After missing much of last season with the Milwaukee Bucks and this one with the Golden State Warriors, former number one overall pick Andrew Bogut is finally resembling his pre-injury self. His resurgence is playing off in the playoffs for Golden State.
The Warriors acquired Bogut at the trade deadline last season for Monta Ellis, and the trade has changed the franchise in more ways than one. Not only did dealing Ellis free up more scoring and play making responsibilities for Stephen Curry, but also gave Golden State a true post presence, something they had been missing for years.
Bogut only played in 32 regular season games — including no back to backs — as the Warriors were monitoring his playing time in an effort to keep him healthy for the postseason. The Australian seven-footer had a solid, yet unspectacular regular season, averaging a modest 5.8 points and 7.7 rebounds while being restricted to just 24.6 minutes of playing time per game.
As expected, Bogut’s playing time and production have been increased during the playoffs, as he is averaging 8.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while playing 28.8 minutes and appearing in all nine of the Warriors’ postseason contests. Bogut’s presence at the end of Golden State’s defense has been key, just as his rebounding and passing out of the post have been as well.
Golden State was wise to bring Bogut along slowly in preparation for postseason play. Their decision to hold him to limited minutes and keep him from playing in too many games is paying off, and Bogut’s size and experience should continue to pay dividends for the Warriors in their series against the San Antonio Spurs.