It's a bit of a blemish for Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft still has not been selected as an all-star, although he was named to the all-NBA third team at the end of last season. He's not expecting to be selected as a reserve by the Eastern Conference coaches when their picks are announced Thursday. "It seems like something always happens," Bogut said. With Bulls center Joakim Noah missing most of the first half of the season due to a thumb injury, Bogut still has an outside chance at becoming the Bucks' first all-star pick since Michael Redd was chosen seven years ago, during the 2003-'04 season. But coaches often go with players on winning teams and the Bucks' sluggish start to the season could prove damaging. Atlanta's Al Horford, who was selected as an all-star reserve last season and splits time between the power forward and center spots, might get the nod again in part because his team has a winning record. Conference coaches are asked toseven reserves - they can't vote for their own players - by 2 p.m. Tuesday. Each ballot is to include two guards, two forwards, one center and two wild cards, with the players ranked 1 through 7 to provide a tiebreaking procedure. "I think he's right there," Wizards coach Flip Saunders said recently when asked about Bogut's chances. "The thing he doesn't have going for him is they haven't won. "I've always been a guy that believes in winners. There's going to be one (backup) center. It will probably come down between him and Horford because there are so many other players at other spots. "Does he deserve it? I think he's right there. He's had some monster games. He's leading the league in blocked shots. He's rebounded well. Unfortunately their team hasn't won a lot. When it comes down to it, a lot of coaches are going to vote that way, because Atlanta has had a solid year. "Horford has been an all-star and that's what he has going. I think last year he (Bogut) should have been one, too." Bogut has struggled at times with his offensive game while battling the effects of the severe right elbow and hand injuries he suffered at the end of last season. He often has preferred his left-handed hook shot to his right and his free throw shooting has suffered greatly, with his accuracy at a career-low 41.2%. But the 7-foot Australian leads the league in blocked shots (2.84 per game) and is coming off a dominating seven-block performance in the Bucks' 91-81 victory over New Jersey on Saturday night. He joked after the game that the Nets had not read the scouting report or they wouldn't have challenged him so many times in the paint. Despite missing seven games due to injury or illness, Bogut has hauled down enough rebounds to rank among the league leaders. He grabbed 18 rebounds against the Nets, giving him a total of 445 in 38 games for an average of 11.7.
Bogut needs stars to align to make Eastern team
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Jan 31