With everyone watching the Milwaukee Bucks lately because of Brandon Jennings, Andrew Bogut is primed to take the opportunity to show why he's deserving of the huge contract the team gave him prior to last season.
To appreciate Bogut and his contributions to the team, all you had to do was watch the Bucks over the past five games. Milwaukee lost four-straight games—three during a road trip through San Antonio, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City—during which the Bucks got manhandled on national TV by the Thunder.
Monday night, Bogut somewhat unexpectedly returned to the starting lineup at home against the Bulls. In his first game back, he scored 22 points, pulled down 15 rebounds, had three steals, three assists, and four blocks, including two within the last five minutes of a game decided by two points.
In the four-game losing streak, the Bucks were tough to watch. They gave up easy drives to the basket, they gave up lots of offensive rebounds, and they took a lot of bad jump shots.
With Bogut in the game, the offense runs far more efficiently than it does with Dan Gadzuric. Bogut and Jennings work the two-man game and both are good enough passing the ball to find open shooters like Carlos Delfino and Ersan Ilyasova—who combined to shoot 40 percent from beyond the arc in Monday's game—when they draw defenders.
If he can string together more of these kinds of games, he'll finally shed the label of "bust" that has been attached to him since he went first overall in the 2005 NBA Draft, and people might start calling him by a more fitting moniker: All-Star.