Bogut to go on the attack for Warriors

AUSTRALIAN star Andrew Bogut is ready to step up the scoring for the Golden State Warriors.
AUSTRALIAN star Andrew Bogut is ready to step up the scoring for the Golden State Warriors. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

GOLDEN State Warriors and Australian centre Andrew Bogut has welcomed the extra responsibility Warriors coach Steve Kerr has given him ahead of the 2014/15 NBA season.

Bogut, who stands a towering 213cm, was a defensive pillar for the Californian franchise last season, helping it make the playoffs with an average of 7.7 rebounds per game.

But now Kerr is urging the 29-year-old to add an extra attacking dimension to his play.

Kerr wants to lift Bogut's 2013/14 average of 7.3 points per game well above the double-figures mark and the Aussie said he was more than happy to embrace that.

"I was definitely an integral part of the team last season but from a different aspect - it was more defence-orientated," he said.

"This season it's going to be as more of an offensive leader and a playmaker."

Bogut, who bypassed the recent world championships in Spain to ensure he was injury-free for the coming season, said he appreciated the fact Kerr had taken time out of his pre-season preparations to visit him for a long chat in his home town of Melbourne.

"It was nothing out of the ordinary," Bogut said.

"It wasn't anything basketball-related too much.

"He had his wife there and I had my girlfriend and we went to dinner.

"We just talked and caught up.

"He's got a unique story himself, going overseas with his father (for studies in the Middle East) - he's been a commentator, been a GM (at the Phoenix Suns) and played on championship-winning teams.

"He has a lot of good stories and I just listened."

Kerr rates Bogut so highly, he recently said he was one of the best passing centres in the league.

But the former star Chicago Bulls and San Antonio guard also spoke highly about the big Australian's attacking capabilities.

"He's a really good weapon, and one of the best centres in the league," Kerr said.

"But I think he can score down the block a little better than people remember too."

Bogut missed all seven of the Warriors' post-season games in 2013/14 due to a fractured rib.

He also suffered shoulder, ankle and groin complaints in the same season.

But on the eve of his 10th NBA season he said he was feeling good heading into the next campaign which starts at Sacramento tomorrow morning (AEST).

"I feel good. I feel relatively healthy," Bogut said.

"I'm in great shape and I'm anticipating being in great shape at the end of the season."

Topics:  basketball golden state warriors sport

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