Jackson says not to get too excited about a Bogut return tonight

Jackson says not to get too excited about a Bogut return tonight
March 4, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Andrew Bogut has played in just 12 games for the Warriors this season, in which the team is 6-6. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

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Programming note: Raptors-Warriors coverage gets underway tonight at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

Warriors center Andrew Bogut participated in the team’s shootaround Monday morning, but does not appear likely to play against Toronto.

Coach Mark Jackson allowed for the possibility that Bogut could play, but wasn’t optimistic.

“There is a chance, but I wouldn’t get too excited,” Jackson said. “He went through shootaround this morning and we’ll see how he responds later, then make a decision.”

Bogut has missed the last six games with back spasms, a result of a protruding disk. He did not travel with the team on its recent five-game road trip.

“Looks much better, obviously. When we left, he couldn’t do anything,” Jackson said. “It’s good to see him and he obviously makes us a better basketball team.”

Bogut, who was acquired in a trade for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh last year, has played in just 12 games for the Warriors this season, in which the team is 6-6.

Forward Carl Landry, who often has to guard bigger players with Bogut out, said getting the seven-footer back would provide a big boost.

“It definitely helps, we’re short-handed right now,” Landry said. “One game this past road trip we were playing with nine or ten guys. Having an extra body out there like Andrew Bogut, one of the best big men in this league, definitely helps this ball club.”

Golden State (33-27) won its first game after Bogut's most recent setback -- a 107-101 win against San Antonio in overtime. But after escaping with a one-point win against Minnesota, the Warriors have lost their last four games.

Sticking with the theme of the season, Jackson said they won’t just throw Bogut back into the mix if he’s not healthy.

Even without Bogut, the Warriors should receive a boost by a change of scenery. They return home Monday for the first of a seven-game homestand, which begins a stretch of 16-of-22 home games to end the regular season.

[RELATED: Steinmetz -- Home-heavy schedule gives Warriors good playoff chance]

Of the teams in contention for the final three playoff spots -- Golden State (16 home games left), Utah (11), Houston (12), the Lakers (10) and Portland (12) -- the Warriors have the most games left at home.

Like many teams in the NBA, Golden State’s contrast between home and road success is vast. It’s 11 games over .500 at Oracle Arena (18-7) and five under away (15-20), but that’s not enough to ease Jackson’s concern about the team’s play of late.

“If we give the same type of energy and effort and play attention to detail that we have recently, it doesn’t matter where we’ll play,” Jackson said. “We’ll lose.”

The Warriors have dropped ten of their past 13 games dating back to Feb. 5 when Houston tied the NBA record for threes in a game in a 140-109 against Golden State.

“We just haven’t been good defensively. We haven’t been as sharp, individually or collectively,” Jackson said. “We’ll get it back, but it’s not going to come back just by talking about it. We’ve got to find a way to get back to who we were and get back to our primary identify, which is to defend and rebound and take care of the basketball.”

Toronto (23-37) is also in the midst of a four-game losing streak, but is expected to see Rudy Gay return to the lineup against Golden State. Gay did not play in Saturday’s 122-114 loss to Milwaukee due to back spasms.

Gay has averaged 20.5 points per game since the Raptors acquired him from Memphis at the trade deadline. With him in the lineup, Toronto is 7-6.