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News » BUCKS NOTES Bogut's focus: Staying power Center wants to play in all 82

BUCKS NOTES Bogut's focus: Staying power Center wants to play in all 82

BUCKS NOTES  Bogut's focus: Staying power  Center wants to play in all 82 By TOM ENLUND

Last year at this time, center Andrew Bogut was setting a goal to grab 10 rebounds a game for the Milwaukee Bucks .

It's a goal that he achieved, at least in the games he was able to play, as he averaged 10.3 rebounds in 36 games in an injury-shortened season.

This season, Bogut has another number in mind: 82.

"I want to play every game this season," he said after the Bucks' open scrimmage Saturday at the Bradley Center.

Bogut has had to overcome many things in returning from a serious back injury, but a major hurdle he will face - at least if he is going to achieve his goal - is to show that he can play in back-to-back games. The Bucks will find out in a hurry how well Bogut holds up while playing on consecutive nights. They open the regular season Oct. 30 in Philadelphia and play their home opener the next night against Detroit.

"We'll see," Bogut said when asked about playing on consecutive nights. "I think I'll be OK. We're going to build it up slowly. Thankfully our schedule is in our favor this year. I don't see myself sitting one out or the other. That's the plan. I'm not going in saying I'm only going to in play one of the two."

Last season, the Bucks' schedule was loaded with back-to-back situations in the first half of season, but this time around they play on consecutive nights only six times through the end of the calendar year.

While much of the attention has centered on Bogut's back, he also is working to get his game back up to par - shooting the ball and footwork and just playing the game. His wasn't able to work on his skills much over the summer because of his back.

"Probably the most disappointing thing for me over the summer was not being able to actually go into the gym and work on my game as much as I would have liked," he said. "I'm working on my post work every day and just trying to make quick decisions, and I think I've gotten better at that. My footwork feels fine. Everything is going to be getting back into the flow of the game. Training camp is great for me and practices, but once you get into the game - starting and then getting off the bench and dah-dah-dah - that's when it gets tough.

"It's not so much rust. It's just not having that feel for the flow of the game yet. It takes a while to get back, you know? Where I feel rusty is feeling like crap trying to get back into that flow of Basketball again."

First look: The scrimmage was the first time the new roster of players was able to get together on the Bradley Center floor.

"I'm excited about (the roster)," said guard Luke Ridnour. "We've got a lot of young guys that are excited about playing and can play. We got a lot of new faces. We just have to get everyone playing together and jell. There's a lot of new faces, but I'm excited about what our team can do."

Wait and see: Veteran forward Kurt Thomas gave a diplomatic response when asked about the team's potential.

"It's only been a few days," he said. "Let's get through preseason and I think I'll be able to give you an honest answer on that."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 5, 2009


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