Aussies in NBA: Splash Brothers show Bogut love at All-Star Weekend
Whilst Andrew Bogut is drinking on a boat somewhere in San Diego with his fellow Australians, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry showered some high praise for the Australian big man, as the two of them (along with Draymond Green) represented the Golden State Warriors at the All-Star weekend in Toronto.
Despite being extremely occupied, Curry was happy to provide some insight into his relationship with Andrew Bogut.
"It's great man! He's a hell of a dude. He's always the one of the first to say something out of line in a funny way and is great to have around on long trips. He's a great leader and makes our team so much stronger."
If you were asked who the key players in Golden State are, you'd say Steph, Klay or Draymond. It seems almost impossible for a seven-footer to go unnoticed, but somehow Andrew Bogut does fly under the radar.
Bogut’s role for the Warriors has varied over his years. When he arrived he was the saviour, hailed as the Warriors’ first legitimate big man at the center position. Following success was frustration, as his health concerns forced him to miss the 2014 playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers. Last year, he became the forgotten man as the Warriors turned to a devastating small-ball lineup against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
This year however, is a different story. The Warriors are on fire with a record of 47-4, and they need Bogut more than ever. Bogut’s numbers won’t wow anyone and it’s easy to overlook what he brings to the Warriors, but when you look past the stats and lack of flashy plays, you’ll see a valuable asset that has helped the reigning NBA champions on both ends of the court. Being an a excellent passer, Bogut provides another engine for the Golden State offense outside of Green and Curry. His hard screens also gives Curry and Thompson the ability to find space and get great open shots.
Bogut also regularly gets his opponent out of the lane when he gets to the top of the arc, leaving more room for baseline cuts and easy shots under the basket. Obviously, Bogut has been struggling scoring with his offensive game however he passes the ball so well, that it can be seen as a major threat.
I also spoke to Klay Thompson about what it's like playing with Bogut.
"Haha, it's fun. It's not that fun on the cards though, that guy's a shark!" Thompson exclaimed, likely with the wisdom of experience.
He's also heard his fair share of Aussie jokes in the locker room, apparently.
"There's a lot of of it man. Between Barbosa and him, their native dialect is tough to understand sometimes, but he's a character; he's got a great personality."
The affable Thompson went on to talk about Bogey's invaluable qualities on the court.
"He's a great leader, he's really selfless, he puts the team first and he's the anchor on our defensive end." The shooting guard naturally, didn't forget about Bogut's contributions on offense, and for good reason. "Being a great playmaker in the high post and a great screen-setter, he gets me a lot of open looks."
No surprise there.
The Aussie big man had his best home game of the season against the Houston Rockets before the All-Star break, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. It was on the defensive side of the ball that Bogut completely dominated, blocking 6 shots along with 3 steals. In a game where the Rockets were playing well and looking to break the Warriors home game wining streak, Bogut was a dominant force and took over the game.
Bogut is back for now, and we're loving every minute of it!