The Golden State Warriors, for the most part, haven’t lived up to expectations in the 2013-14 NBA season thus far. They came into the year off of their surprise success in the 2013 NBA Playoffs and, with the addition of a healthy Andrew Bogut and free-agent Andre Iguodala, people expected them to be a possible contender in the Western Conference. That hasn’t quite been the case, though, as they sit in the six-seed in the West right now.
Now their immediate future is in question to a certain degree. Bogut suffered a hip injury recently and while the initial diagnosis is that he will only be out of action for a week at the most, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the center’s timetable is a bit more uncertain than the initial four-to-seven days and is more reliant on how Bogut’s body responds to treatment.
One of the biggest changes that we’ve seen in the Warriors this season in relation to last year is their consistent improvement on the defensive end of the floor. In fact, Golden State has been the third best team in the NBA this year in terms of defensive efficiency, allowing only 99.5 points per 100 possessions. While Iguodala has contributed a lot to that, having Bogut on the floor and healthy this season is also a major factor in how their defense has shined this season.
Bogut’s health is going to be a major factor again as the postseason rolls around. The Warriors have shown that they can get by with their often prolific offense, but their defense is going to be key to making any kind of run and any sustained success. If Bogut isn’t fully healthy and this hip injury is something that lingers, you have to question just how far this Warriors team can go in the playoffs.