Andrew Bogut had his first injury-free regular season with the Golden State Warriors. He played in 67 games, averaging 7.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game, good enough for sixth in the NBA.
However, injuries prevented him from playing in the postseason, and the Warriors lost to the Clippers in seven games.
To understand Bogut’s impact on the court for the Warriors, just look at their playoff series against the Clippers. Without Bogut in the lineup, the Warriors had to start David Lee at center and match Draymond Green up against Blake Griffin. There is no way that Lee and Green can handle DeAndre Jordan and Griffin.
If Bogut was on the court, things may have been different. The Warriors’ center has been an integral part of turning around the team from perennial laughingstock to contender. He is arguably their first legitimate center since Robert Parrish, providing them with the big man they have craved for so long. He is a monster down low, blocking shots, inhaling rebounds, and playing stellar all-around defense. Even if he doesn’t block the shot, Bogut manages to contest it and make it difficult on the shooter.
Additionally, Bogut is an underrated offensive player. Although injuries have all but taken away his shooting ability, Bogut has a nice touch around the rim and can finish in the paint. He is an extremely excellent passer for a big man; the Warriors often ran a play where Bogut held the ball at the top of the key while Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson ran off screens, and Bogut would deliver a pass to them. He can also handle the ball with ease, at times dribbling the length of the floor like a point guard.
The big negative surrounding Bogut had been, has been, and will be his health.
Yes, he played in a majority of games last season, but he was out when his team needed him most, breaking his ribs late in the season and missing the playoffs. Bogut has a history of long-term injuries, and that certainly has to be a concern moving forward.
The Warriors need their big man on the court, not on the bench in a suit.
In this play in a game against the Suns, Bogut shows off his entire package. He fights off a couple of opponents for a rebound, dribbles to half-court, throws a behind the back pass to a wide-open Curry, who nails a three.
That’s a seven-foot center, folks.