Why Andrew Bogut Will Take the Golden State Warriors to the Playoffs Next Year

James PearsonCorrespondent IMay 10, 2012

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01:  Andrew Bogut NBA player attends the North Melbourne AFL Grand Final Breakfast at Etihad Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)
Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Andrew Bogut will lead the Golden State Warriors to the NBA playoffs next year.

I hate to go all Mark Jackson and Joe Lacob on you, but the addition of Bogut, if healthy, will catapult the Warriors into playoff contention.

Bogut gives the Warriors a center, but more importantly, the defensive player they need to make the change to a defensive-minded team. His presence is going to make everyone on the team better and opposing teams won't be able to just hammer the ball down low with David Lee left for dead in the post anymore.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will become better players as now they can get a little more aggressive on defense knowing that when someone gets by them, Bogut's got their back. A big plus for the shooters on this team is that Lee and now Bogut will be there to get the long rebounds on any missed three-point attempt, creating more possessions.

If everyone is healthy next year, there is not one team in the league that they won't be able to compete with. The Western Conference will still be loaded, but this time the Warriors will be right in the mix thanks to Bogut. Look at all the teams in the playoffs; most, if not all of them, have at least two big men contributing on a nightly basis. Now the Warriors can add that to their arsenal.

Bogut is going to be what Tyson Chandler gave the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate that will transform a poor defensive team into a good one.

Bogut, combined with Lee, will allow the Warriors to match up with the likes of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka, Tim Duncan and Kevin Love. They are not going to be outrebounded, outscored, beat up, smacked and pushed around every night in the post anymore. Bogut won't allow it.

The Warriors will be a lot more defensive next year, but that doesn't mean they still won't be able to score at a high volume anymore. Bogut isn't just a defensive monster whose feet will be cemented in the post on one side of the court. He can get up and down the floor and finish.

So not only will the Warriors be able to match up defensively every night, they are going to be able to run with teams and create mismatches.

Before, opponents would just have to worry about outscoring the Warriors, which wasn't a problem for most nights. Now teams will have to be ready for a team that will be able to score, play effective half-court offense, stretch the floor with elite shooters and now, most importantly, lock down any team defensively.

Things are going to be very different next season with Bogut on the team, and for a franchise that's made the playoffs once in the last 18 years, different is a very good thing. With Bogut, the Warriors can now compete with anyone in the West and have run out of excuses not to make the postseason.

Well, if they stay healthy of course.