Warriors focus: Andrew Bogut

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Warriors focus: Andrew Bogut

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.

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that the limited minutes allotted to former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the All-Star Game Sunday was unrelated to a pending trade.

Cousins played only two minutes -- the shortest stint by any All-Star since Connie Hawkins in 1971 -- because that was the big man’s wish.

“I asked every guy before the game started how much they wanted to play,” said Kerr, who coached the Western Conference All-Stars for the second time in three seasons. “He told me he wanted to play two minutes. He was serious. He said he was banged up. It had nothing to do with (a trade).”

After six-plus seasons in Sacramento, Cousins was traded to New Orleans shortly after the All-Star Game, with the official announcement coming Monday.

Kerr initially thought Cousins was requesting to be limited to two minutes per half. When Kerr and assistant coach Mike Brown conveyed that plan, Cousins was quick to clarify.

“He said, ‘No, no: two minutes total,’” Kerr recalled.

When Kerr pointed out that Cousins actually played two minutes, 24 seconds, the newest Pelican flashed a sense of humor.

“I went over? By 24 seconds?” Cousins said. “That should be a fine for you, coach.”

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

OAKLAND -- The Warriors reconvened Wednesday and received good news, going through a light scrimmage that for the first time in weeks included centers Zaza Pachulia and David West.

The better news for the Warriors is that both were upgraded to questionable and could return as soon as Thursday night, when they face the Clippers at Oracle Arena.

“I would say there’s a good chance both of them would play tomorrow,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see.”

Pachulia has missed the last eight games after straining his right rotator cuff on Jan. 29 at Portland.

“The pain is gone,” Pachulia told CSNBayArea.com. “I can’t say I’ll be cleared, but there is no more pain.”

Pachulia is expected to reclaim his starting role despite Kerr’s acknowledging that JaVale McGee has been “fantastic” while starting the last eight games.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Kerr said. “I’ve got to make that decision. I want to make sure first that (Pachulia) is healthy. And it depends, too, on what happens with David. Is David healthy? Are they both playing? There’s kind of a domino effect on all of this stuff.

“I would anticipate that, ultimately, Zaza will be back starting. I liked that whole rotation. JaVale has helped us dramatically, and he’ll be playing a role. It’s a center-by-committee situation. But right away, we’ll see how we play it.”

West has missed the last 14 games with a non-displaced fracture in his left thumb, sustained Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City.

West was to undergo an X-ray late Wednesday, after which it was anticipated he would receive a clean slate.

The only players that did not scrimmage are All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. All four were given an extra day off in the wake of their participation in All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

“Just being in New Orleans for those four days, there’s no rest whatsoever,” Kerr said. “Those are the guys who played the most minutes. The All-Star break is such a great time to recharge.”