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Wednesday Notes: Australia downs China, Joe's picture day

Bogut and Yao battled on Chinese turf Wednesday

  • Australia handled China 67-55 in group play of the FIBA Diamond Ball tournament in Nanjing this morning (recap / photos). Andrew Bogut was a bit rusty in his first action of the summer, scoring nine points (4/12 fg, 1/3 fg, 0/4 ft) along with eight boards, two blocks, four fouls, and three turnovers in 23 minutes.  But even Yao Ming (14 pts, 7 rebs, 5 tos, 4 pf in 30 min) couldn't carry his Chinese team, which shot just 33% and turned it over 24 times. Yi Jianlian went scoreless in 24 minutes on 0/3 fg, so Bucks fans don't have to regret the Jefferson trade just yet.  The Chinese were playing just a day after beating Angola in their group opener, while Australia faces the Angolans tomorrow. 
  • Check out Joe Alexander's glamor shots from the NBA's rookie photo shoot. Seductive Joe?  Check.  Vanilla Sky?  Check.  Spider-Man? Check.  And then you've got this picture.  Joe's currently rocking the wispy mustache/facial hair look, so by training camp I'm hoping he has the old school Tampa Bay Buccaneer look going. Never understimate the power of the mustache, people.
  • Remember that preseason trip to China the Bucks announced last spring?  It's evidently still a possibility despite Yi's departure for New Jersey.  The good people in the Bucks' PR department informed me yesterday that it's a league decision at this point and out of the Bucks' hands, so expect a final decision in the coming weeks when the preseason and regular season schedules are officially released. 

    Yi's Nets are already scheduled to take part in the NBA Europe Live tour with games against the Heat in Paris October 9 and London October 12, so don't expect them to play a role in the NBA's China tour.  It would obviously be ironic if the Bucks ended up in China, but at least Alexander could provide his translation skills.
  • Ben from Third Quarter Collapsee posted a fanshot linking Dave Berri's comparison of Andrew Bogut and Emeka Okafor, both of whom have new contracts averaging $12 million per season.
    Bogut has only played three seasons. And across these three seasons he has produced 22.6 wins. Okafor just finished his fourth season, so his career Wins Produced is higher. But when we look at Okafor’s first three seasons we only see 23.4 wins. Yes, Okafor’s per-minute performance was much better (0.193 WP48 vs. a 0.148 mark for Bogut). Bogut, though, played 1,522 more minutes in his first three seasons. Consequently Bogut was able to nearly match Okafor’s production of wins.