Andrew Bogut’s Bad Luck Killing the Bucks
Just when the Milwaukee Bucks had started to get on a bit of a roll, winning three out of four games after a coaching move that brought Stephen Jackson off the bench, starting center Andrew Bogut went down with a broken ankle. The injury is expected to keep him out of action anywhere from eight to 13 weeks, which means there’s a possibility that he could miss the rest of the regular season.
It’s the second season in a row, and the third year out of four, in which Bogut will have missed serious time due to injury. In fact, only twice in Bogut’s seven-year career has he played 70 or more games. Despite all of that, Milwaukee head coach Scott Skiles has an interesting perspective on his big man’s sketchy injury history.
“I’m not frustrated because he ran the lane down the middle of the floor, caught a pass, and dunked it,” Skiles said. “Amar’e (Stoudemire) accidentally clipped him, he went down and had a horrific accident. There was nothing anyone could do about it; it was just one of those things.”
In other words, Skiles isn’t concerned that this is something that will haunt his franchise center for the remainder of his career.
“I hope people aren’t branding him as some sort of chronically injured guy,” he added. “Even though he’s been injured, it’s different than always doing hamstrings or something related to poor conditioning. These are just two freak accidents.”
Last season, it wasn’t only Bogut that missed serious time to injury, but also Brandon Jennings. Freak accidents they may be, but when they start piling up like this season after season, you have to wonder what the franchise did to deserve such poor fortune.
“We’re all pretty foolish if we don’t realize the effects of luck in life,” Skiles explained. “It’s pretty lucky the Bulls got Derrick Rose. When you look at the percentages, that’s very lucky. It’s very lucky that David Robinson went down that year, which looked like a bad year and allowed the Spurs to get Tim Duncan. There’s always things out of people’s control that happen, but we’ve been on the wrong end of that. It’s obviously hurt us.”
And, according to Skiles, losing even that one guy can change the entire outlook of a season.
“We’re the type of team where we need all of our guys healthy and playing well to win our share of games. It is a little tiresome to always have to overcome guys being out, but… that’s exactly what we have to do—try to overcome.”
That may prove difficult, especially with this compressed season. Many teams are beginning to see the injuries pile up, and Skiles knows his team is no exception.
“We have 49 games in 90 days, and if you take out the All-Star break, it’s 85 days,” he said. “With the lack of practice, we’re trying to build in as much rest as we can for the guys, trying to keep them fresh. It would probably be prudent when the season’s over to look back, total [all the injuries] up, and see how many injuries were due to overuse and things like that. You could kind of make a judgment then.”
In the meantime, Milwaukee has quite a hill to climb, and the team knows it.
“He’s a great defender. He erases a lot of mistakes that other players make. He got his free-throw percentage back up this year. He’s been much more active lately. He’s just a huge part of this team, a very valuable player,” Skiles said.
How does a team work around losing somebody like that? Perhaps they don’t, but this team certainly is no stranger to frustrating injuries. They’ll just have to find guys to step up and help the team win, like every other banged-up club in the league is doing right now.
Once they’ve figured that out, the next step is keeping those fingers crossed for a little good luck. This team deserves some of that, for once.