Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Andrew Bogut's Season Ending Injury & Review of 2005 NBA Draft

Andrew Bogut broke his right index finger, dislocated his right elbow, and broke bones in his right forearm on April 3, 2010 in Milwaukee against the Phoenix Suns. If you have a strong stomach, check out the video on YouTube.

The biggest bummer about Bogut's injury is that it happened right when the Bucks were poised to make a deep playoff run. John Salmons was firing on all cylinders since joining the Bucks at the trade deadline, Brandon Jennings continues to take the NBA by storm, Bogut was starting to cement himself as one of the best centers in the NBA, and the supporting cast (Delfino, Ilyasova, The Prince, Ridnour, and Stackhouse) was filling their complementary role perfectly.

Since the aforementioned injury ended Bogut's fifth NBA season, it is a good time to determine whether Bogut was the right choice. Let's jump in Doc Brown's Delorean and head back to 2005.

Going into the 2005 Draft Lottery the Bucks had the 6th best odds (or a 6.3% chance) of landing the 1st pick. The Bucks won the lottery and leapfrogged the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks winning the 2005 Draft Lottery gave them the 1st pick in the NBA Draft for the fourth time in franchise history (Bucks took Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1969, Kent Benson in 1977, and Glenn Robinson in 1994).

The 2005 NBA Draft produced two of the best point guards to enter the NBA in the last decade: Deron Williams went 3rd to Utah and Chris Paul went 4th to New Orleans but going into the 2005 NBA Draft, the debate was whether to take Andrew Bogut or Marvin Williams. No matter what people like to say now, going into the 2005 NBA Draft, Deron Williams and Chris Paul were the consensus 3rd and 4th best players.

As a quick side note, the 2005 NBA Draft was one of the worst drafts in recent memory. If you take Andrew Bogut, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul out of the equation the only other players to go to an all-star game from the 2005 NBA Draft were Danny Granger (went 17th to Indiana) and David Lee (went 30th to New York).

Here is how the Milwaukee Bucks roster (at least the potential starters, I left out the scrubs) looked going into the 2005 NBA Draft:

Guard: T.J. Ford, Mo Williams, and Michael Redd (on 08/18/05 Charlie Bell signed as a free agent)

Forward: Desmond Mason, Toni Kukoc, and Joe Smith (on 08/08/05 Bobby Simmons signed as a free agent and on 10/26/05 Desmond Mason was traded along with a first round pick for Jamaal Magloire)

Center: Dan Gadzuric and Zaza Pachulia (on 08/11/05 Zaza Pachulia signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Hawks)

The Bucks thought they were set at point guard (Ford), shooting guard (Redd), small forward (Mason/Simmons), and power forward (Smith & Kukoc) which meant the only hole in the roster was the center position. As every NBA pundit knows, the hardest position to fill is center. So talent and need aligned for the Bucks heading into the 2005 NBA Draft. That said, I always support taking the best player available, especially in the NBA.

To decide whether the Bucks made the right decision taking Bogut instead of Marvin Williams, let's look at the numbers:

Andrew Bogut's season-by-season numbers:
2005-06: 82 G, 77 GS, 28.6 MIN, 9.4 PTS, 7.0 RB, 2.3 AST, 0.80 BLK
2006-07: 66 G, 66 GS, 34.2 MIN, 12.3 PTS, 8.8 RB, 3.0 AST, 0.50 BLK
2007-08: 78 G, 78 GS, 34.9 MIN, 14.3 PTS, 9.7 RB, 2.6 AST, 1.70 BLK
2008-09: 36 G, 33 GS, 31.2 MIN, 11.7 PTS, 10.3 RB, 2.0 AST, 1.00 BLK
2009-10: 69 G, 69 GS, 32.3 MIN, 15.9 PTS, 10.1 RB, 1.8 AST, 2.50 BLK

Marvin Williams' season-by-season numbers:
2005-06: 79 G, 07 GS, 24.7 MIN, 8.5 PTS, 4.8 RB, 0.8 AST, 0.30 BLK
2006-07: 64 G, 63 GS, 34.0 MIN, 13.1 PTS, 5.3 RB, 1.9 AST, 0.50 BLK
2007-08: 80 G, 80 GS, 34.6 MIN, 14.8 PTS, 5.7 RB, 1.7 AST, 0.40 BLK
2008-09: 61 G, 59 GS, 34.3 MIN, 13.9 PTS, 6.3 RB, 1.3 AST, 0.60 BLK
2009-10: 81 G, 81 GS, 30.5 MIN, 10.1 PTS, 5.1 RB, 1.1 AST, 0.60 BLK

Andrew Bogut's career averages:
331 G, 323 GS, 32.3 MIN, 12.7 PTS, 9.0 RB, 2.4 AST, 1.4 BLK, 0.7 STL

Marvin Williams' career averages:
365 G, 290 GS, 31.4 MIN, 11.9 PTS, 5.4 RB, 1.4 AST, 0.5 BLK, 0.8 STL

As the numbers show, Andrew Bogut has been more injury prone than Marvin Williams but that is not a big surprise since Bogut is a center and Williams is a small forward. Besides appearances and steals, Bogut's numbers are better than Williams' across the board. Plus, Williams’ peaked in 2007-08 while Bogut’s numbers keep improving (Bogut's 2008-09 season numbers are a little skewed because he only played 36 games). I know things are a little raw right now since Bogut just suffered a season ending injury but things could be much worse...the Bucks could have taken Marvin Williams with the 1st pick in the 2005 NBA Draft instead of Andrew Bogut.

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