Golden State Warriors: Andrew Bogut The Key To Success



After last season’s impressive 47-35 record and surprising run to the Western Conference Semifinals, the Golden State Warriors are now being talked about as one of the most exciting teams to watch during the upcoming 2013-14 NBA season.  The key to success this year, however, will be the health of Australian center Andrew Bogut.

Last year, Bogut was plagued by various injuries and he only appeared in 32 regular season games. If Golden State is to be a legitimate contender in the Western Conference this season, he must remain healthy, as he has proven to be a big factor at the defensive end of the floor.

Golden State brings back most of its core pieces for the upcoming season.  Stephen Curry is coming off of a career year, in which he broke the NBA record for 3-pointers in a season with 272, while averaging 22.9 points and 6.9 assists per game. Veteran power forward David Lee is back after an All-Star season and he led the league with 56 double-doubles.

In addition, the Warriors signed swingman Andre Iguodala from the Denver Nuggets during the offseason. Iguodala will play a huge role at both ends of the floor and he joins a team already with solid role players at both the shooting guard and small forward positions in Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes.

The main concern for Golden State last season was at the defensive end of the floor.  Although they led the league in defensive rebounds, the Warriors were only 27th in the NBA in blocked shots, as the team was unable to successfully defend the ball at the rim. Golden State also allowed 100.3 points per contest, which was just 19th-best in the league. That is where Bogut’s health comes into play.

Bogut has appeared in more than 70 games just twice during his eight-year NBA career. In 2010-11, while playing in 65 games, he led the league with 2.6 blocks per game.  If he can stay healthy for around 60 to 65 games this year, he will have a huge impact on the success of this team. Had Bogut played 36 minutes per game last season, he was projected to average 2.5 blocks, which would have placed him among the league’s leaders.

In just 32 games last year, Bogut was second on the team with 55 blocks, a solid average of 1.7 per game.  If he can avoid any nagging injuries and stay healthy for a majority of the season, the defense will make huge strides and the offense, in turn, will be able to benefit as well.

In a recent interview, Bogut showed confidence that his health should no longer be a cause for concern.

"“It was hell for me the last 12 months, to be honest,” Bogut said. “I’m just happy that that light is getting brighter and brighter for me in the tunnel and it’s at the stage now where I feel like I’m driving out of that tunnel.”"

Golden State had no trouble scoring last season, averaging 101.2 points per game, which was good for seventh-best in the NBA. The Warriors also led the league in 3-point percentage, shooting better than 40 percent from long distance. With two of the top 3-point shooters in the league in Curry and Thompson and the addition of Iguodala, Bogut’s presence at the defensive end of the floor will lead to more points in transition for Golden State, an area of the game in which the Warriors thrived last season, when they averaged 14.7 fast break points per contest.

There is no hiding Andrew Bogut’s impact on this team. If he can live up to expectations, the Warriors will have a good chance at being one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

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