After nearly six months on the sidelines, Golden Star Boomer Andrew Bogut has returned to action in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks in their preseason matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves a week ago.
It’s been a long, frustrating road for the big Aussie and this is just the beginning of his journey to getting himself back to true basketball form.
Bogut will have to deal with minor discomfort in his right hand and arm for most of the season; however, getting back on the floor was a great first step.
In his season debut on Sunday, Bogues tallied 11 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal in only 14 minutes on court.
He was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field and went 4-for-5 from the charity stripe.
Bogut played with a brace on his surgically repaired right elbow and a glove on his right hand for the entire game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to wear these medical devices throughout the season.
It was a nice way to ease him back into games and assuming he has no discomfort in his hand should see his playing time gradually increase over the next few weeks.
“It was great,” said Bogut’s new teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts after the game abut seeing the Boomer back in action. “He definitely has a presence out there whether he’s scoring or not.”
Douglas-Roberts is completely right. The Bucks are a different team with Bogut on the floor.
He is a player that you constantly have to account for on the offensive side of the floor and a player that you are not able to drive to the basket against due to his shot blocking abilities.
In the playoffs last year, the Atlanta Hawks took full advantage of the Bogut-less interior of the Bucks’ defense and dominated the paint throughout the series.
For the Bucks to contend again this year they need Bogut to make a full recovery and return to his top form as quickly as possible.
An Australian who has been playing like he’s in mid-season form is David Andersen.
Andersen has been averaging close to 20 minutes throughout the entire preseason and is working his way into a very large role for the Toronto Raptors.
This past week he averaged 5.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and .7 blocks over the three games.
He did not, however, play in Toronto’s fourth game of the week because of a sore back. Andersen missed part of last season with tightness in his back, so I’m sure the Raptors are just taking precautions in the preseason.
Also not playing this week was Patty Mills in the Trailblazers’ only game against the Golden State Warriors, although it was not because of any injury.
Switching gears and heading to Europe, all of the Australians played extremely well.
Jawai is having one of the biggest impacts of the Boomers in Europe while playing with Partizan Beograd.
He averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 blocks in a week where Partizan went 1-and-1.
Also going 1-and-1 was Aaron Baynes with EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Germany. Baynes averaged 5.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in his 15 minutes per game.
Another major contributor this week was David Barlow who probably played one of the best professional games of his career for CAI Zaragoza.
Barlow scored 16 points going 5-for-7 from three-point range while adding four rebounds, one assist, and one steal in the victory over CB Granada.
Despite Granada’s loss, Joe Ingles racked up eight points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Brad Newley also had a solid week by averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists (he had seven against Naglis-Adakris in Lietuvos Rytas’s second game of the week) and 1.0 steals while winning both matchups.
The biggest week though, goes to Liam Rush with the Sundaval Dragons in Sweden.
Rush totaled 27 points, nine rebounds, three steals, and two assists in the Dragons lone game this past week.
Rounding out coverage in Europe, Boomer Captain Matt Nielsen had four points and three rebounds, but had five fouls in only 12 minutes.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED:
• Milwaukee vs Minnesota- Opening tip-off: Bogut steps on court for the first time in six months.
• Andersen sits out with a sore back, but it seems to just be precautionary.
• Liam Rush racks up 27 points to have by far his most productive game of the season.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK
• How will Bogut follow up his first action?
• Can Patty Mills get some court time to compete for the backup point guard position?
• Will the Raptors keep Andersen out to prevent further injury to his back?
By: Phil Moskowitz