A good thing happened to the Warriors this week.
They embraced their inner Bogutness and became Andrew Bogut’s team.
They had been Stephen Curry’s team. But being Bogut’s team is better.
Curry is a great offensive player, but he’s not an Alpha Dog. He’s a side-kick. When you think of him, you think of the words “soft,” “nice,” and “religious” – someone who turns the other cheek.
None of those words describe Bogut. Bogut is an Old-Testament type of player. He takes eye for an eye.
Actually, Bogut is more brutal than that. He takes two eyes for an eye. That’s the kind of player he is and, now that he’s healthy, the Warriors have taken on his personality. You saw it Wednesday night against the Clippers.
In the NBA, teams need Old-Testament personalities to be championship contenders. Last season, Bogut and Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry and Draymond Green brought Old-Testament toughness to the Warriors for the first time since they won a championship in 1975. But Bogut was not healthy enough to lead the team to the Promised Land. So, the Warriors still were Curry’s team, a soft, 3-point shooting team.
And it wasn’t just Curry who was soft. Last season Jack said when he used to come in to play the Warriors, he perceived them as soft and weak-willed.
That era officially ended in that game, semi-brawl against the Clippers.
In the fourth quarter, Blake Griffin tried to run right through Bogut to get an offensive rebound like Bogut wasn’t even there, like Bogut was Andris Biedrins, one of the softest centers ever, the center Bogut replaced.
If Biedrins still had been the Warriors’ center, Griffin would have pushed him under the basket, grabbed the offensive rebound, made the basket and drawn a foul.
Bogut didn’t budge.
Bogut pushed back. Bogut took his elbow and pushed it into Griffin’s face until Griffin leaned all the way back like he was doing the limbo.