Is Bogut an underrated defender?
To the naked eye, Bucks C Andrew Bogut appeared at times overwhelmed on the defensive end of the floor. He was, after all, playing out of position at PF the majority of the season. But the statistics actually tell a different tale.
In terms of Defensive eFG% and onfloor/offfloor numbers, Bogut was a very solid defender. At the PF position he allowed his cover an eFG of only 47.8%, putting him easily in the upper echelon of the NBA at that position. At the C position he was only a bit worse (and this is to be expected since centers generally take only inside shots) at 49.3%. Moreover, when he was on the court, the Bucks allowed an average of only 105.2 points per 100 possessions to their opponents, whereas when he was off the court the average rose to 113.3 points. A staggering difference.
Certainly the rookie struggled with particular match-ups, but those generally involved perimeter PF's like Detroit's Rasheed Wallace. And even that was not the rule. Recall the stunning defensive work he turned in against Wunderkind PF Dirk Nowitzki at the Bradley Center. According to Del Harris, the Mavericks coaching staff was shocked at the level of competence exhibited by the big Aussie. They thought the Big Deutsche would eat the Kiwi for lunch. Didn't happen.
And remember this -- next year Bogut won't have to worry about guarding the perimeter (save for the Brad Millers of the world). Thus, I'm really interested to see how he will do as a defender in his sophomore campaign.