What the Golden State Warriors Desperately Need from a Healthy Andrew Bogut

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What the Golden State Warriors Desperately Need from a Healthy Andrew Bogut
Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The Golden State Warriors traded for Andrew Bogut because they thought they were getting a legitimate NBA center for the cost of their biggest playmaker, Monta Ellis. 

Bogut tried to appease fans by returning to the court too early and couldn’t provide the expected spark that the team desired.  So, he has pulled himself off the floor and won’t return until his body physically allows him to go.

The delayed return from his injury has been a shock to a fanbase that was expecting big things from the now deep team and the young talent that was drafted.  As a result, the team has been hovering around the .500 mark during the young season.

Bogut will return to practice on Monday and will give it another shot starting on November 29 in a game against the Denver Nuggets.  Now, it is just a matter of time before he can provide the defensive stability and leadership that has been expected since his arrival.

Bogut needs to make his presence felt as soon as he is healthy and has to play at least 30 to 35 minutes per game.  Festus Ezeli is developing and the David Lee-Carl Landry split has worked on occasion, but if the Warriors want to make the playoffs, they desperately need a healthy Bogut.

Since he has missed over half of the young season, here is a little taste of what he can do with the Warriors.

As you can see in the highlights of opening night, Bogut can drive to the basket, hit the outside shot and make a key block.  This all happened when he had to take breaks during the game and ice his ankle on the bench.

The Warriors need all of that on a daily basis from their prized big man.

When he returns healthy, expect Bogut to turn it up a couple more notches and really show his all-around skills.  Bogut’s presence in the paint and his positioning will eventually deter other teams from driving through the lane without feeling the wrath of his physicality. 

The Warriors are currently ranked 26th in the league in points allowed by giving up an average of 100.3 per game, primarily without their big man.  Bogut is a defensive force and likes to lead by example.

Bogut is not letting anyone through him or the lane in this clip.

This is an example of what Bogut brings to the table as a legitimate NBA center as he doesn't give any ground to another solid center, Marc Gasol.  The end result of the play is Bogut gets the stuff and Gasol lands on the floor very awkwardly.

As evidenced by the video, Bogut puts himself in a position to be a team leader in that he will sacrifice himself to help the team win ballgames. He likes to amplify the crowd by making a critical block like he did there.

The Warriors really need to use his blocking ability to force players to pass out of situations around the key, and Bogut will need to continue to make players change their shots.  

By limiting the amount of quality shots that opponents take, the Warriors will lower the percentage of shots made and decrease their points allowed.

Bogut will also give a boost to David Lee's defensive abilities by allowing Lee to man up against his defender and limit his vulnerabilities.  Bogut also needs to make the crucial late-game stop with a clutch rebound.  By instilling confidence in late game situations, this young team will start to believe it can win any game.

The intangibles are where Bogut separates himself from most of the centers in the association.  He brings a frame of mind where having all of the dimensions creates the greatest value.  When he is on, he brings a highly productive offensive and defensive performance to the floor. 

As seen in the highlights, he can make the key block, set screens for an easy hoop and take a charge or make the extra effort to secure a loose ball.  He lays himself out for the team.

In this clip, he shows his ball-handling skills that completely freeze the Cleveland Cavaliers defense.

The give-and-go to Curry shows just a small portion of what Bogut can do on offense and the Dubs need him to maximize that.  Curry is developing quickly this season without Ellis taking away his shots, so Bogut needs to continue that rhythm with Curry, especially on the pick-and-rolls.

The more that Bogut can do with the ball down low will give him a lot more options.  If he can kick it out to Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes on the wing or pass the ball to a transitioning player, defenses will have to adjust.

The more room that Bogut has to operate will only make him that more dangerous.  The more spread-out the offense becomes, the more each player will have more of an opportunity to make plays.  That is the power of Bogut.

If everything goes well with his return, there will be many more of these quintessential Bogut moments with the Warriors. 

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