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Mark Jackson pitches Andrew Bogut for Defensive Player of the Year

Feb 4, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT

LaMarcus Aldridge, Andrew Bogut

Who has allowed fewer points per possession this season, the San Antonio Spurs or Golden State Warriors?

Since I’m asking, you know the answer is Golden State.

The Warrior rank fourth in the NBA in defensive rating (99.3) – behind only the Pacers, Bulls and Thunder and just ahead of the Spurs. Last season, Golden State was a pedestrian 13th.

What’s the big difference?

Andre Iguodala has been a huge defensive upgrade on the wing. Draymond Green, one of the team’s top defenders, has gotten a bigger role in his second year. And Andrew Bogut is actually healthy.

Bogut has already played 47 games, more than the last two seasons combined. The Warriors defend better when he’s on the court (98.5 points allowed per 100 possessions) than when he’s off (100.4), though the disparity is even greater for Iguodala (95.2/103.7). Bogut is an excellent shot blocker and strong rebounder, and he also moves well enough to defend the pick-and-roll at superb levels.

For my money, Bogut is the most surprisingly strong defensive team’s top defender.

Mark Jackson, via the Associated Press:

“He’s been spectacular, protecting the paint, setting screens, rebounding the basketball, being a leader, being durable,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “If he’s not here, you’re asking basically a power forward to be a (center), and to do it for a lengthy period of time is a recipe for disaster. But he’s been awesome, and certainly should be in the discussion for Defensive Player of the Year.”

In some years, Bogut would have an excellent Defensive Player of the Year case. But Roy Hibbert will – and probably should – run away with the award this season.

The Pacers have an all-time great defense, and Hibbert anchors it. Like Iguodala from Bogut, Paul George could also steal credit (and votes) from Hibbert. But Hibbert (92.9/95.6) has an undeniable impact on raising Indiana’s defense from elite to historic.

Because they play the same position, Hibbert and Bogut compare easily, and it’s not really close. Hibbert is having a better defensive season.

Bogut should get some second- and third-place votes, but that’s about it.

  1. antistratfordian - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Good luck… with that.

  2. jerdogthompson - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    So GS ranks 4th in points per possession……hmmmmmmm

    Last I checked they are the 8 seed in the WC and playing pretty pedestrian ball. The way Minnesota, Dallas and Nuggets are playing I would not be at all shocked if they miss the playoffs entirely. Yeah, DJ from the Clippers leads the league in rebounding, FG%, dunks and I think blocks per game (could be 2nd) but Bogut deserves DPOY consideration. I used to think Mark Jackson was an intelligent man.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      Since when did dunks and FG percentage factor into DPOY?? LOL

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Bogut winning DPOY isn’t too far fetched. They’ve consistently held the 3-4 spot in defensive efficiency… a fact I find very impressive considering Steph Curry and David Lee are playing 73 of a possible 240 minutes per game. Obviously Iguodala has something to do with it, but I think Golden State did okay defensively when Iggy was hurt.. they just stunk on offense.

    • casualcommenter - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:30 AM

      Yeah, that’s the Warriors in a nutshell. Their defense is better than most people think, but their offense is worse than most people think.

      Perception matters a lot when it comes to award voting, and that’s going to hurt Bogut’s chances. The fact that Indy plays in the weaker Eastern conference means they’re virtually guaranteed to finish with a better record and better defensive efficiency rating, further hurting Bogut.

  4. thomaskouns - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    I grew up and live in the Bay Area.

    Mark Jackson is a very good coach but take what he says about his players with a grain of salt. He motivates and helps players who struggle with their confidence by talking them up to the media.

    Keep that in mind when you hear MJ talking up certain Warriors.

  5. borderline1988 - Feb 5, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Nothing against Bogut, but is anybody else getting annoyed with coaches publicly trying to pitch their players for awards mid-season?

    Doc Rivers and Mark Jackson – nobody cares that you think your players deserve awards. Just shut up and let your game do the talking. Trust me, if either of those teams can make a deep playoff run, they will get their deserved attention.

  6. cantonbound13 - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM


  7. raycharlesj - Feb 8, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Mark Jackson has been an extreme exaggerator since he was a basketball analyst, nice coach but boy does this guy exaggerate!!! I guess that comes with being a preacher too they amass large sums of money telling tall tales.

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