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If you were to ask anyone with experience with the Golden State Warriors about Andrew Bogut, you will get nothing but glowing praise. The Australian center and former #1 NBA Draft pick had plenty of personal success with Milwaukee, however, most of his accolades came during a four-season stint in Oakland.
A bit of a journey has taken place for Bogut, who got traded to Dallas after the 2015-16 season. That trade ended up helping the Warriors gain a conditional second-round pick, and it also cleared cap space for the Golden State Warriors to sign Kevin Durant. Stints at Cleveland and Los Angeles ensued before he moved back to Australia on a 2-year contract with the NBL’s Sydney Kings for the most recent 2018-19 season. A fruitful season followed, with Bogut being named the unanimous league MVP.
That MVP season caught the interest of a few teams, with Golden State and Philadelphia among the front runners to get the big man. His bond with the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and coach Steve Kerr ensured that the Warriors got the services of the Australian. His return against San Antonio saw Bogut end up with 7 points, 7 rebounds, and an assist in a 111-105 loss. With fans and players alike pumped for his return, we figured that it was time to look at his first stint for some inspiration.
14 Points, 21 Rebounds vs Denver Nuggets (GSW win 92-88, take first round 4-2)
Playing a season-high 39:20, Andrew Bogut straight up dominated the Denver Nuggets big men under the bucket. His tandem combination with Draymond Green saw both big men grab double-doubles, with Bogut’s performance a season high in both points and rebounds. His 21 rebounds, while dominating JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried (both totalled 21), were good for the 4th-best rebounding performance of his career.
It is also no coincidence that Steph Curry had a near double-double, with the Curry-Bogut combination being a scary prospect no matter what stage of his career Bogut is in. Curry had 8 assists, 3 of which set up Bogut. As for Bogut, he had 3 assists of his own that game, with one being a classic drive-and-swing play to find Curry for 3.
16 Points, 17 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 2 Steals, 3 Blocks vs Utah Jazz (GSW win 95-90)
The scoring and rebounding statistics are not what made this a standout performance, although, it does help his cause. Andrew Bogut covered the stat line and then some in what was probably his best performance of the season before an injury took him down.
In the first quarter of this game alone, Bogut had 6 points to go with 8 rebounds and 4 assists. The big man was on triple-double watch after 10 minutes of action at Utah, before “cooling off” to end at 8/11 from the field for that ridiculous stat line. While not as impressive in today’s game, it was not that long ago when the big men weren’t expected to put up 3’s.
While we are at it, the player who Bogut dished out his 5 assists to? Steph Curry.
10 Points, 15 Rebounds, 5 Blocks vs New Orleans Pelicans (GSW win 97-87) – 1/18/14
Sometimes it isn’t the scoring output that bodes well for Bogut, just go and look at his MVP highlights from the NBL season above. It wasn’t as if Bogut had a bad shooting night either, as he ended up shooting at 100% off 5/5 from the field against Anthony Davis. His defensive play just ended up impacting the game more than his offense.
How did his defensive work help? Bogut had 2 quarters in which he led all rebounders. The first quarter (6 for Bogut) set the tone for the Warriors when they needed someone to limit offensive boards, while the third quarter (5 for Bogut) was when Golden State had their first lead since the game was at 2-1.
Out of his 5 blocks, 4 came in the last 13 minutes of the game. In fact, 3 of them were in a span of 90 seconds when New Orleans were in hurry-up mode to bring back a 6-point deficit. In the last 4 minutes that he was on the court, Bogut grabbed 2 points to go with 2 offensive rebounds and 3 blocks. The Warriors needed impact, and Bogut gave them just that.
9 Blocks in 28 minutes vs New Orleans (GSW lost 100-103) – 4/7/15
Andrew Bogut really seems to have a grievance against the Pelicans. It wasn’t as if every block was a banked lay-up or a tip that he knocked off, as he swatted away shots from the arc like they were flies. The rest of the stat line isn’t too impressive, ending with 8 rebounds to go with 8 points and 5 personal fouls in his 28 minutes. Words don’t really explain it, so go ahead and watch it instead.
15 Points, 14 Rebounds vs Oklahoma City Thunder (GSW win 120-111) – 5/26/16
Walking into this game, Golden State was down 3-1 in the conference finals against a team that had Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on career years. Andrew Bogut had been called out by fans and analysts alike, wanting to see the Australian dropped to the bench for Andre Iguodala. What came in this game is one of the most spirited performances in a Warriors uniform, and a performance that turned around the momentum in the Conference Finals.
Andrew Bogut had the game-high in rebounds, teaming up with Draymond Green (13 rebounds) to completely dominate the paint. 71 points from Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant weren’t enough, as the big men teamed up with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to win the last 3 games and win the series.
The Golden State Warriors love Andrew Bogut, and he is keen to make an impact. If he can get rolling as we run into the postseason, the Warriors are going to be hard to stop.
Featured Image: NBA/Getty Images