After the first round, the Warriors’ working class man came home from the factory, took off his steel toed boots and propped his aching ankles on an ottoman that bore a striking resemblance to how one would imagine JaVale McGee looks in a fetal position (I’ll never get tired of watching that dunk).
The former number one overall pick did a little bit of everything for the Warriors in round one; rebounding, scoring from the low post and providing Golden State with some much needed defense around the rim.
The latter point is the most important. Only 22.56 percent of the Nuggets shot attempts came from mid-range during the regular season. That proportion rose 27.51 percent against the Warriors, as Ty Lawson and Denver’s shooters were forced to take Bogut’s ability to block shots into account when they drove into the lane.
The Warriors will need a similar (and consistent) performance from Bogut if they have any hope of knocking out the Spurs, a team he has actually done very well against in the past.
As a member of the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2011-2012 season, Bogut played 35 minutes against the Spurs, during which time San Antonio averaged more turnovers and fewer rebounds than their per-48 minute averages. With Bogut on the floor, Tony Parker’s plus-minus fell to minus-0.5 points and Tim Duncan’s dropped to minus-1.7 points, according to NBA.com’s player comparison statistics.
Bogut matches up very well against Duncan. His point total, field goal attempt and field goal percentage actually improved on a per-48 minute with Duncan on the floor last season, something head coach Mark Jackson should take into consideration when he plots Golden State’s offensive scheme in round two.