In the first of the series of articles of reviews of Australian players in the NBA for November we take a look at Andrew Bogut.
Bogut was moved from the Golden State Warriors to the Dallas Mavericks because they needed to move his contract to make way for superstar small forward Kevin Durant. There were other movements in there as well but from an Australian point of view, they are not relevant.
The Warriors had the best ever regular season in the NBA with 73 wins and just nine losses in the regular season. This is one game better than the Chicago Bulls of Michael Jordan who went 72-10. Incidentally, that team had another Australian in it. Luc Longly played center for that team, helping make the NBA relevant to Australians.
So, how has Bogut fared in the move to Dallas, where I thought that he would flourish and start averaging more points per game? Well, he certainly is in no danger of breaking any win records this season. The Mavericks have the worst record in the NBA, going 3-15 to this point in the season. This is not put down to Bogut, however, as the Mavericks have had one of the worst injury lists in the NBA this season.
Starting power forward and living legend Dirk Nowitzki has missed multiple games. Starting point guard Deron Williams has also missed a large chunk of the season and Bogut himself has missed a few games. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Dallas.
However, personally Bogut in November had, well, Andrew Bogut style numbers. Bogut played 11 of a possible 14 games. He was rested for a couple and had a kick to the calf which forced him to miss one game. In 27 minutes per game, Bogut has averaged 5.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, which includes 2.8 offensive rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 blocks per game.
These are pretty much the statistics that Dallas knew that they were going to get when they signed Bogut. The number which would be disappointing Bogut is his field goal percent. He has hit 17-of-40 in November which is only 42,5 percent from the field. Bogut has usually hovered around 50 percent for his career.
Bogut, as he always is, has been the stalwart of the defense. However, he has been playing next to rookie Dorian Finney-Smith who has been thrust into the starting line-up thanks to the injury to Nowitzki. Unless you are known for your defense through college, a rookie is not going to have the same know how as a veteran like Nowitzki.
Bogut’s rebounding in November has been a thing of beauty. Of the 11 games played, he has more than ten rebounds in six of them. His high for the month was 16 in the Mavericks first win of the season against the Milwaukee Bucks. Since the start of the season, Bogut has moved from 175th all time with 5,760 rebounds to 168th all time with 5,908 rebounds. If he keeps this rebounding rate up he will near the top 150 all time.
The other aspect of Bogut’s game that has been impressive is his passing. Bogut had only one game where he did not have an assist in November. In the loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Bogut had a total of six assists which is an extremely good number for a center. His passing has also been a joy to behold where he is threading passes from the top of the key to open men at the rim.
As always, Bogut’s rim protection is good. He is averaging 1.1 blocks per game but that never tells the full story. Since the start of the season, Bogut has gone from 82nd all time with 1,045 blocks to 79th all time with 1,061 blocks. He is not making it easy for the opposition players to drive to the hoop.
He is also fouling at a rate of just below four a game in November. This means that you are either going to get blocked or fouled hard if you drive against Bogut. This can change the thinking of a player.
Bogut had a good November, I would like to see him shoot more, helping the offense but apart from that, Bogut is doing what Dallas have asked of him.