One year ago today, the Dubs re-signed Andrew Bogut to a 3-year contract extension which at the time had some worried. He was coming off a down, injury-plauged year one in Golden State and Dubs' fans were still a little sour on losing fan-favorite Monta Ellis for him.
However, as we approach the end of the first year of that 3-year extension, my oh my how the tune has changed. Not only is Bogut loved in the Bay Area, but he's been crucial to the Warriors success and, outside of Steph Curry, is probably the most indispensable player on the roster.
There's so much talk about the Warriors back-court and the "Splash Brothers" and rightfully so, they're the best scoring backcourt in the game. Also getting a lot of hype has been the emergence of Draymond Green, who we'll talk about more in our next post. But the player to me that has really made a huge difference for the Warriors and have helped them to the best record in the NBA is that oft-injured center they extended in just days before the 2013/14 campaign. While Bogut's line this season doesn't jump out at you (6.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 bpg), a lot of what he does doesn't show up in box scores. He shuts down opposing centers and has anchored the Dubs frontcourt defense. I mean, just imagine where this team would be without the big man. Look at how they failed miserably in the playoffs last year without him and it will show you just how important he is to this teams success. I've never seen a player with such an un-flattering line mean so much to a squad but Bogut is just that.
Now, that being said, Steve Kerr has to be damn careful with the big man these last few weeks of the season. While the Dubs do want to clinch home-court throughout, I don't think they'll need Bogut in every game in order to do that. I wouldn't play him in back-to-backs anymore this year and I'd keep that man fresh for May cause so long as he's anchoring the D down low, and Steph, Klay, Harrison and Co. do their thing with the rock, the Warriors may very well bring an NBA tittle to the Bay this June.