BUCKS BEAT: Leaning towers of Bucks

2010-12-03T19:26:00Z 2010-12-03T21:15:12Z BUCKS BEAT: Leaning towers of BucksGERY WOELFEL gwoelfel@journaltimes.com Journal Times
December 03, 2010 7:26 pm  • 

There have been several "Twin Tower'' lineups in the NBA over the years, dating to when the Houston Rockets played Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson in tandem.

Now, the Milwaukee Bucks may be on the brink of unveiling their version of the ultra-big frontcourt.

With center Andrew Bogut set to return to action Saturday night against the Orlando Magic at the Bradley Center, he may be paired at times with rookie big man Larry Sanders.

The Bucks spent a portion of Friday's practice with Bogut, an athletic 7-footer, playing alongside the even more athletic 6-11 Sanders. Bogut has already established himself as one of the premier defenders in the game. Last season, he averaged 2.5 blocks a game, second best in the NBA. This season, Bogut is averaging 2.7 blocks.

Sanders, meanwhile, is quickly emerging as a shot-blocking machine. During Bogut's recent five-game absence, Sanders registered 13 blocked shots, including a whopping eight against a tall and talented Denver Nuggets frontcourt.

That was the most blocked shots in a game by a Buck since Ervin Johnson had eight on April 7, 1999. It was also only two off of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's franchise-record of 10 on Nov. 3, 1973.

Sanders, the 15th overall selection in last June's NBA draft, has also flashed signs of being a productive rebounder. Twice in the last four games, he has collected 10 rebounds.

Sanders and Bogut aren't only tall, they have tremendous wing spans. Bogut's wing span is 7-5; at the NBA draft combine last May in Chicago, Sanders' wing span was measured at 7-5 3/4.

Bogut conceded the Bucks' "Twin Tower'' concept is highly intriguing.

"It's a hell of a defensive lineup,'' Bogut said. "Larry is still learning; his on-the-ball defense is improving. But his help defense is great and so is mine.

"So you can have two guys down there (on the block) who can rebound and block shots. Hopefully, we'll play some more minutes together.''

-- While the Bucks were reluctant to release rookie swingman Darington Hobson, don't expect any other NBA team to sign him soon.

Hobson, whom the Bucks chose in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft -- the 37th overall selection -- is still recovering from hip surgery and plans to undergo surgery on his other hip next month.

As a result, it's highly unlikely the 6-7 Hobson will play at all this season.

Hobson, who had a partially guaranteed contract that paid him just more than $190,000 this season, was let go so the Bucks could sign veteran center-power forward Brian Skinner.

--  I had a brief exchange with Carlos Delfino at the Cousins Center Friday as he walked to his car.

The Bucks' starting small forward, who played such an instrumental role in the Bucks advancing to the playoffs last season, hasn't played since Nov. 6 as he is recovering from what team officials said was a neck strain. Delfino later tweeted that he also had concussion-like symptoms.

Delfino, normally a happy, outgoing sort, was rather subdued and gave no indication when he'll return to action.

When I asked him if it was possible he could be back in a couple of weeks, Delfino quietly said, "I don't know'' before getting in his car and driving away.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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