Submitted by Cory Bernstein of Hoops Talk Nation
Brooklyn’s Finest 15 is the ranking of all 15 Nets based on what I think will be their impact on Brooklyn this season. Here’s number 13, Keith Bogans.
Let’s go twenty years into the future.
Some young basketball enthusiast is enamored with the 2010-11 NBA season. The year where LeBron turned heel, Carmelo moved to Gotham, Durant and Rose became stars, yet Dirk reigned over the NBA as champion.. This ten months of basketball has aged like a fine wine, seeming better and more magical as years pass by. As this person (we’ll call him Dale) is looking up some stats for the season however people will do that sort of thing in 2032, something strange pops up. He sees that the Bulls started Keith Bogans in every game of the Eastern Conference Finals. Weird, Dale thinks. Dale does some more research, and sees this Bogans guy started every single regular season and playoff game for the Bulls in the 2010-11 campaign, something only he and Luol Deng did for Chicago. Later, Dale is even more perplexed to find that Bogans was released by the Bulls after the NBA Lockout and did little with the remainder of his career.
Okay, back to the present.
Even two years after it happened, Keith Bogans starting every game for the Bulls in 2010-11, THE BEST TEAM IN THE ENTIRE NBA, makes little sense. The Bulls had the MVP in Derrick Rose, defensive specialists Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, and a lethal bench, led by Taj Gibson and Omer Asik. This was a nearly perfect team with loads of talent and the potential to win a title, yet Bogans continued to start every night for the Bulls. His numbers were less than impressive; he averaged 4.4 points and 1.8 rebounds, with only .46 steals. He did play some fine on-ball defense, but it is truly amazing that a 62 win team could get such little production from a starter. With much better shooting guards like OJ Mayo available at the 2011 Trade Deadline for little in return, Chicago stood pat with Bogans. Though he did not play bad by any means, there were better options available that may have pushed the Bulls past the Heat and into the Finals.
After being waived by Chicago, Bogans was a free agent for a few months before signing with the Nets in February. Despite not having great stats again, Bogans was an excellent defender in five games before getting injured, playing in crunch time in a few of them. I remember Bogans providing and energy and enthusiasm for the game that was needed in New Jersey, and I was happy to see him play.
However, this year will be much different. With Bogans coming off a deltoid injury that ended his season on February 11th, he has spent the last six months rehabbing and may come out of the gate rusty. At 32, there seems to be little growth potential for Bogans. This is a better Nets team than last season, so expect to see much less of Bogans. As a defender, he could provide some use if better wings such as Gerald Wallace or MarShon Brooks are in foul trouble or injured. However, it would be surprising to see him have a large impact on the Nets. As I have said before, this team is crowded with wing ment and there is little room for Keith Bogans in the rotation. But, as the 13th best Net, he is someone who could be counted on if the depth chart goes thin as the season wears on.