Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bucks Versus Golden State | Bogut Plays Against His Old Team

The Bucks weekend game at Golden State was a night of firsts and comparisons for Andrew Bogut and Monta Ellis. The Oakland center and Milwaukee guard met for the first time since the pair were exchanged in a trade between the clubs last year, and, comparatively, it didn’t go well for Bogut.
Set-up as a determination of who got the short-end-of-the-stick in last season’s surprise deal, critics were expecting a tight match-up. Both the Bucks and Golden State are solid place-holders in their respective leagues, with Milwaukee on-pace for the final playoff spot in the Central, while Oakland is attempting to hold a sixth-seed in the Pacific. Contrary to the expectations, however, Jim Boylan and his team powered through a confused Golden State defense, putting up 103 points to Oakland’s ninety-three.

As a sweet surprise to Boylan and fans in Milwaukee, recent acquisition J.J. Redick made-up a large portion of the Bucks offensive output, scoring fifteen points with seven assists. Even without partner power-forward Ersan Ilyasova, Redick managed to help seal the team’s fifth win in the last six games with eight late points to put the Bucks up for good.

Bogut Had His Hands Full Against Milwaukee

Bogut also started without a supporting veteran playmaker, but unlike Redick, couldn’t make up the difference. All-Star forward David Lee was sidelined due to injury earlier in the week, and could only watch as the seven foot Bogut managed just four points and four assists in a half-hour of court-time. For his own part, Lee’s replacement, Carl Landry, picked-up an impressive amount of slack by knocking down a co-team-high eighteen points and ten rebounds.
Defensively, Bogut had trouble containing the Ellis and Brandon Jennings backcourt-duo, who took advantage of the Australian native’s continuing injury troubles. Weaving and cutting their way to an outstanding fifty-seven points between them, the pair embarrassed the dismissed Bucks center, who has had recurring back spasms during his time with Golden State.

 Ellis even earned a standing ovation from his former fans for his performance. Ellis thanked the Oakland fans for their support and gratitude for this nearly eight year career with the team. Bogut declined to talk to reporters following the game.
While analysts might have been surprised by the Bucks dominance on Saturday, the performances of Bogut and Ellis were easy to foretell. The career trajectories of the pair since the trade have been exact opposites, summarized by Ellis promotion to starting center while Bogut has appeared in just sixteen of Golden State’s last sixty-eight games.
Missing two of Oakland’s last meetings with Milwaukee in the past two seasons, Bogut’s delayed facing of his previous employers proved to be a lackluster authentication of the Bucks obviously unequal benefit from his release.