truly is one of the best centers in the game. He plays terrific defense, can score with his back to the basket, uses both hands (when they work), and rebounds well. With him healthy, the Bucks are a much, much better team.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 26, 2011 6:42 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 11:14 pm
 

Thibodeau and Skiles: Mirrors of intensity

Tom Thibodeau is the talk of the town in Chicago. But as his Bulls meet the Bucks tonight, he'll face a coach who follows in his model, and should serve as a warning of when to let up on the pedal. 
Posted by Matt Moore




Tom Thibodeau is red hot right now. As much as people credit Derrick Rose and his MVP season with the rise of the Bulls, Thibodeau gets the other half of that credit. Consider for a moment that a key starter and heavy-minutes player for Thibodeau is Carlos Boozer, who Marc Gasol breezed by Friday night in the Bulls' nail-biter win over Memphis. Despite Boozer's defensive shortcomings and Rose's inexperience, the Bulls' defense is tops because of Thibodeau's coaching. It's his system combined with his notorious intensity that makes him such a fierce challenge to face across the scorer's table. 

But if Thibodeau wants a warning sign about where that intensity can sometimes lead, he need only look across the table Saturday night at Scott Skiles, who knows not only the team Thibodeau's coaching, but what can happen when a coach pushes his team to the point where his team tunes out his intensity. 

It's forgotten now as all such things are in hindsight, but Skiles was very similar to Thibodeau on the eve of the season opener in 2007. Despite the formation of the Boston Big 3, no one knew how that team would gel. What they did know was that the Bulls had been on the upswing every season and were in line to challenge for the Eastern Conference Finals. They were a young team with talent at multiple positions, a star guard in Ben Gordon, and defensive talent out the wazoo. They had toppled the defending champion Miami Heat in the first round, and lost to mighty Pistons in six games in the semis. 2007-2008 was supposed to be their year, behind stellar guard play and incredible defense led by Skiles' intensity.

Yeah, not so much. 

The Bulls plummeted out of the gate and never recovered. It was like watching debris fall of a crashing airplane. You would see bits and pieces and know there was no recovery. By Christmas, actually, on Christmas Eve, Skiles was fired by the Bulls.  He had quite simply lost the team. That's the cost of pushing your team verbally and physically. If things start to come undone, they come undone quickly, violently, and are nearly impossible to recover. When things go right for a coach that pushes like that, things are great, you're considered a genius, everyone respects you, and you're lauded as a top-notch disciplinarian coach. When things go badly, you run the risk of your players quitting on you, tuning you out, and once that happens, the effectiveness is over. From there it's just a matter of time until the pink slip comes in the mail. 

Hmmm... great guard play... excellent defense... questionable offense... great run in the playoffs spelling a good chance for the future... followed by a plummet out of the gate and an eventually disappointing season in which people start to question if the coach has lost the team. If this sounds like what has gone on in Milwaukee this season to you, congratulations, you're solid at recognizing patterns. 

Skiles was supposed to take the Bucks to the next level this season. GM John Hammond loaded up on offensive weapons like Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden to supplement Skiles' defensive prowess, and with Andrew Bogut coming back from surgery and Brandon Jennings entering his sophomore season along with a loaded frontline of versatile, athletic defenders, there was no reason to think the Bucks couldn't secure a strong playoff spot and make some progress towards contention. Instead? The offense is somehow, magically, even worse, and it's not all Andrew Bogut's slow-to-heal elbow and the injury woes of Brandon Jennings. The Bucks simply cannot score. 

While the Bucks remain a top five team defensively, the offense is second to last in the league. They have never found that extra gear. Even with Bogut's injury, the team had enough talent to contend. This could just be a down year, something they'll bounce back from. But more than one person has suggested that Skiles has already started to lose the team.

Meanwhile, the media can't write enough feel-good pieces about Tom Thibodeau and his intensity leading to the Bulls' incredible season. That their offense is middle of the pack is overlooked in a barrage of "check out what Derrick Rose did" commentary. Things are great for Thibodeau right now, and it's entirely possible that this is the start of the next great career coach for the Bulls. The Bulls winning the title is not outside the realm of possibility.

But as much as the Bulls players may love playing for a coach who is constantly looking to improve, to find new ways to win, and to challenge his guys, there's always that possibility that at some point, it just stops. There aren't warning signs when a team stops listening. There aren't red flags, public comments, and it's impossible to predict when. If it was, Stan Van Gundy would have been fired seventy times by now. It just happens. It may never happen to Thibodeau. But just as he enjoys the good times and looks forward to making the Bulls the best they can possibly be, there's always that shadow of possibility looming overhead that he should keep an eye on. And if he wants to look it in the eye, just look his opponent's coach in the eye after they shake hands Saturday night.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:43 pm
 

Bogut to have elbow surgery after season's finish

Andrew Bogut plans arthroscopic surgery on elbow at season's end. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Andrew Bogut missed the Bucks' playoff run last season and the beginning of this season after a fairly terrible elbow injury. But he hasn't been the same, as his points per game are down five points and his shooting perentage is down 4 percentage points. He's been open about not being anywhere near 100% healthy, and eventually that has to be his priority. 

As a result, Bogut told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he's planning on elbow surgery after the season is finished to clean up the scar tissue in that elbow. It's just arthroscopic surgery, but it'll still mean an impact on his offseason training. 
"I want to have it straight away just to get a head start on the rehab and get back in the gym," Bogut said. "I want to shoot the basketball a lot this summer. The more time I can get out on the floor working on my shot, the better."

There's no telling on how long it will take Bogut to get back to full strength, but it's yet another in a very long line of injury issues that seem to keep Bogut from being the franchise center he's shown so many flashes of being. 

The Bucks are two and a half games back of the 8th playoff spot in the East. 
Posted on: March 1, 2011 4:09 pm
 

Andrew Bogut out one week with rib injury

Andrew Bogut out one week with chest injury.
Posted by Matt Moore

OK, good news, bad news. Bad news, Andrew Bogut's injured. Good news, it's not a horribly grotesque injury like the last time out. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Bogut has a strained muscle in his rib-cage area and will miss a week's worth of time. 

For the Bucks, this couldn't come at a worse time.  In a season where they were supposed to build upon last season's success, the Bucks have struggled significantly.  Brandon Jennings hasn't progressed, the offense they brought in has sputtered, the defense has regressed slightly, and they're four games back of the 8th spot in the East. So now really isn't the time to be missing players, but Tuesday night they'll be without Bogut, Ersan Ilyasova, and Drew Gooden.  

Basically, Scott Skiles will be running small-ball like mad against Detroit. The Bucks face Phoenix and Boston within a week's time, which means a toss-up game and a likely loss. But without Bogut those both become at best probably losses if not locks. Bogut's their best player, even as he's admitted he's not close to 100 percent this season after that elbow injury. 

It remains curious that Milwaukee did nothing with their expiring contracts, most notably Michael Redd, at the deadline. It's strange they didn't attempt a major shakeup with the veteran scorers they had on the market. It seemed to be a trend with Midwestern small-market teams hoarding cap space, as Indiana pushed the same policy at the deadline. Bogut needs to get back from injury for them to make a late push for the playoffs, but at the same time, Bogut's importance goes far beyond this season. Especially since it may be a lost cause regardless. 
Posted on: February 3, 2011 7:44 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 7:49 pm
 

NBA All-Star Game snubs: No love for Love

Who were the biggest snubs for the All-Star game, after the reserves were announced ?
Posted by Royce Young and Matt Moore




As it is every year, some worthy candidates were left out of the All-Star game reserves list. But this year, those left out had more legitimate complaints than usual. Here then are three snubs from the Eastern and Western Conference. 

Eastern Conference

Honestly, the Eastern coaches got it all right. It's hard to really say there's a true snub in the East. Going through though, there certainly are a couple players that have a case. Especially since the whole team is made up of the Celtics and Heat

Josh Smith : Probably the biggest snub has to be Josh Smith. Problem is, who do you remove? Smith though is having probably his best season, averaging 16. 2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. His defense is well documented but what he's shown off his is versatility this season. Because of injuries, Smith has played small forward, power forward and even some center.

As a key cog in the Hawks machine, Smith has figured out how to play perfectly next to Al Horford and Joe Johnson. There's always a lot of talk about other big threes throughout the league, but there's no reason not to include the trio in Atlanta. Smith has cut down on the dumb shots, is playing well inside and in transition, is maybe the most dynamic finisher out there. Plus, having him in the All-Star Game would be a treat. Can you picture a fast break of Smith, Derrick Rose and LeBron James? I can and it's pretty awesome. 

Andrew Bogut:  Seeing that the East only has one real center on the roster, Bogut makes a lot of sense. It's tough to move off Horford, but you certainly can make a case for Bogut replacing Paul Pierce or even Ray Allen, since the East is stacked with wings.

Bogut has been injured all season as he hasn't totally recovered from elbow surgery, but he's still averaging a double-double and is one of the best defenders in the league. Plus, Bogut deserves a ton of credit for fighting the way he has. Despite suffering a brutal injury last season, Bogut has battled inside and is putting up comparable numbers to last year even though he can't totally use his right arm entirely. That's impressive.

The Bucks record hurts (19-28) which is probably the biggest reason Bogut was snubbed. If the Bucks are a contender or even a current playoff team in the East, it's almost impossible to keep him off this roster. 

Raymond Felton: A month ago, Felton had a really good case to be on this team. But the last few weeks, he just hasn't played well. And that sort of things hurts because that's the period where coaches were casting their ballots.

However, it's hard to ignore the impact Felton has had on the New York offense. He's still averaging almost 18 points and nine assists a game, which is up there in point guard ranks. He's shooting the 3-ball really well and runs the pick-and-roll as beautifully as anyone. Having Amar'e Stoudemire obviously helps, but still, Felton has executed.

The West is carrying three point guards and the East only has two. So it makes sense to add Felton and take over Pierce or Allen, but it's a tough call to make just because of Felton's position. Fact is though, he's been a huge part in the Knicks first half resurgence which scores extra points with me.

Honorable Outrage Mention:
 Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Thaddeus Young

Western Conference

LaMarcus Aldridge:  Aldridge has the most legitimate gripe, yes, even more than Kevin Love. Aldridge has had the most team success, and averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds in January . He just dropped 40 on the team with the best record. Aldridge has played masterfully and hasn't had the questions about his defense like Griffin or Love have had. 

Aldridge has become the leader of the Blazers and has arguably the best combination of both size and skill (mid-range, post, perimeter) of any Western forward not named Dirk or Pau this season. He doesn't have the flashy dunks of Griffin, but he's got the wins, which I'm pretty sure the Blakeshow would trade for. And with the Blazers, somehow, someway, still in the playoffs, to exempt Aldridge is to cast a doubt as to whether team performance is only relevant if the player is a known name. 

Kevin Love:  A shocker that he didn't make it.  The NBA's leading rebounder is also averaging 21 points per game to go along with those 15.5 rebounds per game. 15.5. Which is just kind of ridiculous. 

The fact that Love's surrounded by a terrible team assembled by questionable management should not have kept him out. There has been some discussion that Love's stat-hounding ways have turned off coaches and scouts, which may have led to his exclusion. 

Similarly, the Wolves aren't just bad. They're terrible. But if you look at Love's contributions, you have to wonder how much more terrible they would be were he not there. Love can never be accused of taking a night off, and has the first 30 rebound night since Moses Malone. That's quite a long time. Either way, Love has to wonder what more he could have done to wound up on the All-Star squad. 

Zach Randolph: Randolph is the middle of the debate between Aldridge and Love. He averages 20 points and 13 rebounds, which are pretty ridiculous, especially when you factor for pace (23.3% Total Rebound Rate for Love, 21.4% for Randolph). Randolph's team has had more success than Love, though, and recently has surged above .500, closing in on the 8th spot in the West held by Aldridge, thanks mostly to Randolph's performance.

So he has both the rebounding eye-popping numbers of Love and the team success of Aldridge. Throw in the fact that he's a respected veteran who made it last year with similar numbers and it's hard to argue for his exclusion, even with greats like Duncan and phenoms like Griffin in play.

Honorable Outrage Mention: Lamar Odom, Monta Ellis, Steve Nash, Tony Parker
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 10:51 am
 

Game Changer 2.1.11: Sweet Emotion

Blake Griffin has help low to topple the Bucks, Jerryd Bayless hates the rim, and the Grizzlies out-work the Magic in today's Game Changer. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: Clippers GO BIG (TIME)

Lost in the fact that Blake Griffin is a horrifyingly talented individual who's dunks are like emotional artillery pounding the opponent into oblivion is a very quiet development that has contributed mightily to the Clippers' recent surge, and it was in full display in the Clips' win over the Bucks. Against a tough, physical, defensive team with a wealth of size down low, the Clippers over-ran the Bucks with a frontcourt that poured in 48 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots. Griffin of course carried the load with 32-11, but the progression of DeAndre Jordan is significant on multiple levels. 

Jordan has developed from a raw, athletic, skinny rail of a kid in his rookie season to a hulking beast of a man at 6-11, 265 lbs. But more importantly, he's improved in the areas so many of those high-upside athletic big men never do, in basketball IQ. His positioning is better. He screens better. He runs the pick and roll better. He's more fluid, and he plays off his teammates and his effort is there. Those kinds of improvements can't be measured in the boxscore, but we're starting to see it from him night in and night out. Put that beside Blake Griffin and you have a combination that just overwhelms an opponent with size and explosiveness. Like Jon Brockman found out last night. 




Welcome to the jungle, Brockman, we've got DeAndre. 

Jordan was 7-8 from the line, his only miss coming on a tip that rolled in and out. The very model of efficiency, helping hold Andrew Bogut to 14 points. With Randy Foye stepping up, Eric Bledsoe contributing, and Blake Griffin being Blake Griffin, the Clippers look more like a complete team than they have since the 2006 playoff season.  And this without Eric Gordon!  After a terrible start to the year, Vinny Del Negro is figuring some things out in Clipperland. The Clippers have now won nine straight at home. 

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT

Blake Griffin: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists

Runner-Up

Dwyane Wade: 34 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists

MAGIC LOSE THEIR MINDS LATE

The Orlando Magic hit their first 12 of 14 shots against the Memphis Grizzlies. After that dazzling display, they apparently thought it would be that easy the whole game. Just hoist up shots from wherever, whenever, get buckets, go home. Unfortunately, their shooting returned to Earth orbit while their defense headed for the bar.  The Grizzlies, on the other hand, continuously worked for a quality shot.  The Grizz have not been a team with coherent, smooth ball movement this season, but they were rotating the ball expertly against the Magic, and wound up with open looks and inside layups off blown Magic coverage. Mike Conley was brilliant with a 26 point, 11 assist performance, and clinched the game with a strip of Ryan Anderson off an offensive rebound, just minutes after missing a free throw to open the door to a Magic tying three. 

The Magic simply did not want to work past the first quarter.  What's stunning from this one is that the Magic had every advantage for most of the game, even in the 2nd and 3rd quarters when they were outscored by nearly 20 points. Zach Randolph was flustered by the Magic's swarming help defense, most notably from Dwight Howard, and shot just 4-11. When Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay combine for just 23 points on 9-26 shooting, and O.J. Mayo is suspended? You have to win that game. Instead, the Magic surrendered wide open mid-range shots to Darrel Arthur, having not gotten the book that says Arthur has developed an increasingly reliable mid-range game, and when he's hot, he's 5-8 hot.  The Magic did not want to effort to exploit advantages. 

An example: Dwight Howard was guarded by Hasheem Thabeet for much of the game. Hasheem Thabeet! And yet instead the Magic chose to make perimeter swing pass after perimeter swing pass to try and bust the Grizzlies' zone. It was like turning down a sledgehammer to instead try and bust a rock with a scalpel. 

Stan Van Gundy was apoplectic after the game, both about his team's defense, and a late game technical for Dwight Howard that helped extend the Grizzlies' lead to 3. Howard may not have done much to earn that tech, but he had been furious with the officials since Thabeet drew a charge on him late on an obvious call.  Once again, Howard lost his cool, the system lost its way, and Orlando lost another game.  Big win for the Grizzlies, who are now one game over .500 and within striking distance of the 8th seed in the West. 

WHIMSY




Jerryd Bayless: "I HATE YOU, RIM! I HATE YOU SO MUCH! I HATE YOU AND YOUR STUPID FACE! I'M GOING TO TAKE YOUR MOTHER OUT FOR A NICE STEAK DINNER AND NEVER CALL HER AGAIN!

Josh McRoberts: "Whoa, bro."

Final Thoughts:

  • The Jazz needing a late surge to hold off the Bobcats who shot 35% from the field is almost as good as a loss. Even in a win the Jazz are still completely in shambles. 
  • The Cavaliers actually competed really well against the Heat, putting some pressure on them at times and continually coming at them. It would have been very easy to lay down and die, but the Cavs at least competed as professionals. I mean, it didn't matter, since it's the Cavaliers versus the Heat, but still. 
  • John Wall is starting to regain some of his preseason form. 17 and 10 last night for Wall in a loss to the Mavericks, because they were on the road and they couldn't beat a drum on the road. 
  • If I'm Bryan Colangelo, I'm looking for anyone to take Andrea Bargnani off my hands. It's not just his non-existent interior play, it's that he's the kind of player that fans have an easy time blaming in seasons like the Raps are having. Better to make him the scape goat and cash in on whatever you can for him. Easier said than done with big years and big money left on his contract. 
Posted on: December 22, 2010 1:01 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:46 pm
 

Video: Lakers' Kobe Bryant ejected against Bucks

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was ejected during the fourth quarter of a Tuesday night home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Posted by Ben Golliver

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant let his frustration boil over during the final minutes of a disappointing and surprising 98-79 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.  After Milwaukee's microscopic point guard, Earl Boykins, hit a three-pointer to put the Bucks up 92-77 with a little more than two minutes to play, Bryant pushed the ball in transition, hoping to get a quick hoop. Bryant drove to the basket from the right side, but lost the ball on the way up and ran over Bucks center Andrew Bogut. Bogut appeared to be straddling the protected circle line, however the baseline official immediately whistled for a charging foul on Bryant.  Bryant responded by stomping over Bogut without touching him, and turning to the official to exchange some words as he walked back down the court. Whatever Bryant said was clearly not fit to print, because he was immediately whistled for a technical foul.  As Bryant continued to walk down the court, clearly heated, he turned to another official, standing near halfcourt, and appeared to shout a very popular obscenity while gesturing. Bryant was assessed a second technical in short order and continued to walk directly off the court and into the Lakers' locker room. Here's video of the incident. The loss drops the Lakers to 21-8 on the season, still good for first place in the Pacific Division. With the win, the Bucks improve to 11-16, and remain in third place in the Central Division.
 
 
 
 
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