Bogut ready for the NBA Finals ‘circus’
Andrew Bogut calls it a "circus". On the day before game one of the NBA Finals, Bogut's Golden State Warriors teammates and members of upcoming opponents Toronto both fronted the world's media for a barrage of questions.
The Australian centre is no stranger to the pre-game festivities after winning a championship with the Warriors in 2015 and falling to LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
Circus: Andrew Bogut in action during the 2016 NBA Finals, knows what to expect against Toronto.Credit:AP
This one is special for the 34-year-old Bogut, who at the start of the year presumed his only play-off basketball would be in the NBL with the Sydney Kings.
Instead a relaxed Bogut, dressed in a grey Warriors t-shirt and tracksuit pants, on Wednesday (Thursday AEST) held court in front of a wall of cameras inside Toronto's Scotiabank Arena to discuss the challenges of facing a formidable Raptors led by their All-Star Kawhi Leonard.
"They have length, first and foremost," Bogut said. "They have some guys who can defend so they pose a lot of issues for teams."
Just how much court time Bogut will receive is up in the air.
The Warriors, seeking their fourth NBA title in five years and third straight, have had eight different starting line-ups in the first three rounds of the play-offs.
Bogut has started, but has also been benched at times in favour of younger, more athletic centres Jordan Bell, Damian Jones and Kevon Looney.
Coach Steve Kerr has also elevated veteran guard/forward Andre Iguodala to the starting line-up.
There is doubt over Kevin Durant’s availability for the finals.Credit:AP
Adding to the likelihood Bogut will get court time, and possibly start, is confirmation from Kerr on Wednesday two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant was out for game one with a lingering calf strain and was yet to practise with the team – signalling he may not play in the series.
Iguodala has overcome a calf strain that kept him out of game four of the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Warriors' other injured All-Star, big man DeMarcus Cousins, is closer to playing after rehabbing a quad muscle tear, with Kerr saying he would use him if it was a regular season game.
"It's not the regular season," Kerr said.
"It's the finals so we have to figure out how best to utilise him."
Cousins has scrimmaged with the team and Kerr said if there was a suitable match-up on court for Cousins to face he might play him.
Match-ups will also be key for Bogut's potential court time.
Kerr is likely to use Bogut when the Raptors' veteran, more traditional centre Marc Gasol is on the court.
Bogut, however, would struggle when the Raptors go with a smaller, faster line- up with 206cm Pascal Siakam at centre.
With so many bangs and bruises Bogut said the Warriors, who will have nine days off after sweeping Portland, will benefit from the long break.
"We were definitely a team that needed those rest days," Bogut said. "We have a lot of guys banged up with Andre and KD.
"We cherished those days.
"It was time to spend with our families before this circus."
Game one of the best-of-seven championship series in Toronto is on Thursday (11am Friday AEST).
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