Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Warriors Are NOT Better Off Without Bogut

With the way the Warriors started their season and kept their stronghold on 2nd place in the Pacific Division without having their star center present for most of it, many started wondering whether or not the team needed Bogut.

Since Bogut made his return at the end of January, he's been in and out of the lineup, and the Warriors are an even 4-4 with him out there since his return. Essentially, they've played .500 ball with Bogut in the lineup, and they sit 10 games above .500 as of now, so I can see where the question comes into play. However, there is absolutely no doubt that this is a much better team with a healthy Andrew Bogut out on the floor. Heck, even a 75% Bogut, which is about where he had been playing before this new back injury came up. I mean, Carl Landry has been a nice scoring option, but let's face it, he just can't handle the big centers in this league on the defensive end as he's really a power forward. Bogut showed that he was starting to work his way back into game shape a bit before the back spasms hit, so hopefully they turn out to be minor and he's back on the court in a week or two. He played just shy of 30 minutes in his last game, and although he didn't light it up offensively (7 points), he showed exactly what the Warriors need, and that's rebounding (11) and defense (3 blocks, 2 steals) while also creating for others (5 assists). You put those numbers with his typical 12-15 points he'll give you when he's right and there's no question this team is better with Bogut.

That being said, the 'Dubs have looked a bit out of sync at times with the 7-foot Aussie on the court, and the reason being is simple. He's hardly had any time to mesh with this team whatsoever. He had virtually no preseason, and missed all that time to start the year, so it's like this is the real start of the year for him. Until his back returns to full strength though, it looks like Mark Jackson will be rolling with the forgotten one, Andris Biedrins, as the starter at center. Festus Ezeli has started seeing less and less time and apparently Biedrins has been stepping it up at practice, so he'll be the first guy out there, at least on this road trip. It's still going to come down to Carl Landry and David Lee kind of sharing the duties, but it would help ease the load if Andris can give them 20 quality minutes. This is the exact reason why I really wanted to see the Warriors bring in another veteran big man before the deadline. With Bogut always a question mark health-wise, they should have been in on another defensive minded big-man to take some of these minutes being forced on Biedrins and Ezeli.

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