Are the Warriors Better Without Andrew Bogut?

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2013

Andrew Bogut has been a mystery all season for the Golden State Warriors as he's played just 12 games for the team with a flurry of injuries.

To start the season, Bogut was still affected by an ankle injury that required surgery after the team swapped Monta Ellis for him last season.

More recently, Bogut was going through what was initially thought to be just spasms.

Mark Jackson said he'll know more tonight, but he's "going to be smart with" Andrew Bogut's back spasms. Remember, 5-game trip follows.

— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) February 22, 2013

An MRI revealed a more serious situation, however.

The results from Andrew Bogut's MRI revealed a disc protrusion that caused his back spasms. As a result, he will...…

— Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) February 24, 2013

In the 12 games that he was in the lineup for the Warriors, the team won just six games, putting up a .500 record with him compared to a .604 winning percentage when they start either Festus Ezeli or Andris Biedrins.

Obviously Andrew Bogut is a better basketball player than either Ezeli or Biedrins, but is there a possibility that their lineup just works better without Bogut?

While they're a much-improved defensive team with either of the three centers on the floor.

It's entirely possible that Ezeli and Biedrins' complete lack of offensive impact actually relaxes the team at times.

They never have to run a play through the post outside of David Lee, giving them time to play a two-man perimeter game with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, while giving looks to Harrison Barnes on the slash.

Otherwise they've got Jarret Jack and Carl Landry to run the two-man, inside-outside game coming off the bench or any real combination of the above.

With Bogut on the floor, there's a monkey wrench in the flow of their offense, as they've got a big man who really demands that plays be run through him. There's no doubt that he should be taking shots in the post, and he might even clog things up a bit for Lee.

However, that's part of the argument that the team is better with Bogut as well, it's just looking at it all from another angle.

Bogut has played just 12 games with this Warriors team, he practiced sparingly before he returned to action, and the team just doesn't have a season's worth of chemistry that would come with playing alongside him.

That's the real crux of the problem for the Warriors.

Presumably, Bogut will be back in time to get into shape for the playoffs, but he's not going to be back with enough time to work up the chemistry alongside the other guys on this team who have played together all season.

It's a bit silly to think that this team is undeniably better without Bogut simply because they've won more games without him in the lineup.

When he has been out there, Golden State has shown flashes of the team that it could be, it's just too inexperienced together to move from flashes to stretches and from stretches to complete games.

Give them time, perhaps even a bit more into next season, and the Warriors should grow around Bogut and vice versa. At that point we can reevaluate whether or not the Warriors are better off without Bogut.