Andrew Bogut, Passing Maestro
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Andrew Bogut is a shirt-grabbing, smack-talking, self high-fiving Aussie, and I love every part of his game. He’s not afraid to try and get inside someone’s head using any manner of technique (just ask DeMarcus Cousins), and I would pick him in a fight over anyone in the NBA not named Kevin Garnett. His Twitter feed is filled with hilarious one-liners, and his honesty during interviews is beyond refreshing. Every team needs a blue-collar big man willing to do all of the dirty work without hogging the glory, and Bogut does exactly that for the Dubs.
In addition to all of this, Bogut has shown that he is not only a willing passer, but also a capable and sometimes brilliant one. One of the main reasons he is such a strong distributor is because he understands the angles of the game. Take the following slide from the Rockets game, for instance.
Curry has the ball on the wing, looking to make a post entry pass to D-Lee, who is being fronted by his man. Bogut was trailing this play and, before he was even in the screen, was yelling at Curry to give him the ball. Obviously Curry isn’t going to argue with Bogey, so he whips him the ball at the top of the key.
Here is where I must commend Lee. Seeing that Bogey has the ball up top, Lee seals the man that had been fronting him, and plants him on his butt. Bogut instantly flips the ball over the top of Dwight, down to Lee for an easy layup.
This is not a complicated play at all, but it is brilliant in its simplicity, and Bogut saw it from the beginning. Of late the Warriors have too often tried to make the spectacular play when a simple pass would suffice. This has been a main cause for their turnover struggles. Bogut clearly saw that Lee’s man was overplaying him, and had the foresight to know just how to beat that defense. This play had further ramifications as it prevented the Rockets from overplaying the post later on, making post-entries that much easier.
Bogut also possesses an advanced skill-set for the center position. In the following clip, we will see Bogut trying to get the ball to a covered Toney Douglass coming off a down screen from Marreese Speights.
Rather than force the pass to Douglass, which would have led to an easy layup going the other way, Bogut takes a few hard dribbles at him. This action gives the Warriors a lot of looks coming out of it: 1) simple hand off to Douglass; 2) Bogut lets Douglass run by, and sticks his butt out to slow up Douglass’ defender as he whips a nice curl pass to him; 3) Douglass backdoors his man, as he does here.
These type of plays make Bogut so invaluable on offense, even when he doesn’t exactly light up the scoreboard (which is always). And then, of course, there are plays Bogut makes that no forward should ever be able to make, let alone a center.
No, Bogut. Give up the ball, you stupid Aussie! GIVE IT THE F–Oh yeah! Great play!
Behind all those bruising elbows and the smack talk, Bogey is really just another dude trying to play street ball with his homies. Unfortunately the Warriors need Bogey the Enforcer more than they do Bogey the Brilliant, but no one is complaining about a flash of his brilliance every once in a while…especially if they keep resulting in Steph Curry threes.