The answer to the question “Can the Warriors sustain this level and win an NBA title?” should always be answered “Yes, providing Andrew Bogut is healthy for the playoff run.”
Which is why this news is scary for the Warriors.
Bogut, the Warriors starting center, has had platelet rich plasma therapy on right knee and is out indefinitely, as reported by Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com and announced by the team Thursday.
Prior to Tuesday’s game in Memphis, Andrew Bogut revealed to reporters he was diagnosed with chondromalacia, more commonly known as “runner’s knee.”
Both the team doctors and Bogut’s personal doctor from his native Australia were supportive of this action, according to the team.
“We fully support Andrew in his decision to undergo the PRP treatment,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in a released statement reported by Poole. “Our number one concern is that Andrew is 100 percent healthy and we will continue to support him in any way to make that happen.”
Bogut averages 7.1 points and 9.3 rebounds a game, but his impact is much larger than that — Golden State is 15.7 points per 100 possessions better when Bogut is on the court. That is spread between both offense and defense — his rim protection in the paint is huge on defense, while on offense his passing is key to the Warriors moving the ball strong to weak quickly.
Or look at it this way: The Warriors starting five of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Bogut are a ridiculous +27.8 points per 100 possessions when on the court. They own teams. Switch out Festus Ezeli for Bogut — as the Warriors have done recently — and that unit outscores teams by +.8 per 100 possessions. They basically play teams even.
Which is why the Warriors should be patient with Bogut and his return. They don’t need him on Christmas day or even in January, the Warriors will make the playoffs just fine without him. But if they want to go deep in the postseason they need him back.