The NBA announced the selections for this year's All-Defensive teams today, and once again Andrew Bogut finished with little recognition. While Bogut has little chance of ever taking the center position on the First Team while Dwight Howard is in the league, seeing Tyson Chandler in the Second Team pivot is a bit...maddening.
We should give Chandler a little credit. Dallas improved its defensive efficiency to 8th-best in the NBA this year, and Chandler's defense played a big part. But there is no question that Andrew Bogut is the more talented individual defender. Despite anchoring a good Dallas defense, centers defended by Chandler still managed an above-average 17.4 PER, according to 82games.com. Bogut's counterparts, meanwhile, earned a mere 13.9 PER. Let's not forget that Milwaukee's DRtg was still a full 2.5 points better than the Mavericks', and Bogut's -3.6 on/off-court DRtg differential was the best of any Buck.
Throw in shot blocking (Bogut led the league, Chandler was 18th among centers averaging 20+ MPG), defensive rebounding (Bogut 4th in DRR, Chandler 7th), Bogut's stellar ability to draw charges, and more--the choice seems obvious.
Still, it's not simply that Bogut was snubbed as the second-best defensive center in the NBA. Bogut received a grand total of ONE POINT from the coaches (players were awarded two points for a First Team selection, one for a Second Team). Some players who received more points than Bogut: Keith Bogans (2), Wesley Matthews (4), and Chuck Hayes (10). Luc Mbah a Moute also received two points. Among big men, Joakim Noah (who played in 48 games and whose team allowed 4 pts/100 fewer with him on the bench), Tim Duncan, Al Horford, and Serge Ibaka also bested Bogut in the voting. Not coincidentally, all of them played on teams that won at least 44 games.
The individual merits of all these players can be debated, and in most cases each is worthy of praise for his efforts. But the continued ignorance of Andrew Bogut's individual talent, not to mention his value to one of the top defensive teams in the NBA, is laughable. Hopefully, Bogut's clean-up surgery at the conclusion of this past season has remedied the problems in his elbow. If Andrew looked good on defense this year (and trust us, he did) playing with only one good arm, just think what he'll do with two.