What a Difference a Healthy Andrew Bogut Makes for Golden State Warriors

Scott Burns@Follow @ScottInTheBayCorrespondent IIIJanuary 10, 2014

Andrew Bogut is all smiles this season.
Andrew Bogut is all smiles this season.Bart Young/Getty Images

A healthy Andrew Bogut is making a huge difference this season for the Golden State Warriors by already playing in more games than last season.  His attitude, knowledge of the court and physicality make the Dubs a true contender.

Last season, Bogut averaged 5.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 1.7 BPG in only 32 games.  This season, he has returned to his old self with a line of 8.1 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 1.7 BPG through January 9.

Although David Lee gets more headlines for rebounding, Bogut is currently the team leader.  Bogut has more contested boards, meaning that there is an opponent within 3.5 feet of the ball.

Bogut will continue to build on his stat line, but he provides something similar to Andre Iguodala that feeds the Warriors.  He has a presence that forces opponents to go in a different direction.

Bogut has always been a blocking machine and he gets there at just the right time.

But first, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.  Do remember what it took to pry an already injured Bogut from the Milwaukee Bucks?

Monta Ellis was the high-scoring, defense-optional guard who lit up the scoreboard.  He made a lot of athletic moves, but he couldn’t co-exist with Stephen Curry and was questioned about the tattoos and his moped cover-up.

The Warriors unloaded Ellis with Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown to acquire Bogut during Mark Jackson’s first year at the helm.

Warriors’ fans were not too thrilled with the move, as evidenced by the boos thrown down at Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement.

However, Joe Lacob knows a thing or two about putting together championship teams as former part-owner of the Boston Celtics.

The fans should have remembered that Andrew Bogut was once a top-five center in the NBA and the first pick of the 2005 NBA draft.

The ankle injury prevented Bogut from playing that season and limited him to only 32 games in 2012-13.  The bottom line is that he is finally healthy.

He showed glimpses of dominance in last season’s playoffs by getting nasty in the paint.  Everyone can remember what he did to the Denver Nuggets’ JaVale McGee.

This season, Bogut has shown bits and pieces of the firepower that he provided in the playoffs.  He has been consistent, as he recently finished a streak of 10 straight games with double-digit rebounds.

In baseball terms, he is the catcher of the team.  He barks out orders, positions his teammates on defense, forces teams to amend their offensive strategies and is the last line of defense.

The addition of Iguodala in the frontcourt only makes Bogut’s job easier.  He no longer has to overcompensate for two defenders.

As a result, he has his highest per-game rebounding total since his last healthy season in 2010-11.

Bogut does all of the little things on the court, and he likes to get dirty.  Curry, Klay Thompson and Lee get most of the headlines, but Bogut is the one who defines the team’s attitude.

Nothing stops him.  Whether it is an opponent trying to get in his face or Bogut setting a monster screen, he exemplifies that belief, and it is a major part for this up-and-coming team.

Not only is Bogut doing all of the little things, but he is bringing a strong offensive game to the table.  He is shooting 62.8 percent from the field and is still an adept passer. 

In this clip, Bogut gets a tough rebound and does his finest point guard impression.  He takes the ball up the floor in traffic and makes an unbelievable pass to Curry for the three-pointer.

Bogut makes some offensive plays, but his true value on offense is setting screens, so that Curry and Thompson have room to shoot.  Both players are scoring at career-high points-per-game averages so far.

However, while all of the attention is put upon stopping the Splash Brothers, Bogut finds himself in position for opportunities by knowing where to be on the floor.

A great example of Bogut’s positioning was when Curry got a little bit creative off the backboard in this video.

The Warriors’ brass were smart and chose to lock up Bogut through the 2016-17 season as their frontcourt anchor.

Bogut makes the team better with his attitude, basketball IQ and toughness.  He will be a major factor in determining how deep the Dubs advance in this season's playoffs.

The #FullSquad would like to see him finish the year without injuries, and his bank account would too. 

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