Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut: “I Think I Can Do a Little More Offensively”

Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (12) dunks against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Warriors 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (12) dunks against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Warriors 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

In his time with the Golden State Warriors, Andrew Bogut has solidified himself as the defensive stalwart that this team has desperately needed at the center position. Bogut led the Warriors this past season with 10 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game, and he finished 10th in the voting for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. Bogut is the Warriors’ defensive anchor, and he sets the tone defensively with his dominating presence and his ability to set hard screens.

As important as Bogut is on defense, he hasn’t been utilized nearly as much on offense as he used to be when he was on the Milwaukee Bucks. In his best offensive year with the Bucks in 2009-2010, Bogut averaged 15.9 points and 13.2 field goal attempts per game on 52 percent shooting.

Read the full story at Golden Gate Sports.

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Golden State Warriors: Is A Kevin Love Trade Realistic?

Nov 6, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) plays tight defense on Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) as he attempts to drive to the basket in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 6, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) plays tight defense on Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) as he attempts to drive to the basket in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors had one of the best starting lineups in the NBA last season, but for the 2014-2015 season, what if the Warriors had a starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, and Andrew Bogut?

Many fans are more than willing to trade David Lee in order to get Love, in the hopes that the Warriors could potentially win a title with Love. The Warriors have been connected to Love in trade rumors for a few seasons now, but the trade rumors have started up again.

Read the full story at Golden Gate Sports.

Golden State Warriors: Thoughts on Game 7 and the Season

Apr 27, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Golden State Warriors lost a heartbreaking battle in Game 7 of their first round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Some might classify this season for the Warriors as “disappointing,” because, with that Game 7 loss, they failed to advance the Western Conference semifinals after doing so last season. However, this is far from the truth.

The Warriors’ franchise had been stuck in mediocrity or the basement of the NBA for so long, so to see a Warriors team in a Game 7 and with that strong of a desire to put up a fight for all 48 minutes was absolutely inspiring and far from disappointing. The Warriors displayed that fight and determination throughout the 2013-2014 season.

The Warriors were the underdogs going into this series, and as usual, not one ESPN analyst picked them to win this series. The Warriors perform best when they’re underestimated though. They showed in this series against the Clippers that they have the ability to overcome being the less talented team in a series with their heart, team chemistry, and motivation.

Both teams faced adversity in this series. The Clippers went through a devastating scandal involving their owner, Donald Sterling. It completely changed their franchise, and it affected their focus at points in the series.

However, the Warriors had to face adversity as well. Before the playoffs started, Andrew Bogut fractured his rib and was ruled out of the playoffs. Based on his significant impact in the playoffs last season, this was a huge blow to the Warriors. Their confidence didn’t waver though.

Without Bogut, the Warriors easily could’ve lost this series in four games. The fact that they were able to push this series to seven games without their defensive anchor, their rim protector, their hard screen setter, and their token tough guy was extremely impressive on many levels.

The Warriors can learn a lot from this season, and they can take a lot away from their Game 7 loss.

First of all, the Warriors proved in the playoffs that they are truly a tough team. Bogut’s emergence as an extremely effective defensive anchor certainly added toughness, but the Warriors were still viewed as a “fake tough” or “soft” team by many other NBA teams this season. The way the Warriors battled with the Clippers, matched their physicality, and weren’t afraid of the Clippers’ size in the frontcourt showed that they are one of the toughest teams in the NBA.

Draymond Green is a significant part of their newly established toughness. He is the ultimate competitor, teammate, and enforcer out on the court. He isn’t afraid of anything, and he’s a winner. The Warriors’ toughness as a team really showed when Green was put in the starting lineup.

Apr 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors players begin to celebrate with head coach Mark Jackson after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-120. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Second, Mark Jackson has been heavily criticized this season, but he showed in the playoffs why he’s the right coach for this team. This article isn’t about why Jackson needs to remain the Warriors’ head coach (more on this later…), but we’ll get into a few reasons why he should stay now.

One of the biggest criticisms about Jackson has been his questionable rotations and allocation of minutes. As the series progressed, Jackson decided to go with a small-ball lineup by starting Green, and he played Harrison Barnes more as a stretch four. He also moved away from his lineups of just bench players and mixed in his starters well. Jackson made the proper adjustments, and he should be commended for that.

The Warriors also played so hard throughout the series and never gave up, despite being overmatched at times. This type of determination and fearlessness should be partially attributed to Jackson. He inspires this team to be the best that they can be.

Many players, including Stephen Curry, stepped up in crunch time and proved to not be afraid of the big moment. That is a testament to Jackson’s personality, coaching, and confidence in his players. With Jackson’s guidance, Curry truly grew into a leader for this team, and he led this team’s fight to prove themselves.

Third, as mentioned before, the Warriors proved that they possibly have the most heart of any team in the NBA. They played a near perfect game of basketball in Game 7, and even though they didn’t reign victorious, they showed that they will never give up, no matter what.

What should be remembered about their Game 7 loss and their 2013-2014 season in general is the determination and the fight that they showed on a regular basis.

This Warriors team is hungry, and they will certainly make another run in the playoffs next season. Who knows how far the Warriors could’ve gone with Bogut healthy, and if Bogut is healthy next season, this Warriors team will be even more dangerous.

Entering this season, many people put high expectations on the Warriors. Although the Warriors might not have met those unfair expectations, they set up even bigger expectations for next season based on their performance in this series, and that is a big accomplishment and a testament to Coach Jackson.

Warriors fans should be incredibly proud of this Warriors team. Game 7 was an unforgettable battle that showed this team’s identity and heart to everyone in the NBA. Warriors fans should be excited for next season. The Warriors will be stronger and even more determined than ever.

Golden State Warriors: Looking Ahead To The First Round

Dec 25, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) calls out to his teammates against Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

It’s official. The Golden State Warriors, the sixth seed in the Western Conference, and the Los Angeles Clippers, the third seed, will face each other in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

To start out the preview of this matchup, let’s just say that the Warriors and the Clippers do not like each other, on and off the court. It seems like almost every time they play each other, there’s some type of scuffle and usually several technical fouls given out.

In addition, much of this tension has carried over to their relationships off the court. Most teams attend chapel with their opponent before each game, but the Warriors and Clippers refuse to attend chapel together.

Although their dislike for each other started just a couple seasons ago, there is certainly a rivalry between these two teams. This is why this first round matchup will be so entertaining.

It’s almost like it was meant to be. Both these teams have risen from pretenders to contenders in the past few seasons, and they both believe that they’re better than the other team. They also both play exciting brands of basketball, and whenever they play each other, the games are incredibly competitive, physical, and entertaining.

The Warriors and the Clippers faced each other four times during the regular season. Their first two contests were fairly close, and the next two contests were blowouts. They split the games 2-2.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that could decide which team wins this playoff series.

One of the key factors to this series is that the Warriors will be without Andrew Bogut, who is out indefinitely with a fractured rib. The Warriors will struggle without Bogut for several reasons.

Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (12) during their game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Warriors 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, Bogut is the Warriors’ defensive anchor and rim protector. He doesn’t just block shots, he changes shots, changes how offenses attack the rim, and he defends the weak side extremely well. He also sets great screens on offense. These simple explanations don’t fully explain how important he is to the Warriors, offensively and defensively, as a whole.

Second, without Bogut, the Warriors will have trouble containing the Clippers’ size. Blake Griffin is a beast and is having an MVP-type of year. DeAndre Jordan isn’t a huge offensive threat, but his athleticism can really hurt the Warriors’ frontcourt.

It will be difficult for the Warriors to win the frontcourt matchup with the Clippers, but they could win the backcourt matchup.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson make up one of the best backcourts in the NBA. The Clippers will most likely send multiple defenders at Curry to try to force him into turnovers and bad shots.

Chris Paul defends Curry well and forces him to turn the ball over a lot, so this could be a tough matchup for Curry. They have played against each other so much during the NBA season and they work out together in the offseason, but these two often bring out the best in each other.

Curry has been playing at a whole other superstar level recently though, and it seems like no one will be able to stop him.

In terms of defense, the Warriors’ perimeter defense is one of their strengths. Andre Iguodala, Thompson, and even Curry at times, to a lesser extent though, are all great defenders and can lock down or contain whoever they’re guarding.

The Warriors could have difficulty with defense in the frontcourt though. Even if they decide to start Draymond Green at power forward, to guard Griffin, or Jermaine O’Neal at center, to guard Jordan, they will still face some trouble defensively, given the Clippers’ size and athleticism.

In order to limit the Clippers’ frontcourt offensively, the Warriors might want to employ the hack-a-Jordan philosophy. Jordan is shooting 42.8 percent on free throws, and the Clippers, as a team, shoot 73 percent on free throws, which is 26th in the NBA.

Griffin has improved as a free throw shooter, but in the right situation, the Warriors might want to foul him too. They need to be careful though, because Griffin does a lot of “flopping,” and the Warriors, especially Green, can’t afford to get into foul trouble.

Nov 23, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) and Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) stand during a break in play against the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors also need to be active on the boards. The Clippers give up 43.7 rebounds per game, which is 25th in the NBA, so the Warriors need to take advantage of that.

On offense though, the Warriors could benefit greatly from going small and playing Green at power forward and Lee at center. Warriors fans are well aware of Lee’s defensive deficiencies, but offensively, he could succeed in a smaller lineup.

As a center, Lee thrives because he’s able to utilize his quickness against slower, bigger centers. Also, as a center, he doesn’t have to fight for space in the paint, which he often has to do with whoever is playing center for the Warriors.

Lee needs space to work in the paint and in post-ups in order to be effective. This is why he plays so well alongside Curry and Thompson. The Splash Brothers space the floor, and the Lee is able to work inside the paint and around the rim.

The Warriors will certainly face some tough matchups in the starting lineup, but the Clippers might also have an edge in terms of their bench and coaching. The Clippers have Jamal Crawford, Darren Collison, Danny Granger, Matt Barnes, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, and others all coming off the bench. That is an extremely deep bench with lots of different players who could hurt the Warriors.

The Warriors have had a fairly inconsistent bench this season. Steve Blake, Jordan Crawford, Harrison Barnes, and Marreesse Speights will be called upon for significant contributions off the bench, and they will have to step up big if the Warriors want to pull off the upset.

In terms of coaching, the Clippers might win the coaching category too. Although Mark Jackson led the Warriors to the Western Conference semifinals, Doc Rivers has won a championship. He has more experience, and he’s a defensive mastermind.

Jackson knows how to motivate his team and could out-coach Rivers in that sense, but it’s yet another challenge the Warriors will have to face.

With all this being said, the Warriors have more heart than possibly any team in the NBA. They will not give up, they will give their best, and they will put up a fight. They won’t go down easy, so don’t expect this series to be over quickly.

Prediction: Clippers win in 7

LGW: Golden State Warriors Injury List: Add Andrew Bogut Pelvic Contusion After David Lee Hamstring, Hilton Armstrong Returns

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

The Golden State Warriors entered their five-day break between games a little banged up. After Friday night’s victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, in which Marc Gasol knee’d Andrew Bogut in the groin, they’re even more banged up.

David Lee suffered a hamstring strain in last Saturday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Stephen Curry has been nursing a right quad injury, although he told LetsGoWarriors.com last Tuesday that it was all but gone, Andre Iguodala has been dealing with a right “jumper’s knee” or knee tendinitis, prior to the pelvic contusion Bogut had a tweaked ankle, and Festus Ezeli is still rehabbing from right knee surgery.

This time off helped heal some of the wounds that many Warriors’ players were dealing with, and it also allowed us to get an update on each nagging injury.

Let’s start off with Lee. LetsGoWarriors at practice yesterday and the Warriors informed us of the following:

At Tuesday’s practice, Lee discussed his injury status and the benefits of this break.

“Everybody got to get away from the game for a couple days and get rested up,” Lee said. “As you know, I’m battling a little hamstring thing, so hopefully I’ll be ready for Friday, making progress everyday. But without that, I’d be having to miss games right now.

“Once again, just like the All-Star break, this break has come at a perfect time for our team. We’ve been playing really good basketball and just trying to come out of this and be sharp for Friday. I’m sure Coach will have us doing some stronger practices as we get closer to get our wind back.”

At Wednesday’s practice, Curry discussed his quad injury with us.

“It’s pretty much gone at this point,” Curry said. “The rest from this week helped to get that last little bit of soreness. I still got to do a little bit here and there to get ready for games, but at this point in the season everyone’s got nicks and bruises and bangs.

“It’s not really on my mind much when I’m playing anymore, which is definitely an improvement from weeks past.”

Iguodala discussed the five days off and provided an update on his knee tendinitis at Tuesday’s practice.

“Well I think it’d be helpful for anybody,” Iguodala said about the break. “It’s not common you get a stretch like this where you go and you get four or five days off right in the middle of the schedule. It’s really just important to just to be cautious but also be effective with trying to get back as soon as possible.”

When asked if he would play on Friday against the Grizzlies, he said, “Yeah, that’s the plan. I got a really good workout yesterday with Coach Myers and then got some good reps up today, really just taking care of minor things in the weight room for the last five days, small tedious muscles that you forget about and get those back working and take some stress off the area.”

Read updates on Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli’s injuries and the rest of the article at Let’s Go Warriors.

LGW: Golden State Warriors Passing: Best in the NBA?

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Are the Golden State Warriors the best passing team in the NBA?

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle recently asked Mark Jackson, Andrew Bogut, Jermaine O’Neal, and Steve Blake that question, and they all had similar answers.

Coach Mark Jackson, past master of the assist, answered my true-false question with, “I would probably say, off the top of my head, true, because we have playmakers and good to very good to excellent passers.
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Bogut answered “true,” with a caveat: “I think we are (the best passing team), but our hindrance is turnovers. … The asterisk you would put next to that is we’ve got to limit our turnovers to be the best passing team in the league.”
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Steve Blake answered the T-F question, “Quite possibly. … That’s a big part of what we do. We’ve got certain guys we need to be aggressive at times and just go one-on-one. But at the right moments, guys are making really good passes.”
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So enjoy it while you’ve got it, Warriors fans, because as O’Neal said, “It’s rare in professional sports that you get a team that likes each other and is very unselfish. Basketball can really become a very individualized sport within a team system. You see that a lot on some teams, but for us it’s about making the extra play, making the extra pass.”

Ostler brings up an excellent point in the article that O’Neal touched upon also. The Warriors’ excellent passing could be partially attributed to their elite team chemistry.

They all want to win badly, and that brings them closer to together. That underdog mentality and that never-say-die attitude breeds excellent team chemistry, which can take a team far.

So what makes the Warriors such a good passing team?

Well, first of all, all five of their starters are arguably elite passers, for their position.

Stephen Curry is a creative, crafty passer who can pass well with either hand, Klay Thompson is a great passer out of pick-and-rolls, Andre Iguodala is also a creative passer who creates plays and can drive-and-kick, David Lee has great anticipation of what his teammate is going to do and when and how he should pass the ball to them, and Bogut, for a center, also has great timing and anticipation as a passer.

Read more about the Warriors’ passing and check out some advanced passing stats in the rest of the article at Let’s Go Warriors.

Golden State Warriors: Looking Ahead To The Final 6 Weeks

Mar 5, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala (9) and point guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrate during the second half of a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Golden State Warriors have a lot to prove in the final six weeks of the season. During this final stretch, they will have to fight for a playoff seed, they will have to fight through fatigue, and they will have to find some consistency and momentum going into the playoffs.

This season, as usual, the Western Conference is the more competitive conference, so it will be even tougher than usual for the Warriors to make the playoffs and gain a top-four seed.

There are four teams who will most likely be battling for the last three spots in the Western Conference standings: the Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, and Memphis Grizzlies.

All four of these teams are currently within three games of each other, so the fight for a playoff spot will most likely come down to the last day of the season.

The Warriors have 13 of their last 20 games at home, which they need to take advantage of, given the tight playoff race.

There are some key matchups coming up in the final six weeks of the season for the Warriors. Next week, the Warriors face three quality teams who are all playoff contenders. They face the Suns at home on March 9th, the Mavericks at home on March 11th, and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 12th.

The Warriors need to think of those first two games as must-wins, because of the proximity to both of those teams in the standings. The Warriors have had luck against the Clippers this season too, so if they can win all three of those games, that would certainly help their playoff chances.

The Warriors also have a tough back-to-back at the beginning of April. They face the Mavericks in Dallas on April 1st and the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio on April 2nd. Again, the Warriors need to beat Dallas, because they’ll be fighting for seeding.

Jan 28, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Golden State Warriors forward David Lee (10) celebrates with center Andrew Bogut (12) against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. The Warriors beat the Raptors 114-102. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs beat the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals last season, so the Warriors would like to make a statement to the Spurs in that game by beating them on the second game of a back-to-back on the road.

In the final six weeks, the Warriors also face the Portland Trail Blazers, who are currently the fifth seed (one seed ahead of the Warriors), in Portland twice. Those games are big matchups as well.

The Warriors have a favorable schedule for the final stretch of the season, given the amount of home games they have, but they need to improve in several areas in order to make a strong push into the playoffs.

First of all, the Warriors offense needs to improve. The Warriors’ defense has been stellar, if not elite, all season. However, despite having many offensive weapons, their offense can become quite stagnant at times.

The Warriors can become complacent on offense and settle for isolation post-ups, which can be effective at times but also eliminates any beneficial ball movement, which is one of their strengths.

Their ball movement is what fuels their up-tempo offense. When they push the fast break, get in transition, and get shots before the opposing team’s defense can set up, the Warriors offense flows much better. Once they get into that rhythm, it’s hard to stop them.

When they settle for isolation post-ups, it slows down the game. The Warriors need to play at a fast pace and force the other team to play at their speed in order to be effective.

Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, and the Warriors’ frontcourt of David Lee and Andrew Bogut are all great passers, so the Warriors need to take advantage of this more.

On offense, the Warriors also need to limit their turnovers, because this messes with their rhythm too.

The Warriors can also find more ways to integrate Iguodala and Bogut into the offense. Iguodala has said that his hamstring still bothers him on offense, but he needs to find ways to be more aggressive and contribute offensively.

Bogut can also contribute more than just on tip-ins and putback dunks. This would take some scoring pressure off of Curry, Lee, and Klay Thompson.

Feb 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Steve Blake (25) celebrates after a play against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Second, the Warriors need consistent production from the bench. The reserves were a significant reason why the Warriors were able to pull out a win against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. They allowed the starters to rest more than usual, and they out-scored the Pacers’ bench 34-11.

Harrison Barnes is starting to find his groove as a reserve, Jermaine O’Neal has been a beast on the boards and on blocks and he’s a valuable, veteran presence in the locker room, Jordan Crawford is finding ways to score and contribute, Draymond Green is doing a little bit of everything, and Steve Blake has been the perfect fit for this bench unit.

The Warriors have a lot of great pieces on the bench, so it’s just a matter of finding the right mix of players to play at the right time. Blake will certainly help in this area, because he is the type of player that makes the players around him better.

Third, another reason why the Warriors need consistent production from the bench is to preserve their health. The Warriors have had a bad history with injuries, and they need to make sure they monitor Curry and Bogut’s minutes.

Lastly, given all these areas, the Warriors need to find some consistency, in all these areas. Consistency is what breeds elite, championship contending teams, just look at a team like the Spurs. They’re the model for consistency and quality.

The Warriors’ defense has been pretty consistent, so they need to maintain that. They need to find a consistent rhythm on offense though.

If their bench can contribute offensively on a regular basis, this would give the Warriors an edge in many of their games. If the bench plays well, the starters get more rest, which will only benefit them when the playoffs start.

Consistency is key for the Warriors. If they can establish some consistency, they will ride some momentum into the playoffs.