Andrew Bogut on Jennings, lockout and more

Milwaukee Bucks’ Andrew Bogut dunks against the New York Knicks in the first half during their NBA basketball game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin March 20, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Hauck (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Andrew Bogut spends part of the offseason in Croatia, which may seem odd since he’s from Australia. But he doesn’t like going from winter in the U.S. to winter in Australia, so he has an apartment in Croatia, which is where his grandparents are from.

Anyway, he spoke with HoopsHype about a wide-range of topics. Here’s his take on Brandon Jennings:

He had a very good first season and in the second he had an injury and it was a little up and down. But he’s a guy that’s a very, very hard worker. I definitely enjoy playing with him because I can see in the offseason and during the offseason how hard he works on his game. I don’t think people realize the work he puts in. Maybe they see him doing these tours with Under Armour and think he’s not working on his game, but he’s a very hard worker. He’s going to get better and better. You have to remember he’s still very young and his potential is huge.

Bogut and Jennings are the Bucks’ core, in that order, so the duo better learn to be effective with each other. They have shown flashes, but last year it was a real struggle to score, and that’s on them.

Bogut was asked about being slighted for an All-Star nod and here’s what he had to say:

I think this year I didn’t deserve it, but the previous year I was a little hurt about it. That’s just the NBA. Al Horford deserved to be in because his team had a much better record than us, but the previous year they put David Lee with a worse record than us… (Making the All-Star team) is one of those goal that you work towards and hopefully one day I will have my All-Star jersey.

Bogut also mentioned that he was shocked he didn’t make the All-Defensive 2nd Team, and I agree with him. I thought he was in the running for DPOY and he didn’t even get a 2nd Team nod. But like Andrew says, that’s the NBA.

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That’s how it’s done (starring Jon Brockman) [video]

Check out Jon Brockman’s assortment of trick shots.

Manu Ginobili hits game-winner against the Bucks [video]

My beloved Bucks, coming off of a surprising win in Dallas to snap the Mavs’ 12-game winning streak, gave the Spurs one hell of a run before Manu Ginobili hit this game winner at the buzzer.

The Bucks had a chance to take the lead, but failed to get a good look at the hoop. It’s a situation where Brandon Jennings has to create his own shot, but he ended up picking up his dribble and giving the ball to Luc Mbah a Moute, who tried to draw the foul on an airborne player.

Ginobili had 26 points, six rebounds and four assists in the win. Chris Douglas-Roberts (21 points) and Drew Gooden (20 points) led the Bucks in scoring, but it was Andrew Bogut (15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and SEVEN BLOCKS) who was the player of the game for Milwaukee. I sure hope he gets a long, hard look for the All-Star team, but Al Horford, Shaquille O’Neal, Roy Hibbert and Brook Lopez might have something to say about that. None of those players are the defensive presence that Bogut is, however.

2010 NBA Preview: #11 to #15

New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire adjusts his glasses during an NBA preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Paris on October 6, 2010. The Timberwolves won the contest, part of the annual NBA Europe Live tour, by the score of 106-100.  UPI/David Silpa Photo via Newscom

This year, I’m going to preview the NBA season by starting with the lowest of the low and working my way up to my Finals picks. If a franchise is a legitimate championship contender, I’ll focus on what stars have to line up for a title run. If a team is a playoff also-ran, I’ll identify the weaknesses that have to be shored up via trade, free agency or draft over the next couple of seasons to make it a contender. If a team is likely to miss the playoffs, I’ll take a look at the salary cap, and provide a blueprint for how the team should proceed in the near future to get back in the postseason.

#15: New York Knicks
The Knicks missed out on LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh this summer, but they did land Amare Stoudemire, and also acquired Raymond Felton to run the point. David Lee is gone, but New York did get a good young player in Anthony Randolph to take his place. In other words, this Knicks team is going to look a lot different than last year’s club, and probably for the better. Newcomers Ronny Turiaf, Kelenna Azubuike, Roger Mason, (promising) Russian center Timofey Mozgov along with Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas will round out Mike D’Antoni’s rotation. Cap-wise, the Knicks are still in good shape. Eddy Curry’s $11 M expiring deal can be used as trade bait or the franchise can just let it come off the books, creating around $18 million in cap space next summer, which they could use to sign Carmelo Anthony if he hits free agency. The only big contract on the payroll is Stoudemire’s deal, and the Knicks really need him to stay healthy in order to get their money’s worth. This looks like a franchise on the rise, but they need to land one more star to threaten the upper echelon of the East.

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Joakim Noah agrees to extension

Joakim Noah wasn’t happy with the Bulls’ $55 million offer, but Chicago upped the ante and it seems the two parties have agreed to an extension.

The deal is worth $60 million plus additional bonuses, Dan Fegan, one of Noah’s agents, told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.

I compared Noah to Andrew Bogut in a previous post, and this contract sound a lot like the one Bogut signed two years ago. Bogut’s deal raised a few eyebrows then, but he has since developed one of the best two-way centers in the league, earning All-NBA 3rd Team honors last season in his best year as a pro.

Between this contract and their refusal to include him in a deal for Carmelo Anthony, the Bulls obviously value what Noah brings to the table. According to 82 Games, his net points (per 100 possessions) was +0.9 last season, while Bogut’s was +8.0. In three head-to-head matchups last year, Bogut averaged 22/14 on 52% shooting, while Noah posted 10/16 on 42% shooting.

I think $12 M+ per season for a defensive/rebounding specialist is steep, but maybe Noah will develop offensively in the same way Bogut did. The difference is that Bogut started with a pretty good post game and developed from there, while Noah’s current post moves are rudimentary at best.

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