Andrew Bogut is a lethal shooting machine and other thoughts

  • Among players who play at least 15 minutes per game, Andrew Bogut is tied for the 8th finest shooter in the NBA this season from 16-23 feet.
  • Andrew Bogut did not make a shot from 16-23 feet last season.
  • Bogut is 4-5 this season from 16-23 feet.

I know. Your mind was just blown and then brought back to reality.

So we’re working with both something relevant and irrelevant here. It’s relevant that Bogut’s hitting shots outside of 15-feet in that he failed to accomplish that last season. At the same time, his percentage is irrelevant, as he’s taken just five shots from that range.

But we’ve seen Bogut make these shots before. In both 2007 and 2008 Bogut made 20 shots from 16-23 feet. In two years at the University of Utah Bogut even stepped out and knocked down 13 threes. In the 2006 FIBA World Championships, Bogut knocked down a couple more.

This isn’t new. There was a reason fans clamored for a Bogut with expanded range every season before the elbow injury.

For the first time, we may be seeing that. And it could be the thing that turns Bogut into a real legitimate scoring threat. Through two games, Bogut’s averaging 16 points per game, right in line with his 15.9 per game effort in 2009-10, by far his best season. But Bogut hasn’t even gotten started really. Typically very reliable with his touch, Bogut is only 4-19 from 3-9 feet, his primary stomping ground. If Bogut made just three more of these shots and were shooting a more realistic 42% from this range (8-19) rather than his current 21%, he’d be averaging 20 points a game and the Gods of hyperbole would be telling us to take it down a notch.

If Bogut is going to take the next step as a scorer, it’s logical it comes outside in. The jumper can open up those drives, typically to the left, that Bogut often makes good on. It doesn’t seem like Bogut’s going to suddenly develop an explosiveness and quickness inside that will give him more dunks and layups, so the boost in scoring will have to come from a difference in how defenders react to him and how he reacts with the ball on the outside.

A willing shooter in Andrew Bogut could be a scary thing for opponents this season and the sort of offensive boost heand the Bucks need.

Tonight’s Game

The Bucks take on the Washington Wizards at home this evening. Television coverage starts at 7:00 PM, with the game tipping at 7:40 PM.

Watch These Guys, Not Other Guys

  • John Wall

It’s been a rough couple of games for the Mixtape Messiah. Wall’s shooting just 32% after two rough losses for the Wizards, who have been largely devoid of bright spots this season. On the plus side, Wall is averaging better than 11 free throws per game. He’s never shy about tossing in a few highlight plays each half as well. He and Jennings were among many NBA stars who shined over the summer and who can forget the hookup they had two summers ago at one rec league outing. It’s always enjoyable to see the two of them compete.

  • Andray Blatche

If the year has been rough for Wall, it’s been a blend of gravel with broken glass and spikes with Blatche. The Twitter dust-up. Then the 2-13 effort against the Atlanta Hawks. And a guy did this. But he’s still dangerous and has hurt the Bucks in the past. For more of my thoughts on Blatche, check out Truth About It.net’s 3-on-3 today.

The Rest

The Wizards are not unlike the Timberwolves. They want to run, they want to dunk, they want to isolate. Milwaukee should be able to defend the turnover prone Wizards, but their athleticism could cause some problems for the Bucks if they aren’t careful with the ball.

Milwaukee has had a bad habit of stringing together struggles on boths ends of the ball simultaneously over the first two games of this season. That’s how a team with a big lead suddenly becomes a team panicking as the opposition gains momentum. The Wizards have players, Nick Young, Jordan Crawford and Wall come to mind, who feast on such momentum. They can put up points quick. But they can also take themselves out of the game.

I say: Bucks 100 – Wizards 92.

What say you?

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Categories: Game Previews

I watch the Milwaukee Bucks often and write about what I see…

10 Comments

  1. Definitely agree with what you’re saying. Bogut will more than likely improve from close. I would expect his midrange to level out more, but his percentage is already guaranteed to be better than last year (not hard to top 0%). And I’d like to see a double digit win against a team like Washington, but either way it’s definitely the kind of team we need to beat.

  2. @Anil
    It generally seems encouraging that the Bobcats played so well against the Heat and that Milwaukee beat the Wolves. It lends optimism that tonight’s game will be a win, and possibly, dare I say, a rout.

  3. I have been encouraged. We already look much better than we did at any point last year. I think we might actually make the playoffs again!

  4. How refreshing it was to see Bogut hit those long jumpers with such confidence and little hesitation! It was clear that the opponent’s scouting reports called for the opposing bigs to give Bogut all the space in the world more than eight feet from the basket. His willingness to take those open jumpers speaks volumes about the condition of the elbow, and if he can make it a permanent addition to his repertoire, maybe a 20-10 average and All-Star berth isn’t too much to ask for.

  5. @Jeremy
    You know that’s right. I’ve been screaming for ball movement since this pathetic 3rd quarter began. But god, that whole first half was beautiful. Exactly how Hammond teams get to the playoffs.