When he was with the Milwaukee Bucks, Andrew Bogut was dominant. However, he’s regressed with the Golden State Warriors. (Photo: Keith Allison).
When the Golden State Warriors dealt Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut, they thought they had struck gold by getting rid of a huge headache and bringing in an All-Star center. However, Bogut has been a major disappointment so far for the Warriors.
The Warriors are having a great year, as they are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference with a stellar 33-25 record. The stats say that the Warriors are an elite team and while they won’t be winning the NBA Finals this year, the Warriors are taking huge steps towards contending in the near future.
Unfortunately, Bogut has not been a part of Golden State’s success. He has been hurt for most of the year with ankle and back issues and even when he has played, the Warriors haven’t been much better. The Warriors are 6-6 with Bogut and 27-19 without him and while the sample size is small, it tells us that Bogut isn’t going to completely change everything for the Warriors.
In the past, Bogut was an elite center. His career rebounds per game (RPG) average is a stellar 9.3, while he averages 12.5 points per game (PPG) over his career. Bogut’s scoring numbers aren’t eye-popping, but it’s because he doesn’t shoot a ton. Bogut is a career 52.2 percent shooter, which is a good shooting percentage. He takes just more than 10 shots per game, meaning that Bogut is efficient with his shots.
His stats paint a vivid picture and that picture tells us that Bogut is a valuable player. However, there are other valuable centers in the Western Conference and there are ample centers who have performed better than Bogut this season. Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers started the All-Star Game and while he and the Lakers have received lots of heat this year, the fact remains that Howard leads the league with 11.9 RPG and is averaging 16.3 PPG.
Oh, and he’s having a down year. Somehow, Howard is 17th in player efficiency rating (PER) out of just centers and while Bogut is 15th in the West (among all Western Conference centers, including non-qualified centers), Howard’s numbers are shocking. In the 2011-12 and 2010-11 seasons, Howard finished first in the NBA with exceptional ratings of 24.29 (2011-12) and 26.13 (2010-11). His stats are horrible by his standards, but he is still very talented.
Howard is definitely a better, more talented center than Bogut. The stats definitely say that, as Howard’s three Defensive Player of the Year awards also tell us how good he is. The Warriors are in a much better position than the Lakers, but that doesn’t mean Howard isn’t better than Bogut. Howard is a shot-blocking machine (2.3 blocks per game) and is the most talented center in the West. He has added an estimated 7.8 wins for the Lakers, while Bogut has added 0.8.
Bogut has only played in only 12 games, but if he had played in all 58 games at the same pace, his estimated wins added (EWA) would be under 4.0. That’s not good at all and it shows how poorly he’s played this year. By comparison, LeBron James of the Miami Heat has an astounding EWA of 22.6 and Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz, who is an elite center, has an EWA of 9.6, 12th in the league and first among all Western Conference centers.
Jefferson’s PER is tied for 19th in the league at 21.04, well above the league average of 15. Jefferson is averaging 17.6 PPG and 9.3 RPG this season, both decent stats putting him in the elite band of centers. Jefferson’s Jazz are 31-26 this year, largely because of the play of their star center. Jefferson is definitely performing better than Bogut, who has definitely been hampered by his injuries. Jefferson, who is a free agent this offseason, is sure to be intensely pursued by teams needing rebounding help. He is a great center who can make a huge impact on a team.
And Bogut? He hasn’t done exactly that in his time with the Warriors.
Right now, Bogut isn’t up there with Jefferson, Howard and DeMarcus Cousins as the best centers. People know who he is, because he was the first pick in the 2005 NBA draft and has had some successful seasons with the Bucks. However, injuries certainly take a toll on players and Bogut is in his eighth season. We saw what happened to Yao Ming, another big man picked first (three years earlier than Bogut) who bowed out early due to injuries.
Bogut has been a great player, but he just doesn’t stack up with Jefferson and Howard–two incredible centers–anymore. He’s not too old, but he’s playing like an older center because he’s been hampered by injuries. Bogut doesn’t stack up with the elite centers of the league and athletic big men like JaVale McGee (two blocks per game) can take him as well. If Bogut is treated properly, he could make a comeback and become one of the best centers in the game again.
But for now, Bogut sits behind some other centers in the West as he recovers from his injury and his poor play.