NBA: Former Ute Andrew Bogut believes lockout allowed him to heal

By Charles Gardner

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Published: Sunday, Dec. 25 2011 8:00 p.m. MST

Negotiating the compressed league schedule will be a challenge for Bogut, who knows he must take care of his body and not take unnecessary risks.

"Every team is going to have to do it," he said. "With how physical our league has become and how far we travel now, teams are going to have to be smart with their recovery. Players are going to have to adapt themselves.

"You have three games in a row and expect your main guys to play 40 minutes and then practice a day or two later. . . there are going to be a lot of recovery issues and techniques players and teams will have to use."

Bogut said he already has witnessed a different vibe around the Bucks locker room and in practices. It's a change that he believes was absolutely necessary.

"There is much more positiveness around the 12 or 15 guys we have," Bogut said. "Negativity swirled in our locker room last year, all the way from the players to the coaches to the franchise. There was so much pressure on everybody and that's not a good working environment to be in."

Bogut led the league in blocked shots last season and maintained his solid defensive presence. But he could not shoot with his right hand and could barely get the ball to the basket on some free throw attempts.

Developing confidence in his right-handed shot again will be a process, and he said during the summer he didn't think his right hand would ever be the same as it was before the injury.

But Skiles has seen enough to make him think Bogut can again be an offensive threat.

"He doesn't have the whole burden of our offense but he is a quality offensive player," Skiles said. "He can move around the floor and he's effective in different positions.

"He can play off the elbows and pass to people. He can put the ball on the deck on the perimeter and make backdoor passes. He also has a back-to-the-basket game; he can post and go in and score. It's nice to see him back."

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