Golden State Warriors: How the Return of the Big Men Completes This Team
Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
The Golden State Warriors will start this season with something they haven’t had since the 1970s, two big men in the front court. Andrew Bogut and David Lee form the pair that should do some damage in the Western Conference and make the Dubs a complete team.
Andrew Bogut is a proven big man that has had enough injury problems to warrant concerns, but when he plays, good things happen. Bogut can rebound, pass, score the tough bucket and move without the ball.
David Lee is going into his third year with the Dubs and will be looking to put the full game together by having a partner that will demand a higher presence. Lee will be freed up more on offense, which will set up the pick-and-roll situations with Curry, or more opportunities for open looks at the basket.
Lee and Bogut are both veterans so they will be able to co-exist together and mesh with each other’s styles by the time the regular season begins. Their chemistry will begin to gel in the preseason.
The biggest key for Bogut and Lee will be on defense. Bogut is a quality defender who actually likes to play defense. His frame of mind is that of one where having all of the dimensions creates the greatest value.
Bogut also has the mindset that if he is not performing well offensively, he can pick up the team by making a key block, setting a screen, taking a charge, getting a loose ball or grabbing a tough board.
Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Bogut likes to raise the decibel level in the arena by blocking a shot that leads to a fast break. That pumps up the team and gets the crowd involved.
As for Lee, he won’t have to overcompensate at his position and put himself in a place where he can’t defend. Lee ranked sixth in personal fouls per game last season at a 3.1 clip.
If Lee can even marginally improve his average defense, opponents will have to take shots further out on the perimeter, thus decreasing their field goal percentage. The lack of quality shots will also lower the Dubs opponents’ 101.2 points per game to something more competitive.
On offense, the perimeter team of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will stretch out opponents’ defenses, which will open up the front court for both Bogut and Lee to have more looks.
Throwing the ball down into the post for Bogut or Lee or kicking it right back for an open shot will give the Dubs a lot more open shots, and probably a higher team scoring percentage and average.
Bogut will look to improve on his career line of 12.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.6 BPG and 2.3 APG. With an offensive partner in Lee and the guys around the perimeter, this should be an easy task.
What is now the Dubs biggest strength?
Bogut and Lee will be bolstered by one of the best benches in the NBA. Festus Ezeli, Carl Landry and Jeremy Tyler will add support when one or both of the players is taking a breather.
Dubs fans should be excited, because the team will have a complete game now with the presence in the paint and the shooting ability on the wing.
I see Bogut having a stat line of 15 PPG, 12 PRG, 2 BPG and 2.5 APG and Lee with 18 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 2.5 APG.
As a result, this complete team should be in the playoffs this year and steadily climbing the conference ladder in the future.
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