Warriors focus: Andrew Bogut

September 10, 2012, 7:42 pm
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The Warriors have made plenty of changes since the end of the 2011-12 season. They will likely have four first-year players on their roster come the start of the season, and they also acquired veterans Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry.Center Andrew Bogut came to the Warriors in March, but hes a newcomer, too, if you factor in that he still hasnt played a game for the team yet. With training camp set to begin in early October, lets begin our player-by-player analysis of the Warriors new players.Andrew Bogut, 7-foot, 245 pounds, centerLets cut to the chase, the three biggest keys to the Warriors success in 2012-13 are:1. Andrew Bogut.2. Andrew Bogut.3. Andrew Bogut.All right, were exaggerating some, but it really is difficult to downplay the importance of Bogut to the Warriors 2012-13 season. With Bogut, the Warriors have a chance. Without Bogut, its virtually impossible seeing them being competitive over the course of the season.Bogut, as most Warriors fans know, has been injured in each of the past four seasons, and last year he missed all but 12 games for the Bucks because of a fractured left ankle.Bogut, who has been rehabbing all summer, said three weeks ago he expected to play in the Warriors season-opener on Oct. 31.REWIND: Warriors 2012-2013 outlook: Issue No. 1 -- Bogut's health
Plain and simple, the Warriors need Bogut to play. And they need him to play a lot. The more games the better because hes the Warriors most important player.While Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson all have their strengths, Bogut is the one who is likely to be most responsible for a Warriors improvement. If, of course, thats what happens.No other player on the roster can make an impact in as many areas as Bogut.Boguts size alone will make the Warriors a better defensive team. Last year Kwame Brown played nine games for the Warriors, and it was apparent to the naked eye in every one of those games that having a player of his size protecting the rim made a difference.Bogut has that kind of size. While he might not be the one-on-one defender that Brown is, hes a better shot-blocker and charge-taker. Bogut is no Bill Russell, but hes still going to be a positive when it comes to giving support to Curry, Thompson and Lee none of whom excel at the defensive end.Bogut has the ability to make an even bigger contribution on the offensive end, where he gives the Warriors a dimension most teams dont have. Bogut is one of the games best-passing big man, and alongside Lee, who isnt bad, himself, gives the Warriors a dimension most teams dont have: a pair of frontcourt facilitators.Bogut is a versatile player able to score a little bit in the low post and pass well from the high post. He has a high basketball IQ and doesnt mind being unselfish. Put it this way there should be some creative things coach Mark Jackson can do offensively with Bogut and Lee the big men and shooters such as Curry, Thompson, Brandon Rush and Harrison Barnes.Theres another reason, though, Bogut is hugely and perhaps overly important to the Warriors this year its because the Warriors dont have a reliable backup for him at this point.Andris Biedrins remains a shell of himself until he proves differently, and Festus Ezeli is still a raw, late-round first pick.Yes, the Warriors also need Curry to be healthy this season after an injury plagued 2011-12, not unlike Bogut. But the nice thing is that the Warriors went out and got Jarrett Jack this offseason, giving them a heck of a safety net if Curry isnt quite right.The Warriors dont have that luxury behind Bogut. Which makes him pretty much the key to the season.