The oft-injured center, Andrew Bogut recently made comments to the media saying how he wanted to bring toughness to a Golden State Warriors squad that lacked that trait in the past couple seasons. The link to that is below:
Funny quotes and absurd facial hair aside, Andrew Bogut should be able to transform, barring injury, a below-average Golden State Warriors team that ranked 28th in points allowed in giving up 101.2 points a game into something resembling mid-level defense. One that will have moderate success protecting the paint.
But how good is Bogut on the defensive end? We've heard ad nauseam about how he will be able to change the culture but let's be honest, most of us haven't watched him play a single game yet. Before he was a Warrior, did you even know he was on the Milwaukee Bucks? There's a better chance of Warriors fans knowing what Tim Tebow's next meal is than knowing that Bogut was once considered a top 3 center in the NBA.
Let's delve deeper by looking into some stats.
Firstly, defense should not be judged on the defensive rebounding because that fails to accurately display whether or not the player can make rotations, stay in front of his defender and play smart team defense.
Andrew Bogut had a defensive win share (an advanced stat that measure how many wins a player's defense accounts for the team), according to Basketball-Reference.com, of 4.8 in 2009-10 and 5.1 in 2010-11. To put that in perspective, much-heralded defensive wizard LeBron James had a defensive win share of 4.5 in 2012. Tyson Chandler, the defensive player of the year, the guy who single-handedly transformed a terrible New York Knicks defense from below-average to mediocre, had a defensive win share of 5.8 in 2012 and 5.8 again the year he led the Dallas Mavericks to the championship.
Their defensive ratings (number of points allowed per 100 possessions) also hold up rather well, with Bogut giving up 97 in 2011, LeBron 97 last year and Chandler 102 during his championship run and 99 last year.
This led to Milwaukee having the third best defense in 2010-11, allowing 92.7 points per game. How'd they do in 2011-12 when the lost Bogut to another freak injury? They came in 22nd, giving up 98.7 points a game. That's Warriors territory, it's almost like Monta Ellis was playing defense on the Bucks. Oh wait, he was.
According to NBA.com, Andrew Bogut in 2010-11 gave up 90.1 points per 48 minutes when he was on the court and 92.7 when he was off. Then in 2011-12, despite the small sample size, when Bogut was on the court his five gave up 90.3 points. When his terrifying beard wasn't protecting the rim? The five without Bogut allowed 97.7 points per 48 minutes.
Bogut's defensive rating was 93.2 in 2011-12 with him on the court and 105.3 without him on the court. Again, let's put that in perspective with Tyson Chandler's numbers: 98.1 with him and 99.0 without. Even in a larger sample size in 2010-11 Bogut's defensive rating on the court was 98.64 and 101.70 with him off.
After accumulating all the stats, it still doesn't take into account that Bogut is much more proficient on the offensive end than Tyson Chandler, who can only dunk -- and that won't happen much with Carmelo manning the team again.
Combine Bogut's absolute lockdown and team-changing defense with his above-average passing ability and the Warriors may be on to something this year. If anything, his defense has been underrated. Warrior fans are about to be in for a new brand of basketball. Should be a fun season.