Even without Andrew Bogut, the centerpiece in a blockbuster trade that allowed the Golden State Warriors to free Monta Ellis, the team has been fine. With the All-Star center, just imagine how good they can be.
Stephen Curry and David Lee have carried the load for Golden State, which is well on its way to its playoff berth in six years. Golden State has dominated on offense and made major strides on defense as well, as old-school coach Mark Jackson has implemented a very strong message in the Warrior locker room. Golden State is 30-19, and that’s because of its improvement on defense and ability to do everything well.
Do the Warriors have Chris Paul or Rajon Rondo (when healthy)? No. But they have Jarrett Jack and Curry, who have combined for 12.4 assists per game and 8.9 assists per 48 minutes, which is very good. Lee is averaging more than 11 rebounds and the All-Star has taken the reins and stepped up down low for Bogut. While it’s safe to assume that his rebounding and scoring stats will dive a bit, he will still be productive.
Klay Thompson is averaging 16.7 points per game, Lee is averaging 19.4 and Curry is scoring 21.1 per game. Combined with the totals of Jack, Bogut, Carl Landry, Harrison Barnes and others, you have a lot of points. In fact, Golden State is seventh in the league with 101.1 points per game, while also forcing opponents into just 43.4 percent field goal shooting, fourth-best in the league.
So, there are some facts. But how will Bogut change this?
Golden State is also near the top of the league in rebounding, coming in fourth with 44.7 boards per game. Bogut will only help there, as the two-headed monster of him and Lee down low will terrorize opponents, and with Barnes and Landry also doing a good job on the glass, the Warriors will prove to be deadly. Bogut averages 9.3 rebounds per game for his career and once his knee gets better and his minutes pick up, his rebounding averages should be near normal.
On offense, he can also help out. This year, Bogut is shooting an incredible 54.3 percent from the floor and while that is a small sample size, 52.3 percent in 415 career games gives you an idea of how he makes a lot of the shots he takes with a large sample size. He isn’t the best shooter, as reflected by his 57.4 percent free-throw shooting for his career. But he is efficient with his shots, as you can see from his field goal percentage.
And that is a very good thing for Golden State.
Bogut hasn’t been able to make a huge impact due to his injury, as he has been prevented from playing back-to-back games until his knee gets better. But once his knee heals completely and he is ready to go (which should be by playoff time) he will make a monumental impact for Golden State. Bogut is also a very good defensive player, and he can help Golden State, hich ranks in the bottom 10 in the NBA in points per game allowed.
In his career, Bogut has blocked 1.6 shots per game and he’s averaged 1.9 blocks per game this year. Again it’s a small sample size, but it shows that even with a bad knee, Bogut can be a force down low and step up on defense. He has the size and the skills to be an elite player, and he is already an elite defender. Golden State is much better than they have been in previous years on defense, but they can definitely use Bogut’s help down low.
Golden State is not struggling at all without Bogut and it’s safe to say that they will be able to get into the playoffs even without him. But once the center is fully healed, he can strengthen the defense and help out on offense too. Bogut is a complete player, and the Warriors would benefit from having him healthy and on the court.
And if he does come back fully healthy for the playoffs, he can be the final piece for a deep playoff run in the Bay Area.
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