Warriors excited to add Andrew Bogut as 'insurance policy' at center

Warriors excited to add Andrew Bogut as 'insurance policy' at center

OAKLAND -- It's official: Andrew Bogut is back with the Warriors.

Bogut, who had to receive clearance from his current team, the Sydney Kings of Australia's NBL, agreed to a veteran's minimum deal with the Warriors this week. The team announced the signing Wednesday morning.

With Golden State thin in the frontcourt and the team's need for a defensive presence, the Warriors seemed more than happy to welcome an old friend to the fold during the stretch run.

"We're excited about [Bogut] coming in," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We looked at this as an insurance policy in the frontcourt. A guy who obviously knows our players, half of them."

Bogut, who played for the Warriors from 2012 until 2016, spent the majority of this season in his native Australia. He averaged 11.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.7 blocks per game for the Kings, winning MVP of the league.

When the 13-year NBA veteran signed with the Australian team less than a year ago after being bought out by the Lakers, he expressed doubt he'd even play in the NBA. He told The Daily Telegraph in Australia, "This is my official retirement from the NBA. ... I have no want to go back there, regardless of offers that I get."

However, two months ago, with Damian Jones tearing his left pectoral muscle in December and DeMarcus Cousins still rehabbing, Golden State and Bogut's representation chatted about his availability, according to Kerr.

Recently, Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris traveled to Australia to see Bogut's progress and if he'd be a fit with the team. With Jones' injury, the Warriors had just one true center on the roster, and found themselves in the market for a big man in the buyout market.

But when no options came to fruition, Bogut seemed like a solid fit because of his defensive prowess and size. 

"We have to look ahead for the playoffs for different matchups and we feel vulnerable," Kerr said. "Particularly in the case of injury against certain matchups." 

"We all know what [Bogut] brings to the table," Warriors forward Draymond Green said. "So I think it will overall help us, especially going down this stretch where it's going to be a tough run to try to three-peat, so it will be important for us to have him back and I know he's going to contribute a lot in winning this championship."

As for playing time, Kerr said he doesn't know how many minutes Bogut will receive upon returning. 

"I have no idea how it's going to play out, that's the expectation," Kerr said. "The whole idea is he's coming in with no expectations for minutes. He's going to be a part of our team and whatever the situation calls for then we'll use him."

Bogut's presence could be a boost for a defensive unit that ranks 16th in defensive rating (109.5) and 18th in points allowed (112.4). During the 2015-16 season, his last with the Warriors, the team had the sixth-best defense in the league on their way to an NBA-record 73 wins. 

[RELATED: What went right, what went wrong in Dubs' loss to Celtics]

Remnants of Bogut's defensive influence are still seen on the Warriors today. During Green's first practice with the Warriors in 2012, Bogut gave Green, now one of the best defenders in the league, a few defensive lessons.

"I learned I had no clue," Green said. "You know, leaving college you had to guard the post with your chest, which is ridiculous. In the NBA, you get torched guarding the post with your chest." 

Now, almost three years since he left the Warriors, the team hopes he can use that defensive influence to help guide the Warriors to their third straight title. 

"I didn't foresee this happening, but I'm excited as hell about it," Green added. "It's good."

Warriors' rest advantage grows with Raptors' Game 4 win against Bucks

Warriors' rest advantage grows with Raptors' Game 4 win against Bucks

If you subscribe to the notion that a playoff series doesn't begin until a home team loses, well, then the Eastern Conference finals have yet to begin.

After dropping the first two games of the series on the road, the Toronto Raptors evened the series with the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night with a 120-102 victory at Scotiabank Arena in Game 4.

In winning each of the last two games at home, Toronto has ensured that the Eastern Conference finals will go at least six games. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors have already advanced to their fifth consecutive NBA Finals after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in four games.

Golden State has plenty of time to rest up before the Finals begin on May 30th. Whichever team represents the Eastern Conference won't have as much of a luxury.

Given the fact that several players on the Warriors' roster -- most notably Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins -- missed part or all of the series sweep of the Blazers with injuries, the extra time off before the Finals begin certainly comes in handy.

[RELATED: Dubs overcome injuries to earn some much-needed rest]

Game 6 between the Bucks and Raptors is on Sat. May 25th, meaning whichever team that comes out of the East will have at most four days to recuperate before the Finals begin.

That would already seem to be a significant advantage for Golden State, but if you want to get greedy, there's plenty of reason to believe the Eastern Conference finals could require a Game 7.

Patrick Beverley says Clippers gave Warriors best challenge in playoffs

Patrick Beverley says Clippers gave Warriors best challenge in playoffs

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley is a confident person.

Beverley doesn't back down from anybody and he speaks his mind freely.

On Tuesday morning, he made the following declaration on Twitter:

Sorry Mr. Beverley, but we respectfully disagree.

Here were the results of the Warriors-Clippers first-round NBA playoff series:
Game 1 = Warriors 121, Clippers 104
Game 2 = Clippers 135, Warriors 131 (Golden State led by 31 points with about 7:30 left in the third quarter)
Game 3 = Warriors 132, Clippers 105
Game 4 = Warriors 113, Clippers 105
Game 5 = Clippers 129, Warriors 101
Game 6 = Warriors 129, Clippers 110

The Dubs' average margin of victory was nearly 18 points.

In the second round, the Rockets beat the Warriors twice and every game was decided by six points or less.

Although Golden State swept Portland in the Western Conference finals, the Blazers had the following leads:
Game 2 = 17 points early in the third quarter
Game 3 = 18 points late in the second quarter
Game 4 = 17 points with less than two minutes left in the third quarter

[RELATEDDame says Dubs-Blazers 'completely different' with one change]

While you could make the argument that the Clippers gave a better challenge than the Blazers, the Rockets clearly were the most formidable foe.

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