After injuring himself in last night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, it looks like Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut may be in line to miss the playoffs:
Official: @andrewbogut has been diagnosed w/ a rib fracture and will be sidelined indefinitely.
— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) April 15, 2014
Prior to facing the Minnesota Timberwolves, Andrew Bogut spoke on the injury.
“I can’t move right now. Can’t move my arm and any vibrations, coughing, sneezing hurts. I guess if I get on a treadmill or get on an elliptical it’s going to hurt. Obviously I’ve got to be careful that I don’t do too much because if it cracks, I’m looking at a punctured lung. So I don’t want to sit in a hospital with a tube coming out of me.”
When asked if there was a timetable, Bogut responded with “Indefinitely,” stating that’s all he can give the media.
It’s no secret that after Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut is the most important player on this team. He’s never captivated fans through flashiness, but he’s the leader of the defense and without him, the team is left in a poor predicament.
Currently the six seed in the Western Conference, the Warriors playoffs hopes are now hanging on a string. This isn’t similar to last year’s injury episode where they lost David Lee after game one of their first round matchup against the Denver Nuggets. With Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green splitting duty as the small-ball power forward, they were able to make up Lee’s scoring absence. And in the event of going small, it opened the floor up for Stephen Curry and Lee’s absence meant Golden State needed more Curry, which is always a good thing.
But now? They’ve no one to replicate Bogut’s impact on the boards and on the defensive end. Jermaine O’Neal has looked well considering his age, but he can’t carry the load, Festus Ezeli is much improved, but isn’t expected to return to the court anytime soon, and David Lee starting at the five is synonymous to an “open here” sign hanging at the rim because he won’t provide much of a presence there.
As I type this the Warriors are down 11-2 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. We wrote on this earlier here, but the Warriors losing their last two games while the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies excel could mean a first round matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. Prior to Stephen Curry re-injuring his ankle, the matchup was close last season, but without Bogut defending the middle, it’d be a four-game sweep in San Antonio’s favor.
Considering the Warriors health situation, the Clippers would hope they find a way to remain the sixth seed. No Bogut means no one to keep DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin off the boards or away from the rim. Curry is good and Klay has played well of late, but it’d be a quick five-game series in the Clippers favor. Sure enough, they’d rather face that team than a Mavericks/Grizzlies team that’s in rhythm, two teams that have played them tough the entire season.
This season has been a roller coaster for the Warriors and this isn’t the kind of end the fan base or team expected. For Clippers fans, this could be an easy first round or welcome something worse: a Memphis/Dallas opponent.