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By TED SILLANPAA
On Twitter @TedSillanpa

Golden State Warriors fans got a little cocky in January. Remember? The team was playing so well, climbing so far up the NBA West playoff seedings, that folks insisted they didn’t need center Andrew Bogut to return to good health.

Bogut? The W’s didn’t need no stinking Bogut!  The Warriors were having a great season without the veteran 7-footer.

Bogut did return to action. The Warriors started to play inconsistenly, sometimes very poorly.

Now, Bogut’s sidelined with back spasms. The Warriors are 3-7 in their last 10 games and carry a four-game losing streak into Monday’s game in Oakland against Toronto. Guess who fans are beginning to blame for the streak that leaves Golden State within a half-game of falling into a three-way tie for the final playoff spot in the West?

Apparently, folks who didn’t think the Warriors needed Bogut have determined that his being injured again accounts for the club’s demise.

The Warriors are an flawed, but over-achieving bunch. Before this season began, the idea of them fighting for the final Western Conference playoff spot would’ve seemed quite appealing to their fans. They were winning while relying on outstanding achievement by talented veterans who’d been role players for other teams and counting on David Lee having an MVP season. They won with Festus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins playing just enough in the middle to get to late-game situations where Lee could man the middle as the club played small … really small.

After a couple of months challenging the Memphis Grizzlies and, briefly, the Los Angeles Clippers in the upper echelon of the playoff seedings … the Warriors fooled their fans into thinking they were a talented club that would just get better and better and better. And, actually, the Warriors will get better … just not this season. It’ll be a year-by-year project.

It was clear in January that the Warriors need a healthy, productive Andrew Bogut healthy in the middle.  All fans could see, though, are wins and losses. So, when the Warriors were winning, they saw no value in the center. Now that the club is really skidding, the same fans only need Bogut so that they’ll have someone to blame for what has officially become an unsettling slump.

 

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Comments

7 Comments

  1. Tess

    Those who do not appreciate what a big man brings to the table do not understand the game. A good example is Nellie, who learned under Red Auerbach. Before the 24 second clock the Celtics led the league in scoring every year. But never won a title. Only after the trade for Bill Russell did the dynasty begin. And the Boston press criticized that trade without mercy. But with that addition of Big Bill opponents learned the lane was a no fly zone. No easy baskets. Bogut gives the Warriors a similar presence, maybe not Russell, but better then anyone since Parish. Warrior personnel needs an inside defensive presence and strong rebounder to reach the next level. If Bogut gets healthy this team is well balanced and structured to succeed

    March 5th, 2013 7:07 pm

  2. overtime

    Tess..Thanks for sharing. Good thoughts. I agree. Ted

    March 5th, 2013 10:45 pm

  3. adam levy

    to think i always hated the celts for being lucky. first russel and the bird dropped into there lap. boy my eyes are open. not only was russel gotten in a big trade, but he went #2 in the draft. some guy named green went first. and bird was taken a year before he graduated. management had to wait a full season and then hope he would sign before they lost rights. those guys won because they were smart.

    March 6th, 2013 12:04 am

  4. overtime

    Adam…Yep! Luck is the residue of design. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Tons of those cliches apply to the Celtics’ success. Nothing happened by accident. They went really hard to get Danny Ainge out of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball organization when nobody thought they could get him. They traded the draft rights for Joe Barry Carroll to the Warriors for Robert Parish and the draft pick that turned into Kevin McHale! Ted

    March 6th, 2013 1:42 pm

  5. Adam

    Bogut, Barnes, Ezeli, Green and Jack seem to prove Warrior leadership has learned the lesson of luck by design. Do you believe that is true?

    March 6th, 2013 4:26 pm

  6. overtime

    Adam…I think the Warriors management has a better understanding of planning to win and knowing what personnel is needed and how personnel has to fit together. Until the rookies really develop and we see if Bogut maintains health over an extended period … it’ll be unclear if their plan leads to ongoing success. Ted

    March 6th, 2013 5:11 pm

  7. Owen

    Was the Ellis trade addition by subtraction?

    March 6th, 2013 7:04 pm

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