Aussies in the NBA: The Bogut Factor is on full display

Three Aussies came together when the Golden State Warriors hosted the Utah Jazz at the Oracle Arena yesterday. Bogut emerged as Aussie of the night with his passing smarts and defensive prowess. He ended the night with a stacked sheet: 8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in nearly thirty minutes of play.

The best passing big man out there?

In recent games, it feels like Bogut's presence eases the Warriors offense and allows them to flow better. I love how coach Kerr gives Bogut a relatively free rein on decision-making regardless of whether he's on the high post or on the low block. Suffice it to say, Bogut's ability to read the situation and make the right pass has been flawless.

In March, the team took 35.8% of its shots at the three-point line when Bogut was on the court, versus 26.9% when he was on the bench. This reflects improved court spacing, plus the ball getting to an open shooter more than anything else. Let's not forget the fact that the team scored at a clip of 42.1% from deep when Bogut's around, and 39.3% when he's not. The same goes for field goals; it's 48.7% (on), and 46.9% (off).

The team is 14.5 in Plus-Minus when he's around, versus 6.8 when he sits. Again, Bogut's presence is hugely beneficial to the team's point difference when Bogey is on the court. Let's look at two Bogut-influenced possessions that happened against the Jazz.

A low post dish to the cutter

[gfycat data_id="BlushingUnsungDolphin" data_autoplay=true data_expand=true] In this play, Bogut assumed position on the block against Gobert. At the same time, Draymond Green strolled towards Harrison Barnes, and gestured like he was about to set a screen for Barnes. Rodney Hood got tricked, and was reacting to the screen action when Barnes abruptly made a hard run at the rim.

Guess who was waiting for the cut? Bogut chucked the ball right into the lane, right into the hands of Barnes. Well, what do you do when you have the ball, an unprepared defense and an inviting, open rim? Dunk the crap out of that ball of course.

The give and go with Curry

[gfycat data_id="HarmlessThoughtfulHeron" data_autoplay=true data_expand=true]

Steph Curry was unable to get by Exum here, and had exhausted his dribble. Left with no options, he passed the ball over to Bogut. For some inexplicable reason, Exum took a hesitant step towards Bogut, as if he was supposed to rotate to Bogut while Gobert hung back. I had assumed Exum would continue to cover Curry. Bogut was very unlikely to shoot from that spot. More often than not, it ended up being a dribble hand off.

Curry saw the mistake and a window of opportunity, and made a hard cut right away. Bogut did not even skip a beat on this impromptu play, and delivered a pocket pass worthy of any point guard. The dish was right on point, Gobert was out of position to contest the shot, and Curry finished with a pretty ridiculous reverse that banked really, really high off the glass.


Sharing towels, never a good thing

There was a funny moment in game, when Bogut looked like he wanted to share towels with Gobert while waiting for the first free throw, only not really. He extended the towel, only to pull away when Gobert began to reach out.

Bogut tweeted the incident post-game after seeing a Vine of the towel play, suggesting it might not be the best idea in terms of hygiene.

Sharing towels is nasty! RT @Sonny_k86: @andrewbogut haha too funny! #WarriorNation pic.twitter.com/nSCvP13uRb

— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) March 22, 2015