Andrew Bogut has appeared in just four games for the Warriors this season, thanks to a broken left ankle that has been slow to recover after undergoing surgery last April.
It has been Bogut’s decision all along to come back to the court when he feels ready, and that time may be upon us as early as Monday night when the Warriors are in Toronto to face the Raptors.
From Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury News:
Warriors starting center Andrew Bogut is aiming at coming back Monday night in Toronto. It will all depend on how he feels after pregame warmups. But multiple sources said Bogut is planning to give it ago.
At Monday’s shootaround at the Air Canada Centre, Bogut was wearing his practice jersey on the blue side — reserved for the starters. Plus there was a buzz about the center’s probable return.
The Warriors are being quiet on the matter and coach Mark Jackson maintains his stance that Bogut will come back when he is ready. Bogut doesn’t want to create a big to-do, one source said, and ramp up expectations.
Once Bogut returns, the minute limit that frustrated him earlier in the season will likely return with him. The team is going to ease him back in, and not force anything that could cause yet another setback.
Even if Bogut isn’t yet ready by Monday, it’s clear that he’s making progress and that a return to the team is imminent. Golden State can use all the help it can get right now, as the Warriors have struggled lately, losing seven of their last 11 games.
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.
But we didn’t expect this.
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.
Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.