As Andrew Bogut continued to befuddle Marcin Gortat in the low post Saturday night, Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily observed Gortat "has the look of a tired, frustrated player." Bogut scored 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks over a depleted Orlando Magic team, 96-85, ending Orlando's winning streak. Gortat played 35 minutes in defeat, starting in relief of the ill Dwight Howard. His poor performance prompted OPP user Matty B to wonder "what’s fact and what’s fiction with Gortat," and he likened the Polish Hammer to "a rubber mallet," especially with regard to his defense.
So, should the Magic worry about the performance of their backup center to date? The per-game numbers seem to say no: he's averaging career-highs in minutes (16.4), scoring (4.4), rebounding (5), assists (0.6), and free-throw shooting (73.3 percent). Even considering the stats inflation that comes with increased minutes, he's producing about what one might expect, though his 4-of-20 shooting from the floor from November 18th to December 1st might be cause for concern. Then again, his overall 54.3 percent shooting mark on the year, to me, is solid for a low-usage guy who lives on putbacks and dump-offs. Defensively, his shot-blocking is down, but the Magic are not even one point worse per 100 possessions on that end when he's on the court. Considering he tends to replace Dwight Howard, the league's best defender, that's solid.
But what have you guys seen from Gortat that I might be missing? Is his play on par with your expectations of him this season?