by Jack Maidment
Why are the Bucks sat in the 5th playoff spot in the East?
Brandon Jennings’ infectious confidence and the mid season trade for John Salmons are two reasons why Milwaukee is experiencing life in the sunshine outside of the NBA cellar in which they have dwelt for many years.
But it is the play of Andrew Bogut that has provided the perpetually rebuilding team with the solid foundations on which they can build and actually win basketball games.
The 2005 #1 pick has long been considered a bust yet his play this season has forced people to reconsider their stance on the man from Melbourne.
He has upped his scoring average to 16 points, an increase of 5 points a game, showing a belief in his post game that has been missing in the past.
In years gone by he has not shown the confidence to attack other premier big men down low despite possessing a truly gargantuan body and an extremely high skill level.
Not anymore. He is imposing himself on the offensive end utilising a veritable variety bucket of low post moves to give his team a real presence inside.
This season’s dramatic increase in assertiveness is not only confined to the offensive end.
Bogut has employed his monstrous wingspan to up his blocks per game to 2.5, good enough for second in the league.
He has given the Bucks a legitimate threat inside, providing opposition slashers with real food for thought before they foray into the giant Australian’s paint.
Where he has previously shied away from a challenge, this season he has been a constant; a rock solid foundation on which the Bucks have built to propel them toward the playoffs.
Only one franchise, the Magic, would not want to trade for Andrew Bogut in a league deprived of true centres.
That shows his true worth
Perpetual re-builders, the Bucks now have some direction.
A potential playoff series against the Boston Celtics (as things stand) could very well provide Bogut and company with the opportunity to throw off the shackles of the lottery and show that the future will come for long suffering Milwaukee fans.