We’re back with Round 2 of the midseason edition of the Bloggers Roundtable. On Monday, our ‘starting five’ of Warriors bloggers offered their thoughts on whether or not the Warriors should be active at the NBA trade deadline, and today Ben Cruz (Bleacher Report), Ethan Sherwood Strauss (Bleacher Report), WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com), Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind), Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy) and Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break) discuss one of last year’s big acquisitions.
Yes, we’re discussing Andrew Bogut – all seven feet and 260 pounds of him. The Warriors are eight games over .500 at the All-Star Break, and most of that success came without the aid of Bogut’s services. Since returning to the lineup in late January, the man in the middle has been kept under strict supervision. He has yet to play 30 minutes in a single game and has been held out of playing on consecutive days, but those restrictions are expected to be lifted after the All-Star Break. With that in mind, we ask our panel the following question:
Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
Bogut should have a fairly big impact on the rest of the Warriors' season. While the team was able to hold it together without him, they struggled mightily against any team that had a bulk of size in the frontcourt. Bogut's size, defensive acumen and ability to at least be a threat on offense makes Golden State a much better team. In his first few games back he hasn't quite had the monstrous impact that many envisioned but as he regains his rhythm and gains chemistry with his teammates, Bogut will find a way to make his presence felt on both ends of the floor thus taking the Warriors to the next level.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss | Bleacher Report, WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com | @SherwoodStrauss
I foresee 7'0'', 260 lbs of impact. Or at least I hope for an impact as massive as the man. Right now, on defense, the Warriors are inching towards the paint to compensate for a lack of rim-protectors. If Bogut gets fully incorporated into GSW's defense, they can stop giving up so many three-pointers via this tendency, and edge near top-10 status on D.
Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
Assuming he's going to ramp up on minutes and conditioning, Bogut should have a huge impact. We've already seen glimpses with his blocks on defense, and on offense, his assists and scoring ability. Theoretically things should get incrementally better.
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
It's hard to quantify impact. We know Bogut playing more minutes will have an impact on how the Warriors play, but will his increased time on the floor translate to wins? If Bogut can stay on the court and get to a point where he's playing in every game relatively soon, there's a chance the Warriors can get comfortable and really enjoy the last 22 games – especially since 16 are at home.
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
A big one. While the team has been up and down during Bogut's recent return, this stretch of games is essentially his training camp. He's still getting in shape, gaining confidence in the ankle and learning to play with his new teammates in game settings. Once the minute restriction comes off and he feels fully comfortable on the court, I expect him to be a big part of the Warriors' two-way attack. The biggest challenge for the rest of the Warriors will be to adjust their defensive tendencies to account for having a shot-blocking post defender. The defensive switching and spacing is entirely different with a battleship center in the middle of the paint. Bogut's biggest impact hopefully will be in the postseason, when the Warriors' list of likely opponents includes a bunch of teams with talented big men that Bogut will need to neutralize.
That does it for this edition of the Bloggers Roundtable. Check out the crew's thoughts on the Warriors' possible trade deadline maneuvers and stay tuned for Thursday's discussion in which they forecast the remainder of the Warriors' regular season.