Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport
Bogut's proverbial "step up," were he to take it, would be as simple as climbing a flight of stairs (although one always holds their breath when it comes to the big man and everyday activities).
Compare this to Barnes, whose "step up" is really more of a leap over a 10-foot wall (something even the Black Falcon would struggle with).
Bogut has been phenomenal all season, controlling the glass, shooting a career-best 62.9 percent from the field and dominating the game defensively. He is tied with Roy Hibbert for the best defensive rating among NBA centers, meaning he should also be right there with Hibbert in leading the Defensive Player of the Year race.
The former No. 1 overall pick has played like a No. 1 overall pick this season, which is significant as he has never really done so before during his nine years in the league (save maybe his 2009-10 season).
Like with Iguodala, it seems quite unfair to place pressure on Bogut to better his performance. Unfortunately, the Warriors have no other choice if they want to win a championship this year.
The team is nearly flawless—elite defense inside and out, the best backcourt in the NBA, an ultra-versatile group of forwards and three big-time rim protectors. The only hole is the lack of a bully on the block. David Lee has filled this role as best he can, but he is unable to make an impact against the league's better defensive frontcourts.
Bogut has this kind of ability. He has the body, the touch, the ball-handling and the passing ability to run the offense from the post and draw double teams. He has not done so, primarily because he is a terrible foul shooter.
This is understandable, and Mark Jackson prefers using Bogut as a high screener for Curry. But in order to beat the West's top teams, the Warriors will need to somehow wear their opponents down inside, get DeAndre Jordan, Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard and Serge Ibaka into foul trouble and have a way of getting easy baskets even when Curry and Thompson are bottled up.
Fair or not, Bogut is the one guy on the roster who can provide this.
Stats and contract figures courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and sportingcharts.com.
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