The Weekly Bucks Report is posted every Tuesday here at CH. It's written by a man known in certain circles only as Two Name.
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Andrew Bogut made headlines for the wrong reasons this week, so I have to weigh in on an “incident” during the second half of the Bucks-Warriors game Wednesday night. I have been a Bogut fan since he was at Utah, so a clear bias will ooze out of this Weekly Bucks Report, but I also refuse to let my fanhood stand in the way of the facts. That being said, I don’t quite know what to make of what happened Wednesday in Golden State.
According to a quote by Scott Skiles, Bogut asked to come out of the game before the fourth quarter because he was “tired.” Editor's Note: Wahhhhhhhhhhh! On the surface, this sounds ridiculous. My initial reaction was the same one most people had. No professional basketball player – a sport that provides the ultimate test of conditioning – should be tired after three quarters. Some called Bogut soft; others criticized his ambition after cashing in during the offseason.
One comment that really irked me, however, came over the radio waves when some moron talk-show host said he was done with Bogut and his lackadaisical attitude on the court. He went on to say how Bogut’s demeanor gives him the impression that the former No. 1 pick is disinterested, simply going through the motions. Anybody who watches the Bucks knows the exact opposite is true.
No Buck brings more emotion to the court every night, and the numbers back it up. What’s the one stat that directly coincides with effort? Rebounding. Specifically, offensive rebounding. For some reason, Bogut still does not appear to be a first or second option in the Bucks’ offense, but he doesn’t mope around when the ball doesn’t come his way. Instead, he attacks the offensive glass. Bogut is fifth in the NBA in offensive rebounds and sixth overall on the boards, through Saturday. I would like to ask that talk-show host how a lazy malcontent is grabbing rebounds at that level.
Another stat directly related to effort and a will to win is taking charges. Is there any Buck – or any player you watch on a regular basis, for that matter – more willing to stand in and draw an offensive foul? But he’s just packing it in, right? I think people are correct to criticize Bogut for asking to come out of the game, assuming there was nothing else going on (like an injury). But trying to say that incident defines Bogut’s effort on the court is a complete joke.
Plus, a small nugget in a Journal Sentinel notebook provided a little more insight as to why Bogut might have needed a breather. He sat out practice late this week with a sore, swollen ankle. Is there a connection? Was the ankle bothering him Wednesday, hence him asking out of the game? Hard to say, but requesting the bench definitely juxtaposes the way Bogut has gone about his business in Milwaukee thus far.
Based on Saturday’s performance against Indiana, I have little doubt Bogut heard some of his critics. He finished with 20 points and 20 rebounds, including a surprising 8 of 9 from the free-throw line. The Bucks pulled out a much-needed victory at home.
Goes south out West: The win over Indiana was the only bright spot in a rough week for Milwaukee. The Bucks lost to the Lakers two Sundays ago before losing in Phoenix and Golden State by 15 and 23 points, respectively. The Bucks have spurts where they position themselves for a victory, but a bad five minutes or a cold quarter continues to spell doom. Milwaukee needs to bounce back this week, though three road games won’t make it easy.
Player of the week: Michael Redd didn’t do much other than score – per the usual – but he closed out Indiana with some big three-pointers and finished the week with a 23-point game and two 27-point games after scoring 2 points against L.A.
This week: Bucks need to bounce back after a tough West Coast trip when they travel to Miami, Philadelphia and New York. Milwaukee needs to win two of those three games and then beat the Clippers at the Bradley Center Saturday. Another winless road trip will be difficult to overcome.
Final Editor note: Two Name used the word "juxtaposes." Awesome.