Many people questioned the re-signing of Andrew Bogut. Especially to such a lucrative contract that spans over three seasons. Not me however. Mark Jackson and Golden State Warriors should be praising the lord that Bogut decided to re-sign so early. The re-signing of our Aussie big man was a great move for the Warriors organization for a number of reasons.
Firstly, he ‘anchors’ their defense! Now what does this mean? Every team needs a guy who organizes their defense on the floor. The coach can instruct in timeouts and from the sidelines. The point guard organizes the offense and more often than not each team has a guy who organizes the ‘D’. This can be done in a number of ways but almost always there are few common traits these players display.
Talk – Bogut is vocal on the floor, both with passion and with instruction. Bogut’s ability to direct players through picks and set off rotations through something as simple as chatter out on the court is a trait that not many pro ballers have these days.
Hustle – Any of you who watched Bogut’s performances during the playoffs last year will know what I’m talking about here. There are not many more inspiring sights than seeing your 7 footer dive on a loose ball or throw himself at a second or third effort play. I have played alongside Bogut in my junior days whilst representing Victoria. I can say this about him. He is COMPETITIVE!! The guy wants to win and he understands the importance of every possession.
Smart – He is a smart defender with great timing. Knowing not only the tendencies of the guy you’re matched up on, but of the entire opposing team, is what separates good defenders from great defenders. Bogut’s ability to direct people through screens and organize rotations is a direct result of his knowledge of the other team’s tendencies. Giving Kendrick Perkins the face up jumper from the short corner and pushing Timmy D off the block may not look like much of a contribution to the casual fan. However Mark Jackson and the GSW know the importance of a big man who knows a bad shot for the opposition is a good shot for them. Even if you’re giving it up.
In order for the Warriors to compete in the playoffs they need a big man with the ability to defend Timmy D. Now I’m not saying Bogut can completely shut down possibly the greatest power forward of all time. However, I’m positive he can make life hard for him. Having Bogut changing shots and making Duncan work for everything he gets could be the difference between bowing out in the second round and making the NBA Finals.
The importance of Bogut is consolidated with the addition of Andre Iguodala. In previous years the Warriors guards have been like a revolving door on defense. Whilst Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are lights out on the offensive end, their inability to keep a man in front of them has cost them in seasons past. This meant that they were opening up the lane and sending scorers on the move towards David Lee and his red matador cloak. The signings of Bogut and Igi has plugged this whole without losing out on the offensive end. With Igi guarding the opposing team’s best offensive player there will be a lot less blow-byes on the perimeter. When the GSW guards or D.Lee do get beat whilst tying their shoelaces, the Warriors will now have one of the league’s best rim defenders there to block and change more shots than ever before.
Finally, the Warriors were quick to pull the trigger on the ‘Bogeyman’ because of his ability to score and facilitate on the block. Paired with Bogut’s defensive traits, is his ability to score from the block and pass out of the post. This separates him from most other centers in the league. With shooters like Thompson and Curry roaming the perimeter, opposing defences will have a hell of time deciding whether or not to send some help down to defend Bogut. They either risk opening up shooters for Bogut to find, or they stay home and leave their big man to guard Bogut one on one. This is the sort of thing that not many big men in the league can provide.
For me, the re-signing of Bogut is a perfect fit for both Andrew and the Warriors. Now if we can all cross our fingers, toes and say a few Hail Mary’s alongside reverend Mark Jackson then hopefully we can get a full season out of the Bogeyman. If so, I don’t see a limit for this Warriors team….. NBA Finals?…. Champions?