Bogut May Return Tonight As Warriors Enter Somewhat-Crucial Stretch

The Warriors have lost six of 10, David Lee has had a couple tough games since being voted to the All-Star team, and Golden State is about to begin a favorable stretch of schedule custom made for bounce-back opportunities. This would be a big week no matter what.

Except that Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group is reporting that Andrew Bogut is aiming to return to the lineup tonight at Toronto  in what would be Bogut’s first action since Nov. 7, the last time he attempted to come back from the fractured left ankle of Jan. 25, 2012, and ensuing microfracture surgery in April.

The Warriors and Bogut, both having long ago grown tired of conjecture over his health, are, not surprisingly, saying little.

The microfracture procedure was not revealed until long after the fact. Bogut was supposed to be ready for the start of camp and was not. He was supposed to be ready for the start of the regular season and basically was not, and everyone involved put a lid on any timeline from there out of fear of the appearance of another setback. When Bogut is able to play, he will play, likely without much advance notice. That’s been the timeline.

“Since not playing was Bogut’s call, his return is also his call,” Thompson wrote. “One source said the Warriors don’t need to see how he looks because the barometer is how he feels and what he can do on the court. So even though he hasn’t participated in a full practice, he is still cleared to jump into a game when he feels ready.”

The timing — after lasting just 73 minutes over four games in the previous attempted return, after missing the next 38 games — makes a projected Bogut return particularly noteworthy. Golden State, after mostly playing beyond even the most optimistic of expectations without the center that was supposed to be a perfect fit for the defense and the offense, lost to the Bulls by 16 points and to the Bucks by seven in its last two games.

They did beat the Clippers and Thunder just before this recent bad stretch, but since Jan. 13 have also given up 116 to the Nuggets, been dominated by the Heat and failed to break 90 points in three of the eight games.

Plus, Lee is 12 of 33 from the field the last two games against Joakim Noah of the Bulls, a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, and Larry Sanders of the Bucks, the league leader in blocks. Lee had six rebounds in Chicago before grabbing 15 in Milwaukee. Seeing Golden State — one of the league’s top rebounding teams all season — get beat on the boards by the Bucks is a bad sign.

Now comes the ideal schedule for a response:

Tonight – at Toronto

Tuesday – at Cleveland in the finale of the four-game swing

Thursday – vs. Dallas

Saturday – vs. Phoenix

Anything less than 3-1 against four opponents with a combined .353 winning percentage, with the 19-25 Mavericks as the only team within telescope range of a winning record, would have to be considered a disappointment. The Warriors are in a virtual tie with Denver for fifth place in the West despite the recent struggles, two games behind No. 4 Memphis and 2 ½ ahead of No. 7 Utah, and have been handed a chance to recover.

17 Comments

  1. George says:

    Take it slow and it should be a positive return for Bogut

  2. JummyJazz says:

    8pts 7reb 3blk in 18mins so far, pretty good return

  3. Dan says:

    Its official – Bogut back (and starting!) against the Raps tonight. Booyah! ;) Check it out…https://twitter.com/warriors

  4. Sam says:

    @Ben C: Spurs recently signed another Aussie.
    @slider821: Those are games we should win, if we want to be real contenders.

    Can’t wait to see what Bogut can do for this team. Whether he’s healthy from now on will make the playoffs incredibly interesting* for GSW and its foes.

    *Hoops fan’s wet dream exciting -> Spread the floor with shooters, bang inside to Boges/Lee, rapid movement, rebounding, transition, hopefully some good defensive sets.

  5. TheRealRayRay says:

    I miss Rondo already

  6. Danny says:

    Please be healthy and help the interior defense!

  7. Ben C says:

    Hoping to see Bogut return soon. As an Aussie Celtics fan, I’ve been disappointed with the lack of minutes Patty Mills is getting in San Antonio, but that’s Pops call and I don’t hold it against him since he’s one of the top coaches in the league. Bogut is pretty much the only other Aussie in the league at the moment (We can’t claim Kyrie) so any minutes he gets are big news for Aussie NBA fans

    • Adrian says:

      @Ben C – Don’t forget that Aron Baynes has just signed with the Spurs, hopefully he’ll see some minutes too.

    • Mark says:

      As a Spurs fan, I too have been disappointed about Mills not getting much playing time (considering that I’d rather have him handle the ball more than Gary Neal). I’m sure Mills will get his chance sometime.

  8. big cat says:

    he’s oft injured but when healthy he’s the best center in the league , hands down

  9. CHUCK NORRIS says:

    HARRISON BARNES!!!!!!!!!! BOGUT WILL HELP ON DEFENSE.

  10. G-Stone says:

    As an Australian who just moved to Toronto a week ago, and going to the game tonight THIS IS HUGE! Go Bogut! Go Warriors!

  11. slider821 says:

    Couple of things Scott neglected to mention in order to make the ‘lost 6 of last 10′ headline seem drastic when it really is not:

    • Curry was out 2 of those losses
    • DLee was out one
    • Their unconcerning losses were to Memphis, Heat, Denver, Spurs, all top teams
    • One was against the Spurs in San Antonio, Spurs don’t lose at home
    • One was against a Heat team that wanted revenge and was in a similar redemption scenario
    • Ws beat both OKC and Clippers during those last 4/10 wins, statement wins

    I will admit that they should have won at least one of the last two against Bulls and Bucks. But these things happen. Losses to these 6 teams are just the Ws strength of schedule catching up.

    • dattebayo says:

      You’re such a hypocrite, slighting me for pointing out several things that went in the Dubs favor earlier in the season. Now you are listing all the things that went against the Dubs and that those 6 losses are not really concerning. Wolves fans can only laugh about your pathetic attempt to excuse those losses with 2 players missing a combined 3 games in that stretch…

      The Dubs will be the 6th seed and they will not continue to beat teams that are better. That’s my opinion and I stand by it. That doesn’t mean that I am right and that doesn’t mean that the Dubs don’t deserve it. In fact I hope the Warriors do well and that Steph Curry will stop twisting his ankles.

      • slider821 says:

        what comments did I slight you for? I don’t think I’d slight anyone for pointing out thing that went in our favor, for the first time in a decade we have at least something going in our favor.

        The injury bug is still alive in Oakland, not denying that. What went well for us early in the season? We were a hunter not the hunted. Strength of schedule was middle of the pack. You reiterated my point; Ws lost 6 games, 3 of which our best players were out, 4 of which were against top teams.

        I’m not arguing we should beat every team or that we’re better than a 5th or 6th spot. I say we can beat any team (except SA in SA) on any given night and it’s no longer a fluke. I disagree with you in saying Ws ‘will not beat teams that are better’. Any top 10 team can beat any other top 10 team, I don’t think we’re underdogs against teams like Clippers, Memphis, etc.

        I feel for your Wolves. Looks like GS injury bug took the hive to Minn.