Why Loss of Andrew Bogut Doesn’t Hurt Warriors
The Golden State Warriors face a crucial game six in Cleveland on Thursday night. If they lose and have to play a game seven at Oracle Arena, they’ll be doing it without star center, Andrew Bogut.
Per reports, the Australian center has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2016 NBA Finals due to a knee sprain he suffered in the team’s game five loss.
As @daldridgetnt reported earlier, Bogut will NOT require surgery. But the multiple bone bruises suffered will keep him out 6-to-8 weeks.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 15, 2016
Bogut appeared to hyper extend his left knee on a play late in game five and promptly exited the game. He reportedly underwent an MRI on Tuesday and still traveled with the team to Cleveland. While Bogut should be on hand if the Warriors win their second straight NBA title, he will not be taking the court in game six and is done for the remainder of the playoffs, regardless of whether or not a game seven happens.
Bogut may not seem like a crippling loss at first glance, but even in limited action he’s been a big help due his size size and has also made a huge impact as a rim protector. Bogut exits the Finals tied for the lead in this series when it comes to blocks (10), potentially leaving a hole in Golden State’s interior defense.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 15, 2016
On the flip side, Bogut was not being depending on whatsoever for offense (zero points in the past two games) and despite his size and solid rebounding ability, he’d only totaled 15 rebounds in the entire series. In fact, Bogut logged his most minutes in these Finals (15) in game one and has seen his role decrease throughout the series.
That could be the positive spin the Warriors are looking for, as Bogut’s slide out of the Finals opens up more run for Festus Ezeli and Anderson Varejao and also gives Draymond Green more chances to operate out of the five spot. Ezili has proven to be perfectly competent as a rebounder and shot-blocker, while Andy V gave the Warriors good minutes the last time they were in Cleveland.
The biggest take away here is Green getting more run as the five, a role he’s thrived in for much of his career. In reality, Bogut going down could end up being the best thing for Golden State. They won the title last year by virtually benching him and so far in this series, the team is +54 with Green as the center.
Among all playoff players, Draymond Green ranks 2nd in contested shots per game (15.9) and 6th in charges drawn per game (.33). #hustlestats
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 15, 2016
Draymond Green’s game six return should provide an emotional lift and it could also help offset the loss of Bogut. Losing size and depth is never ideal, but on paper, it doesn’t look like the Bogut injury should keep the Warriors from winning another title. If they do lose game six (and seven), it’ll be for other reasons.
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