Andrew Bogut is beginning to show the Golden State Warriors why they traded for him last year. After starting the NBA season banged up, Bogut is beginning to get his legs underneath him and play to his potential.
Prior to the All-Star break, Bogut appeared to be struggling with his ankle injury. At the same time he was also trying to get back into playing condition, as he missed 54 games last year.
But over the past four contests, the center has averaged nine points, seven rebounds and 2.5 blocks. The fact that he is playing without a minutes restriction is another encouraging sign of his physical progress. Putting his ankle injury in the past, Bogut’s play is rising at just the right time with eight games left in the regular season.
Bogut is often noted for his low-post defense and shot blocking, but his offensive repertoire has greatly benefited the likes of David Lee and Stephen Curry. With Bogut’s passing and ability to score under the basket, teams have to respect his skill set. Depending on how the opposition defends him, he can either use his soft touch in the paint or kick the ball out to a wide open shooter if he gets double-teamed. He brings another dimension to the offense which gives them a more balanced, well-rounded attack.
Currently sitting as the sixth seed, the Warriors are pretty much a lock to see the postseason for the first time since 2007. If indeed Golden State makes the playoffs, Bogut must be a factor in a seven-game series. He’s their difference maker.
The key for him, though, has always been about staying healthy. The last time he played a full season was back in 2005, when he was a rookie. However, operating at full strength, Bogut is one of the best big men in the league.
Right now Golden State is rolling, winning seven of their last 10 games. They are a young team on the rise. Mark Jackson and Co. are crossing their fingers that Bogut remains a significant part of it.