Knowing His Role, Bogans Continues To Fit Right In

Josh Newman, SNYNets.com

keith_bogansEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Keith Bogans has a very clear understanding of how the NBA works, how he fits in and what it will take to continue sticking around as he has done for 10 seasons now.

The Nets’ reserve guard and the 2003 SEC Player of the Year at Kentucky will never be the focal point of an offense, nor will he be the focal point of the opposition’s scouting report. He may never average 10 points per game or average 20 minutes per game as he once did.

What Bogans will do continue to is understand his role as a 3-point shooter and defensive energy guy off the bench. For that, Bogans has stuck around this long and will likely continue to do so if he stays healthy.

“I’m a role player, I’m not gonna dominate the ball, plays aren’t gonna be ran for me, so I’m gonna get to the weak-side,” Bogans said after practice at PNY Center on Thursday afternoon. “Playing with Deron, Brook and Joe, they draw double teams. If I can stand there and make the open shot, it’s hard to get me off the floor.”

Making the open shot is precisely what Bogans did on Tuesday in a 101-97 win at the New Orleans Hornets as he went 4-for-4 from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range, in 20 minutes off the bench.

Bogans is unlikely to finish the season averaging 20 minutes per game, but the 32-year old Washington, D.C. native has seen extended minutes of late and has made the most of the opportunity. In his last five games, Bogans is averaging 7.2 points in 20.4 minutes, while shooting 47.8 percent from 3-point range.

Many of those treys have come from one specific spot, which simply goes back to Bogans understanding his role.

“I’ve been living in the corner for pretty much my whole career,” Bogans said. “Other guys initiate the offense and I go to the weak-side corner and wait for the ball, that’s about it. If I’m getting four shots a game, I feel like I need to make all four. That’s why I’m in the gym getting up extra shots before and after practice. Shooting is repetition and confidence. With my confidence, I believe I’ll make every shot I take. I could miss all my shots and still take the next one thinking I’m gonna make it.”

Bogans is now the wily veteran, but it wasn’t always that way. As a rookie with the Orlando Magic in 2004, he can remember watching Grant Hill come in early and stay late perfecting his craft.

Jerry Stackhouse, now 18 years deep in the NBA, is Bogans’ teammate with the Nets. so he has seen firsthand how Stackhouse prepares, keeps in shape and understands his role. All of that has helped keep the one-time NBA scoring champion in the league. Bogans wouldn’t mind traveling down that same road.

“Stack’s a guy, if you’ve been around 18 years, I’m trying to steal everything I can from a guy like Stackhouse,” Bogans said. “He’s a great player and he’s been a great player in this league.”

As a shooter, what did Bogans think of the 54-point outburst by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry that included 11-for-13 shooting from 3-point range on Wednesday evening at Madison Square Garden?

“It was great,” Bogans said of the former Davidson star and son of ex-NBA guard Dell Curry. “My second year in the league, I was in Charlotte, so I got a chance to watch him. I knew that kid could play a long time ago, all the way back then. His dad was a great shooter, so it doesn’t surprise me he shoots the ball the way he does.”

Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA