Bogut Effect Is Troubling To Spurs


SAN ANTONIO — It’s easy to see the impact of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson flying around the court and flinging in shots that often defy description and sometimes the imagination.

There have been nights in this Western Conference semifinal playoff series between the Warriors and Spurs that no special kind of defense could have stopped or even slowed down the youthful Golden State backcourt.

But if there is another reason that the upstart Golden State team has the series tied at 2-2 going into Game 5 tonight at the AT&T Center (9:30 p.m. ET, TNT), it is down in the trenches. That’s where Andrew Bogut lives and thrives.

While Curry and Thompson have gotten all the headlines, it’s the Warriors center who seems to have gotten under the skin and into the comfort zone of the Spurs’ Tim Duncan. The Spurs All-Star is shooting 41 percent from the field in the series and was a horrid 7-for-22 in Game 4, missing his final five shots and 10 of his final 12 when San Antonio missed an opportunity to take a stranglehold 3-1 lead.

Consider the following stats on Bogut:

  • The Warriors are allowing 18.5 fewer points per 100 possessions when he’s on the court this series.
  • The Warriors are outscoring the Spurs by 16.3 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the court this series.
  • The Spurs are shooting 40.5 percent when he’s on the court, 44.4 percent when not.

All of this from a player who was so frustrated by missing 50 regular season games due to injuries that he said he considered retiring.

If the Warriors hope to take control of this series, they’ll need to find a way to keep Bogut in the game. The big man has been effective when he’s played, but in two out of three games, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has fouled him intentionally and it’s gotten Warriors coach Mark Jackson to put him on the bench.

Bogut went 1-for-6 from the foul line in Game 2 and just 1-for-4 from the line in Game 3. While Bogut’s inability to make foul shots is a weakness, it might be one Jackson has to find a way to live with since he is the one who is disrupting the Spurs offense so much.

With Bogut clogging the paint and also pulling down 18 rebounds in Game 4, the Spurs shot just 35 percent from the field, 25.9 percent on 3-pointers and 56 percent from the free-throw line for their worst all-around shooting game since Nov. 21, 1997, the 11th game of Duncan’s career.

So while most eyes — and many of the oohs and aahs — will be directed at the flamboyant shooting skills of Curry and Thompson tonight, the real place to look for control of the game is inside, where Bogut has made his presence felt.

Series hub: Spurs vs. Warriors


  1. catalysticcommentator says:

    Referring to our supposedly “bald’ cerebrally challenged commenter above, the article was about Bogut’s value to his team. I was merely pointing out a glaring weakness which opponents constantly exploit such as his poor free throw shooting ability. However, Popovic being presently the brightest among all the coaches in the league sans Phil Jackson has solved the Bogut problem by attacking him without hesitation and getting him into foul trouble early quickly which was masterfully executed by Tim Duncan who is already considered as one of the greatest center-forwards ever to set foot on a basketball court due to his consistency, reliability and especially, durability. I agree that the Warriors are in a place that they don’t want to be as the Spurs have two chances to get into the Western Finals where they’ll meet the Grizzlies. GSW has a young core and they will be ready to perform at a much higher level next season since they’ve successfully exceeded everyone’s expectations this year which is unanimously accepted as a monumental achievement. Perennial contenders is what the faithful fans at the Oracle are looking forward to and they are to be commended for sticking with their team through thin and thinner for they only won about 23 games last year. The Warriors have literally doubled their victories which is not bad for a team that was ravaged by continuous injuries so therefore, their fans are now finally being rewarded for their patience. I just wish they can go much deeper still in the playoffs however, it will truly be a humungous challenge because of the opposition who thrives in this situation.

    • Kalbo!! says:

      You’re in fact a bright commentor,,, No doubt about that.. It’s just that, you talk too much as if they would give a damn about a word you say.. I bet you’re a nerd.. No offense.. You may wanna learn from this that being Mr-know-it-all isn’t all the time cool.. And hey.. Don’t get me wrong.. I was not “cerebrally challenged” at all.. not to your brand of comment.. Very good but not quit to challenge me.. Don’t be a feeler..

  2. Marco29 says:

    As a Spurs fan, I must say I am impressed by GSW who have earned my respect. I was already impressed they beat Denver, who had the best home record in the league,in the first round . What they have shown in those Semis against the Spurs is also impressive. Bogut deserves a lot of credit for his defensive presence and for making up for Lee’s almost absence. GSW have a nice group and could become a real force in the coming years if they manage to stay healthy (Curry, Bogut, Lee) and to keep all their players together (even if Curry signed a reasonable deal). Their young players (especially Barnes and Thompson) and their bench are interesting and they have a good coach: they could be the next OKC.

  3. Patrickmarc says:

    Spurs should win, on the paper,
    but they is no celebration yet.
    Bogut played 19 minutes, something went wrong for him.
    We will see next match.

  4. WARRIORS FANS don’t comment because …

    1. They don’t read.

    2. They can’t write.

    3. They don’t own computers.


    4. Because they know they will get ELIMINATED in Game 6 !!!!! :-)) GO SPURS GO !!!

    • Run TMC says:

      Right, your comparing legibility and especially the amount of computers between San Antonio and San Francisco residents. Do your homework before spewing your brains or lack there of out. btw don’t you guys still use typewriters and telegraphs down by the Alamo.

  5. catalysticcommentator says:

    Bogut must alter free throw technique by having Golden State Warrior champion alumnus Rick Barry, one of the greatest free throw shooters of all time (@ more than 90% career clip) teach the Aussie “Bogeyman” (every opposing coaches’ defensive nightmare) how to shoot the “underhanded free throw style” (unorthodox but uncannily accurate) in order to become a major offensive factor especially during very tight end games so that intentionally fouling our starting center can no longer be applied as an option. In less than an hour, Barry, who is 6’7 can easily guide the 7’0 Bogut to improve his present percentage of 50% to more than 70%. Wilt attempted this technique in the early 60’s but was much too proud to continue due to his misconceived perception that it didn’t look impressive aesthetically. I do hope Andrew as a genuine true blue monster from Down Under gives this alternative a “FAIR DINKUM” go to help our Dubs go much deeper in the playoffs. It is really a win-win situation because aside from his scoring average inevitably increasing by more than 6 points per contest courtesy of the charity stripe but more importantly, MJ no longer has to pull him out because the “Hack-a-whatsis name” alternative will be rendered redundant.

    As someone cleverly insinuated, even grandmothers can put the ball in the basket using that style. The reason why players of all levels don’t use this technique is because of its poor presentation and awkward appearance. It makes them look “Wimpy” and uncool. Bogut has a legitimate excuse to adapt to this method since he did break his shooting arm including his hand a few seasons ago and if he could increase his percentage to just above 65%, he will be generating a lot more “three-point plays” for himself and thus become more of a genuine low post threat where more opposing centers will discover to their detriment that fouling him during “cardiac games” is self destructive to their cause. Ever since college, Bogut has always been a major force on both ends of the floor and Mark Jackson knows this very well and looks forward in utilizing Andrew as a regular offensive option when our impressive array of sharpshooters get cold. Remember, he originally patterned his game after Toni Kukoc which is why he has great handles and can actually shoot the three ball until Sckott Skiles put an end to that when he played in Milwaukee. He has always been one of the very best low post defenders in the NBA and has a chance next year to be seriously considered for the All Defensive Team once his troublesome ankle completely heals.

    • Kalbo!! says:

      I like the worriors… But what a poor GSW fan… Like sugar? You seem so bitter on Bogut’s free throw skills… For one tiny issue of the team, you have so many to say… Why don’t you be the coach?

  6. Patrick Hill says:

    Arguably the best defensive centre in the game. Bogut’s been immense this series and when on the court has been the difference so far. It’s invaluable having a big body locking down the paint in finals. One of the best shot blockers and 18 boards from 28 minutes the other day. He makes the Spurs offense tense up and second guess themselves when driving down the lane.

  7. Willy says:

    Viva Spurs! Only Spurs fans can comment these days? GSW fans don’t read this stuff? I don’t think anybody can handle Bogut right now, Blair is a bit too small believe it. I suppose they take turns.

  8. Gillsy says:

    The Spurs should count themselves lucky Lee is not fit. If they can bring Jack back next year this team is going to be good. While the best part is that Curry has taken a modest play day which should allow the front office to keep this group together for a while. I love that during this series even though Bogut has been doing the hard work everyone has been getting boards.

    • Kalbo!! says:

      Call it lucky.. I call yours an excuse.. Spurs would admit they are lucky with humility. But you should know better that we do not dwell on “could have” and “IF”. Injuries are part of the game. Spurs has had their own fair shares of bad luck out of injuries as well anyway. Now if you’ still wanna argue, answer me these… How about Parker’s a sore calf, Splitter’s only recent recovery from ankle sprain, Duncan’s long time bothering knee, Diaw’s recent back surgery, Leonard’s bothering knee too, etc? I’m sure you have a lot of answers and we can go on being hypothetical all year long and might never stop. Are you really gonna focus on that? Come on, dude! Stop wandering in wonderland.. Anyway, I think GSW is better of with Bogut than with Lee defensive-wise.

  9. ELCHATO says:

    Wasted comments by a bunch of fools. The Spurs WILL Win this in 6 games. GO SPURS GO.!!!!!1

  10. theholyspecatator says:

    if spurs dont make it to the finals this year, its time to put that team to an end and rebuild..parker, dunncan, ginobli and pop needa bounce..end ya careers now on somewhat of a high note..and if GSW advances, def the upset of this years playoffs, that and the clipps losin in the first round

  11. Erik says:

    Just a question, does anyone know if the Warriors would have enough cap to try and chase Dwight Howard? That inside presence defensively but also offensively (a lot more skilled than Bogut) would force the defense to shrink which would open up for wide open looks for a ridiculously good back court shooting. Just a thought.

    • Jimmy jazz says:

      Golden state will be lucky to have enough cap space to sign Landry & Jack. Bendris & Jefferson are owed about $20 combined next season.

      • dhk says:

        They have great chemistry. Why would they want to add Dwight?
        That being said, with that backcourt raining thees and Dwight in the center it would be very reminiscent of the magic team that made the finals a few years back… and lost.

  12. Big Euro says:

    Bogut is big difference maker in this series. I know Curry, Thompson and Jack are all scoring and playing great offensive basketball, but it is Bogut’s defensive presence that is swaying games for GSW. The Spurs are really struggling to get clean looks in the paint and Bogut is the biggest reason.

  13. Big Al says:

    The hack-a-poor-foul-shooter should be disallowed. I find it rather unsportsmanlike and somewhat sadistic. Those who do it pray that the player keeps missing free throws, plus they have a better chance of rebounding the second shot if it doesn’t go in. Fouling someone who doesn’t have the basketball should be deemed as technical, so one free throw plus possession.

    • Mark says:

      That’s a terrible decision. All sports are about taking advantage of another players weakness and when you’re down by two in the final 30 seconds of play, that’s what you have to do. At that point it’s not about being sportsmanlike(which I don’t believe it’s doing) or being a sadist, it’s about doing your best to win that game. That’s what the playoffs are about, wins. Not how you get them, but getting them. Why would you want another sport to be deluted by even ridiculous rules?

      • dhk says:

        I agree with you about the issue of sportsmanship Mark, however, his point about fouling someone without the ball seems like common sense to me. That’s taking advantage more of a flaw in the game than in a team’s free throwing

      • dhk says:

        Also, if you guys recall the same scenario played against the Spurs last playoffs when everyone was hacking Splitter. He responded by making more than 50% of his FT and that stopped that. The thing that really gets me is that these guys play this game everyday for years (ten plus at collage and NBA for Bogut) and still can’t hit arguably the easiest shot in the game.

      • gg says:

        actually, the FT shot is not that easy for players who are used to shooting while moving. For set shooters, it is a lot easier. I’m personally quite good at basketball (Compared to my friends who obviously don’t play NBA level defense). When playing with friends on average my FG % is around 85%. But my FT percentage is around 25%. I can run and shoot and get most of my shots in, but standing there on the FT line, most of my shots hit the rim, but don’t go in because it feels really unnatural to me to not move.

      • dhk says:

        OK, that’s a fair point. You probably spend a lot more time practicing by playing than practicing one particular shot though. What I should have said was that the FT is under a controlled setting (always from same distance with the same amount of defensive pressure) so with sustained practice on that particular shot there should be no excuse for not making them at a reasonable rate. I’m sure if you spend significant time on that one facet of your own game you’d be knocking them down at something closer to your fg%

  14. Chris says:

    Bogut is a beast. Very underrated center, coming from a spurs fan, his presence with the added shooting bombardment from the splash brothers does make me worry for my Spurs. But honestly if they’re playing that well, more power to them, I just hope the Spurs can keep up tonight

  15. steppx says:

    great points. Ive said this all series. Bogut has been a huge factor. I cant remember seeing Tim pushed around this way in the paint. Game four: bogut dominated Duncan. I love tim, but i have to say, Bogut was brutal. Now……another factor is how they call this next game. Bogut has also gotten away with a lot LOT of fouling and semi dirty play (dont know what the pompous Reverend Jackson thinks of that….but i digress)…if the game is called a bit tighter… games 1 and 2..then it favors the spurs. If its like the last game…..GS has the advantage. Pop knows all this…….so Im betting SPlitter and Blair get time banging Bogut. Fouling and just trying to make him give up a bit of space.