On the other hand, Golden State is 6-0 without Bogut and 4-0 with him in reserve.
It’s tough being the champs.
Warriors coach Luke Walton faces the tough choice between continuing to start Festus Ezeli, who’s playing well, or switching back to Bogut, who’s playing even better.
After raising the team’s defensive standard while grabbing 18 rebounds in a win over Brooklyn last Saturday, center Andrew Bogut will return to the starting lineup for the Warriors.
The move could happen as soon as Tuesday night, when the Warriors meet Toronto at Oracle Arena.
Interim coach Luke Walton implied nothing official has been decided, but a team source indicated Bogut is almost certain to start against massive Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas.
Both Bogut (7.4 points on 69.2% shooting, 9.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 21.2 minutes per game) and Ezeli (8.7 points on 57.4% shooting, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 19.8 minutes per game) have produced well this season. There’s not really a wrong answer here.
But it seems Bogut, who has been the full-time starter, has a little better chemistry with the Warriors’ other top players.
Here are Golden State’s offensive/defensive/net ratings with Bogut and Ezeli with the team’s most-used guard-forward foursomes:
- Bogut: 118.1/84.7/+33.4 in 19 minutes
- Ezeli: 106.0/102.5/+3.5 in 107 minutes
With Curry, Thompson, Green and Andre Iguodala:
- Bogut: 103.9/72.3/31.6 in 11 minutes
- Ezeli: 115.6/86.5/+29.1 in 41 minutes
Bogut provides more defensively, and his high-post passing and offensive rebounds are excellent assets. Ezeli is a better athlete, helping to push the pace, and he’s no defensive slouch himself.
The veteran Bogut has been amenable to coming off the bench. Golden State has type of culture, with Iguodala accepting a reserve role last year. Plus, Bogut has already received a couple big contracts.
Ezeli, on the other hand, is on his rookie-scale deal and without an extension. At least this stretch has provided more evidence Ezeli – five years younger than Bogut – can be Golden State’s center of the future.
But the Warriors’ main goals are very much of the present, and Bogut starting probably furthers them.