5 Golden State Warriors

October 28, 2013

CASE FOR

Any analysis of Warriors center Andrew Bogut invariably begins with these three words: When he's healthy.... When he's healthy Bogut is an offensive weapon who can score and is a superb passer out of the post. When he's healthy Bogut can dominate the boards and be the backbone of a defense. When he's healthy Bogut is one of the top five centers in the game.

This season the Warriors badly need Bogut to be healthy: He has been limited to 44 games the last two seasons. Power forward Carl Landry (free agent) is gone, backup center Festus Ezeli (right knee) is out until at least mid-December and 6'9" David Lee is coming off hip surgery, leaving Golden State thin on the front line. Coach Mark Jackson says he wants his team—which played at the fourth-fastest pace in the NBA last season—to play even more quickly, which will require Bogut, 28, who dropped 15 pounds this summer, to control the glass. And when the game slows down, Bogut needs to draw double teams and open up space for the league's most lethal three-point attack.

"Last season I put the ball in the post, and it was lumber, lumber, lumber, bounce, bounce, bounce, shoot," says Bogut. "I couldn't make quick moves on my ankle, or it'd give out or I'd fall over. Now I'm back to a point where I can make quick moves and go off the dribble. I'm excited." If he's healthy, the Warriors have cause to be excited as well.

—C.M.

FAST FACTS

COACH MARK JACKSON (3RD SEASON WITH THE WARRIORS)

2012--13 RECORD 47--35 (2ND IN PACIFIC)

WHAT'S NEW An actual stopper, in the form of forward Andre Iguodala—and another Curry (Steph's brother Seth).

PROJECTED LINEUP (2012--13 STATS)

PG STEPHEN CURRY

22.9 PPG; 6.9 APG; 1.6 SPG; 45.1 FG%

SG KLAY THOMPSON

16.6 PPG; 2.2 APG; 42.2 FG%; 40.1 3FG%

SF ANDRE IGUODALA

13.0 PPG; 5.4 APG; 45.1 FG%; 31.7 3FG%

PF DAVID LEE

18.5 PPG; 11.2 RPG; 3.5 APG; 51.9 FG%

C ANDREW BOGUT

5.8 PPG; 7.7 RPG; 1.7 BPG; 45.1 FG%

SIXTH MAN

SF HARRISON BARNES

9.2 PPG; 4.1 RPG; 43.9 FG%; 35.9 3FG%

NEW ACQUISITION

TELLING NUMBER

45.3

THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE for Stephen Curry, the second highest in NBA history for a player who made at least 200 threes. Only Glen Rice of the 1996--97 Hornets was more accurate, shooting 47.0%.

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP THE WARRIORS

It will be interesting to see how they play without [assistant] Mike Malone [who left to become the Kings' coach]. He was a big key to running that team. Mark Jackson—he just let them play. Malone did everything.... Last year Jarrett Jack [now with the Cavaliers] was huge for them. He took a lot of pressure off of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He was a scoring point guard who could play both off and on the ball. He showed a lot of heart at the end of the game.... Curry has always been an unbelievable shooter, but he learned how to play point guard last year. When he is making plays and finding open teammates, he is as hard as anyone in the league to guard.... I love Thompson. He can do everything with the ball, off the ball. He shoots, he plays in transition, he can handle it. He can play out of pick-and-roll, he can play off on-screens. He is what you want in a two guard.... With Andre Iguodala they have a lockup defender on the wing now. That's huge in this league. And he's a great third option. He knows that, he accepts that.... They don't run a lot of plays for David Lee, but he just finds a way to rack up those double doubles.... Signing Iguodala moves Harrison Barnes to the bench, but he'll be fine. He shot the three better and he played out of the post better [in the second half of last season], which bodes well for his future.... [Opponents] will run them off the three-point line. They will give up wide-open 15-footers and dare the Warriors to make them.

PHOTOROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (BOGUT)CENTER OF ATTENTION BOGUT PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (LEE)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)