News broke today at Warriors headquarters that Andrew Bogut was finally (FINALLY!) a full, unrestricted practice participant.
Everyone involved on the Warriors’ side made their best effort to minimize the development, but that’s par for the course in what now appears to have been a deliberate, organization-wide undersell. It makes sense that the Dubs would want to keep expectations as low as possible, given just how much is riding on Bogut’s ability to be healthy and productive.
Mark Jackson told Matt Steinmetz “it’s still a process and we’ll see how he feels (Tuesday), but he went through everything and is looking good.”
Stephen Curry, also a full participant, said, “He was excited to get back, a long time coming for him, with his dedication and therapy and rehab. Good to have the big fellow out there, participating in all of our up-and-down drills.”
Naturally, Bogut didn’t say anything after his latest breakthrough. But he’s probably awfully tired of answering the same questions about his left ankle, so that’s excusable.
Of course, the party line from the Warriors remains that Bogut isn’t certain to play in the team’s season opener in Phoenix on October 31. Call it a hunch, but the fact that Golden State hasn’t ruled Bogut out really makes it feel like there’s a chance he’ll suit up and give it a go against the Suns.
Whatever happens, a couple of things are clearer today than they were yesterday:
1) Bogut is going to be ready within the first week of the season, and if I had to bet on it, for the opener.
2) The Warriors, as an organization are getting smarter. They’re showing some savvy PR manipulation and the ability to keep expectations in check. They didn’t do that so well in the past. (See: Mark Jackson’s playoff guarantee of 2011).
Check back with BMH for all the latest as the season approaches.