HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Golden State fans can’t miss what they’ve never had.
That’s exactly the situation the Warriors are in with Andrew Bogut, the 7-footer who was supposed to help transform them but has not been able to because of surgically reconstructed right ankle.
When the Warriors traded Monta Ellis to get Bogut, they moved the face of the franchise (whether you liked him in that role or not) for a former No. 1 overall Draft pick who was supposed to provide the low-post presence they lacked. Instead, Bogut has been missing in action because of the complications with that ankle. He has missed nine straight games and isn’t expected back anytime soon, according to the Contra Costa Times:
“It’s still sore and it’s just not right yet,” Bogut said Tuesday. “When I try to train for extended periods, it just doesn’t respond well. Until I can get through a week’s worth of full practices, I’m back to where I am now.”
Which is rehabbing on the treadmill and exercise bike, doing some very light running and some touch shooting. None of the aggressive stuff he is known for. He can’t practice yet, let alone play, and if this sounds like a novel going bad, you can’t be blamed for your pessimism.
Bogut says he’ll be out there when it’s right, and the Warriors aren’t pressuring him. But it’s reasonable to wonder: After what the club went through with Stephen Curry last season, will it ever be right enough this year for Bogut to make a significant impact?
If that sounds familiar, it’s the same question folks in Philadelphia are asking about their supposed 7-foot savior, Andrew Bynum, who hasn’t played a second this season due to his knee issues. While Bogut at least appears to be an option sometime in the reasonably near future, say before Christmas, Bynum’s prospects are not as clearly defined.
The impact on their respective teams, however, remains the same. To the credit of both the Warriors and Sixers, they’ve managed just fine without their marquee big men.
The Warriors are 8-6 and tied with Los Angeles Clippers for first in the Pacific Division. The Sixers, meanwhile, have won two straight and at 9-6 are in the thick of things in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division, behind two of the hottest teams (Brooklyn and New York) in the league.
Surviving through the first month of the season without a low-post anchor is one thing, doing it over the course of the next five months … well, that’s another story.