How the Andrew Bogut Injury Affects the Cavs’ Title Chances

Andrew Bogut Injury

Does the Andrew Bogut injury derail the Cleveland Cavaliers’ chances of defending their NBA title?

While a lot of things happened in the NBA yesterday, the Andrew Bogut injury is perhaps the most interesting. Yes, Kawhi Leonard had the more interesting night with his late-game heroics. The Golden State Warriors also showed us something interesting with Stephen Curry’s resurgence. With that said, why should the injury of a journeyman be of any concern to any basketball fan?

Deadly offense, questionable defense

Despite having Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love in the lineup, the Cavaliers surprisingly aren’t favorites to win the title this season. As of now, they’re at 42-20 and are on a 2-game losing skid. Yes, they’re still the best team in the East record-wise. The thing is though, they’re only three games ahead of the Celtics in the standings. If Boston can somehow wake up from their own 2-game losing skid, they just might close the gap with the Cavs.

So how did Cleveland get to this point? Well, it all starts with the Cavs defense. Offensively, the team is perhaps one of the most dangerous in the league. They have two players in Lebron James and Kyrie Irving, who can almost score at will. On top of these two, the Cavs also has shooters on almost every position. Kevin Love and Channing Frye are bigs who are dead-shots when left open. In addition, Kyle Korver, Iman Shumper, and Richard Jefferson are all outstanding shooters in the wing. And just recently, the Cavs also managed to snag Deron Williams after he got waived by the Dallas Mavericks. Really, the only thing that was left for the Cavs was a rim-protector.

How Andrew Bogut could have helped

A cursory look at Andrew Bogut’s stats would show that he’s far from the player that he was a couple of years ago. With the Dallas Mavericks, the Aussie center managed to put up only 2.9 points, 8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and .9 blocked shots per game. This was a far cry from 12.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2.6 blocks he averaged in 2010-11. Despite the drop in production though, what has made him so in-demand has been his rim-protection. Yes, he’s not blocking shots at the same rate that he used to but he’s still a deterrent to any offensive player. In fact, I believe it was him and not Draymond Green who anchored the Warriors’ defense the past two seasons.

With the Andrew Bogut injury, the Cavs will again have to rely on Tristan Thompson. Make no mistake about it, even with Bogut around, I doubt that he’d get the bulk of Thompson’s minutes. Additionally, I don’t think that Tyronn Lue would want them together on the court. At the most, Bogut would have been playing around 10-15 minutes a night had he not been injured.

Will the Andrew Bogut injury affect the Cavs chances of repeating?

Despite the Andrew Bogut injury, I still think that Cleveland is the team to beat in the East. So long as Lebron James isn’t injured, the Cavs are going to be formidable. With that said, winning the Larry O’Brien trophy requires more than just James being the best player on the planet. The guy is no spring chicken at 32 years of age. Additionally, he’s been in the Finals since the 2010-11 season. Yes, he’s still going to be able to carry this team but what if they go up against a team like the Spurs or Warriors? With Bogut’s injury, the margin of error for the Cavs just became a lot smaller.

What do you think about the Andrew Bogut injury? Do you think the Cavaliers are going to have a hard time without him in the lineup? What should GM David Griffin do to address their rim protection woes? If you have answers to these questions and more then go ahead and comment below!

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