Has Andrew Bogut Finally Turned the Corner?

Jesse MotiffSenior Analyst INovember 17, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 18:  Andrew Bogut #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks warms up prior to facing the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 18, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Bucks 114-105.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

To the surprise of most fans and observers, the Milwaukee Bucks are off to a fast start. In fact, Milwaukee sits atop the Central Division with a record of 5-2.

The league is buzzing over the hot start by rookie Brandon Jennings. Jennings has taken the league by storm, highlighted by his 55 point performance against the Golden State Warriors over the weekend.

While Jennings is earning all the headlines, another Bucks' player is performing as well right now as he has at any time in his career.

Andrew Bogut was the first overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft and has been trying to live up to all the pressures that go along with that.

Bogut was playing well last season before a back injury limited him to only 36 games. There was even doubt prior to this season if he'd be healthy in time for the season opener.

Bogut is averaging 15.9 points and 9.4 rebounds over the first seven games this year. The offense has opened up since Michael Redd's injury, and Bogut has benefitted from a more open and flowing system.

With Redd out of the picture, Bogut and Jennings are teaming up as quite a one-two punch. Jennings is shooting much better than anyone thought he would, giving Bogut more room to operate in the post.

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The Bucks haven't had a successful low-post presence since Vin Baker. Bogut provides the same height and athleticism that Baker gave the team in the mid-90's.

Bogut should continue with his success even when Redd returns to the lineup. Jennings' offense will take shots away from Redd, but Bogut should still get his touches. Bogut needs to be the focal point of the offense, even if he doesn't lead the team in shots taken or points scored.

As long as Bogut's back remains healthy, he should continue to expand on the early success he's had this season. If the Bucks hope to return to the playoffs, they'll need a lot more help than the new hotshot rookie. They need a total team effort, led by Andrew Bogut asserting his dominance as one of the best centers in the Eastern Conference.

To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here .

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