Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images
Let’s not understate things. Today Andrew Bogut played the greatest game by an Aussie in the history of the National Basketball Association. I know what you’re thinking, “Rob you’ve lost your mind… better than the game Shane Heal hit 5-9 threes for ‘Sota in 1996”? Yes, incredibly it is. “Better than Chris Anstey’s infamous 26-8 game against the Celtics in ‘98 when he matched Walter McCarty and Kenny Anderson’s total points combined”? Never thought I’d say it, but yes. It was that good.
Bogut’s 31 points against Indiana was a career-high, besting his previous effort of 29 points in a loss to Phoenix in 2008. He also pulled down a mammoth 18 rebounds, which equals the third best rebounding tally of Bogut’s career – he pulled down 24 boards again Philly in ‘07, and has grabbed 20 rebounds on three occasions. And let’s not forget the 3 blocks, 3 assists and 1 steal, or the incredible 14-19 (74%) shooting.
I’m often guilty of embellishing the feats of Bogut as he is our one-and-only Aussie star. Back in early December I copped some flack from a few mates about hyping up Bogut’s 22-15-3-3-4 game – apparently this was a meaningless stat line that signified nothing. Fair enough, it probably was a little contrived on my behalf. But Bogut’s game today doesn’t require any such sugar-coating. I went through the stats to find out how many 30-18-3-3-1 (minimum) games had occurred with players shooting 70% or better. Since the 1986-87 season, this has only been achieved by five players: Shaquille O’Neal (three times), Buck Williams (twice), Hakeem Olajuwon (twice), David Robinson and Tim Duncan. That is epic company right there, inspiring the label for today’s Bogometer, which sits at an all-time high 96%.
Forget the two missed free-throws in the final seconds (hey, Michael Redd missed two as well). Let’s just celebrate the fact that today our Aussie hero had the best game of his career, in the midst of the best season of his career, which still looks very much like an All-Star season to me. Cheers Drew, this VB’s for you!