Bucks Diary: Partial Reassessment on Bogut
A couple of posts ago I anointed Bucks rookie C Andrew Bogut the new Bill Walton. That was probably the product of too much coffee, hysteria, and my general overreaction to Bogut's impressive first two games. I was giddy. I admit it. I want to amend the comparison at this time.
Something has been bugging me about my Walton analogy ever since I made it. The two indeed have similar games, but there was something quite different about the way the young Walton used to play the game, at least as I recall him playing it in my mind's eye, that Bogut hasn't quite matched. Then I hit on it.
Walton was far more aggressive and energetic on both the offensive and defensive ends. He was a kinetic motion machine, bouncing and running all over the arenas of the day. And though Walton could not jump out of the gym by any stretch, he was constantly leaving his feet to challenge any and every opposition shot. Remember, in fact, how he took up the no win challenge of trying to block Dr. J's dunk in the 1977 NBA Finals and received the biggest posterization in history? I'm sure it didn't even phase him. He was unafraid. Bogut thus far is not. He doesn't often get off his feet to challenge penetration. He is averaging less than one blocked shot per game, and seems to prefer playing position defense to shotblocking (how many charges has he tried to draw already?) We need him to be a bit more intimidating when it comes to greeting visitors in the lane.
Bogut doesn't get off the ground with the quickness of Walton, sure, and his footwork at this point is not nearly as good as the redhead's, but I think those things can be improved upon with work. Heavy legs can be lightened through ropework and other more high tech training methods. Again, Bogut doesn't have to be a great leaper, he just needs to get off the ground with some quickness and repitition. At 7'0, he ought to have at least a little Bill Russell in him.
If he continues to play the sort of passive earthbound game that he has thus far been playing, the kind of game that completely nuetralizes his height and does nothing to ward off penetration, he will be a bit of a disappointment to Bucks fans. Get aggressive Andrew! Get the gum off your shoes! We don't want Vlade Divac or Michael Doleac. Damn it, we want the poor man's Billy Walton!