Last year, when each critic said that the Warriors wouldn’t be able to contend without a center, the Warriors traded star guard Monta Ellis to the Bucks, for a top five center in the league in Andrew Bogut.
This was supposed to fix the rebounding and defensive problem. Now, however, that Bogut has missed majority of the Warriors’ season, he is proving that all the Warriors needed to do was get rid of Ellis, and they would be a better team. That has proven to be accurate.
Without Bogut, the Warriors are in the top five in rebounding, and their defense, although not great, is just good enough to the point that they don’t need a huge center like Bogut patrolling the paint.
What critics also failed to look at is that Mark Jackson is truly a defensively minded coach, and if his players don’t play defense, he’s pulling them out of the game. That’s the kind of attitude.
With David Lee, who is capable of pulling 22 rebounding down per game, is there really need for a center? Also, guards like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are both averaging four or more rebounds per game, so that’s a huge help.
As for defending centers, Festus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins have both proved to be helpful, but big and skilled centers like Nikola Pekovic find it easy to get deep positioning and score. Biedrins is more experienced and smarter, but Ezeli’s body is big and the Warriors need that. Carl Landry, the backup PF is playing some good defense on centers, but he is still only 6’9 and can’t compete with them
All of this would be a problem, but not every team in the NBA has an incredible center. For the most part, David Lee and Carl Landry are able to effectively play defense, and guards like Thompson, Curry, and of course Harrison Barnes, are crashing the boards. This has proved to work for the Warriors when they’re missing Andrew Bogut, who is once again out indefinitely with back spasms.
If you’re still not convinced that the Warriors could do without Bogut, take a look at the 1/29 – present stats:
With Bogut: Opponent’s PF or C Scoring and Rebounding: 14.6 PPG, 9.9 RPG
Without Bogut: Opponent’s PF or C Scoring and Rebounding: 12.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG
I hate to say that the Warriors don’t really need Bogut to win, but the Warriors don’t really look like they’re struggling.
This is of course, a debate, and if you have an opinion, don’t be afraid to share with me. Comment below: should the Warriors need Bogut? Are they better without him? My answer would be yes, the Warriors play better without Bogut.