Get Excited For Andrew Bogut
If you weren’t excited for the Big Aussie before today, you will be. Andrew Bogut will have his best season in years and will be an integral piece as the starting center for the Dallas Mavericks.
While most people are talking about Harrison Barnes and what he may or may not contribute to the Mavs this season, Andrew Bogut has sort of slipped under the projection radar. Most casual fans recognize him as the big man for the Golden State Warriors that got into all those fights with the Clippers, and, well, they wouldn’t be wrong.
What they don’t realize is he is a tough, athletic, ultra-talented center that will be a huge difference maker for the Mavs if he can stay healthy. Bogut has been a role player the past few years, but I fully expect him to step back into a starring role this year.
First off, I cannot stress enough how important Bogut staying healthy is. Remember, he hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year. You might remember his nasty right arm injury in 2010, but he’s also had some ankle, knee, and back troubles since then.
The last three years have been better and he’s played in around 70 games per year, but health is still his biggest issue. He looked sensational in the Olympics coming off of a knee injury (9.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.6apg), and hopefully he can keep it that way going into the season.
Once we get past his injury woes, Bogut is an excellent two-way center. He’s a big (7’0, 260lb), athletic, elite rim protector and rebounder, as well as a tough defender with a mean streak the Mavs desperately need. He doesn’t back down from anyone, and always has his teammates’ backs.
Offensively, Bogut is an excellent passing big man with spectacular court vision and ball handling skills. He is capable of being the focal point of an offense, as he demonstrated with the Warriors last year. A guard would enter the ball to him at the block or elbow, and he’d whip passes around to cutters or wide-open threes.
This kind of basketball IQ will fit in perfectly on a smart veteran team like the Mavs. It’s perfectly reasonable to envision Barea and Barnes diving in for layups while Dirk and Matthews spot up for wide open threes.
He’s also an excellent screener, cutter and finisher. He has an arsenal of nifty little hooks and push shots, and can finish above the rim with the best of them. He’s 53.4% from the field for his career, and has shot nearly 61% the last three years. He’s also coming off an Olympic performance that saw him shoot 76.3% from the field.
The only area he really struggles at is at the free throw line, where he has shot 56% for his career, but that’s still acceptable considering there are serial clankers like DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond out there.
So taking all of this into account, what can we realistically expect from Bogut this year? Probably around 60-65 games of full health, which seems like a safe bet unless that Mavs training staff works their voodoo magic again.
I also fully expect him to increase his scoring and rebounding averages while maintaining excellent assist numbers. After watching him lead Australia to the bronze medal game in Rio I expect a revival year and a big impact from Bogut this year. How he played with Australia is more or less how he should play with the Mavs, and he’s going to be a very fun player to watch for Dallas fans.