For the Warriors, this is a really unanswerable question. Sure, this guy has had the whole offseason to regain his health and stabilize his ankles, but the injury bug never goes away. Stephen Curry learned that the hard way. After sustaining multiple injuries, Andrew Bogut claimed him self injury-prone, which didn’t settle well with a lot of Warrior fans.
The Warriors may have a great roster and everything, but if injury has another plan, they might not even make the playoffs. The reason the Warriors had success without Bogut last year was because of the 4-5 punch that David Lee and Carl Landry formed. Now that Landry is out of the picture, can Marreese Speights fill that role? He’s not as good as Landry in terms of finishing at the hoop, but he can play his defense. The Warriors may do well without Bogut because Jermaine O’Neal is competent, but how can one not wonder?
Speights may not be great this season, and hey, maybe O’Neal’s last decent season was with the Phoenix Suns last year? If Bogut goes down and all of this is true, than the Warriors won’t really know how their front court works. They will have to sign a D-Leaguer like they did a couple years ago when their roster was down to essentially seven guys.
This is all speculation, and these are worst-case scenarios, of course. Still, health has been the key to success in all of the NBA. LeBron James was, of course, deserving of his two rings, but all the injuries in the playoffs may have helped him get there a little bit. Last year, we all know that Derrick Rose tragically went down with a torn ACL and has yet to play a game.
This year is a different story. Not just Rose was injured, but so many players went down this year. Lee from the Warriors, Russell Westbrook from the Thunder, Blake Griffin from the Clippers wasn’t 100%, Danny Granger from the Pacers, and even Luol Deng and Rose from the Bulls. If none of these players were injured, things could have played out a little bit differently. Unfortunately, however, we’ll never know. We just have to wait and see how things turn out this next season.
Bogut is a tough guy who played through some injury in the playoffs. If he can’t stay healthy, there’s no telling what could happen. The Warriors will only find out when they try and pair Speights with Lee and see how that works. Jermaine O’Neal is a great center, and the Warriors do have a lot of reinforcements.