You might remember when Australian seven-footer Andrew Bogut was named
as the NBA’s top draft pick back in July, in the kind of razzle-dazzle
only a country that goes around calling one of its national sporting
championships the “World Series” can hope for.

Now midway through his first season for the Milwaukee Bucks, our boy
seems to be going okay – even if he did suffer a mid-game broken nose
in late November that saw him have surgery so he could keep playing a
couple of days later and now has him wearing an unsightly mask.

Luckily he’s not there for his looks. Last Wednesday, he only scored
six points but one of them was a clutch shot (the lingo is that it was
a “go-ahead put-back” for those who understand such things) with about
ten seconds to go, to put his team in front of the Philadelphia 76ers,
86-85. They were never headed after that.

Then on Sunday, he scored a career-high 21 points, including seven straight “down the stretch,” as the Bucks beat Cleveland.

Clearly, this is a kid who knows how to go to the paint and in an interview with USA Today,
Bogut admitted he was lucky to join a quality team where there was no
pressure on him to be the top scorer or top rebounder. He can play a
lesser role and find his way while more highly-rated teammates do the
headline-grabbing stuff.

“That helps me a lot,” he said. “I get to adjust. I’ve probably been
the luckiest No. 1 pick in the history of the game because I came to a
situation where this was already a playoff team on paper, I think,
without myself. A lot of guys have gone into situations where they’ve
already put the franchise on their shoulders.”

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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