Andrew Bogut repays the faith

Despite missing 38 games at the beginning of the season after undergoing arthroscopic and micro-fracture surgery on his left ankle, Andrew Bogut finally returned to the court late in the season to help carry Golden State through a first-round playoff series victory against the Denver Nuggets.


The back end of the season saw the big Australian break out in a big way, showing just how much of a mark he can make when fit. He had season-highs and career-playoff bests of 21 rebounds and 14 points in Golden State’s 92-88 win over Denver in the Game 6 clincher.

A last season trade-deadline deal that sent fan-favorite Monta Ellis to Milwaukee, Coach Mark Jackson was quick to praise the man who he entrusted to repay the faith in those that brought him to the franchise after an injury riddled career.


"In the biggest game of his career, he had his finest moment'' Jackson said. "It's great to see when people go through all the adversity, all the trials, all the tribulations and then experience success. He deserves it, and it was a statement game for him and this franchise.''

Having spent much of the first half of the season on the injury list, Bogut found himself drifting to the point where he was almost felt on the outer with his teammates.

"He was probably thinking, `what did we trade for?''' Bogut said.

Of course referring to what Warriors point guard Stephen Curry must have thought about him after all the talk in the Bay Area about the two forming a potent inside-out combination.

"I've had an absolute nightmare of six to nine months,'' Bogut said.  
“There was no light at the end of the tunnel. It was pitch black for months. I questioned a lot of things personally. Mentally, I was in a pretty bad place for a couple of months. Guys on the road, I'm stuck at home. My day consisted of rehab in the morning, go home, ice. I don't go out. Go home and ice. I've given up a lot. To just go home and getting my ankle right, it's taken a lot out of me in that sense.''

Any doubts the former number one draft pick may have had are now been quashed. Now the rejuvenated center finds himself as a crucial member to the Warriors’ chances of pulling off another upset in the second round against Tim Duncan and the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs. 

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