Inside the Paint: Will Barnes be ready for opening night?
OAKLAND – The Andrew Bogut Scare has passed. Completely. The 7-footer who exited in the first quarter of last Friday’s win over the Lakers in Shanghai was a full participant in practice on Sunday and Monday.
After bypassing the post-practice interview session on Sunday, the center sat for an extended period on Monday and was in good spirits.
"It wasn’t anything bad; it was just precautionary," Bogut said. "I just had a little pinch in my hip, in my glute, so it wasn’t a back spasm.
"The three-hour bus trip to the Great Wall, the three-hour bus trip back, after landing the night before and going to a (basketball) clinic the same afternoon and then having to be there the same afternoon, and the next day having practice and going to another clinic was probably a major reason."
Bogut made a move, winced and that was enough for coach Mark Jackson to sit him down, even though Bogut tried to wave off the coach.
"If that happens in the first game of the season, I’m not coming out," Bogut said, grinning. "But I have a little bit of house money to play with in the preseason. I just didn’t want to do anything stupid. I didn’t want to jeopardize the regular season for a preseason game."
Bogut was the last Warrior to leave the practice court Monday, working on his post game and free throws long after his teammates had cleared out. He must be OK.
Or maybe he wants to make a point. Insofar as he is entering his walk year, maybe he wants to set an example before the eyes of management. Bogut can be a free agent next summer, but he has stated a desire to re-sign with the Warriors.
"I’d like to get it done, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t," he said. "There are positives to both sides. I like living here, I like the team and the direction of the franchise and I want to be here.
"But at the same time . . . Jarrett Jack . . . Carl Landry . . . things happen in the NBA."
For what its worth, Bogut specifically referenced two four-year extensions recently signed by big men: Utah’s Derrick Favors ($49 million plus incentives) and Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders ($44 million plus incentives).
"Fortunately, bigs in the league, they’re going to get paid," Bogut said. "If you walk in a straight line and be 7-foot, it’s a pretty good place in the NBA. I wouldn’t say I want to be a free agent, but if it comes to that I definitely wouldn’t cry about it."
With the preseason schedule concluding Thursday night at Oracle Arena, the Warriors still have not determined a playing rotation or, moreover, a starting lineup.
Jackson on Monday reiterated the stance he has taken since the outset of training camp nearly four weeks ago, saying, in essence, that he’s moving closer to naming the five players who will start the season opener Oct. 30 against the Lakers.
The coach consistently has stated that three positions are set. Bogut will start at center, David Lee at power forward and Stephen Curry at point guard. Jackson has not named newly acquired Andre Iguodala to the starting lineup, but it’s a virtual lock given the way the veteran shooting guard has showcased his value.
The other wing position, at this point, would seem to go to third-year guard Klay Thompson. Thompson has played well this preseason, whether he was starting or coming off the bench.
The wild card in the decision has been small forward Harrison Barnes, who started the first two preseason games but has not played since Oct. 7 due to inflammation in his left foot. His two-week absence makes him almost certain to open the season coming off the bench – if he’s able. He practiced shooting on Monday but did not engage in the general team workout.
"We’re taking steps toward him getting on the floor," Jackson said. "Today, it’s shooting the basketball. We’ll see how his body responds and we’ll make a decision moving forward. But I don’t think it’s too much of a concern, right now, of him not playing opening night. We have some time left."
There is time, yes, but we’re now inside 10 days of the opener. The countdown is under way. The likely starting five: Bogut, Lee, Thompson, Iguodala and Curry.