Warriors’ twin injury blow opens door for Bogut
GOLDEN State have been hit with a twin injury blow, with star guard Klay Thompson and back-up big man Kevon Looney both receiving rough updates.
Scans confirmed Thompson, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, had suffered a hamstring strain leaving him questionable to take part in Game 3 on Thursday (11am AEST).
Meanwhile, Looney has sustained a broken collarbone and his participation in the end of the series is in doubt - making the Warriors' Andrew Bogut addition earlier this year ever more valuable.
Upon reviving his NBA career in March by re-signing with the Warriors, Bogut told coach Steve Kerr he was 'happy to wave a towel for 20 games'.
And, after making solid contributions in the back end of the season while DeMarcus Cousins sat out with a quad injury, for the first one-and-a-half games of the NBA Finals it looked like towel-waving was all Bogut would contribute on the floor.
But that has changed with the news that Looney will likely be sidelined for the remainder of the Finals with a collarbone injury sustained during the Warriors' vital come-from-behind victory over Toronto in Game 2 which levelled the series at one win apiece.
Cousins returned to the starting line-up for the Warriors for the Finals, playing eight minutes in their Game 1 loss before bumping that up to nearly 28 minutes less than a week later.
He had a huge impact in Game 2 - scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and adding 6 assists - but so too did Bogut.
The Australian former No.1 overall draft pick played seven minutes following Looney's injury - sustained from a hard fall as a result of mid-air contact with Kawhi Leonard.
And he made an impact in that short stint, finishing off three alley-oops and earning some 'Air Bogut' calls from former NBA coach-turned-commentator Jeff van Gundy.
"Bogut came in and gave us big minutes," Kerr said post-game.
"Bogut hadn't played in the first game and three quarters, so what he did was fantastic out there; gave us a different look with that lob threat."
Speaking after Game 2, Bogut said the key to his role was to always be prepared.
"Just making sure that, if you do make an opportunity, you don't make a fool of yourself," Bogut said.
"Be ready to play, and you're engaged. And that's why I was brought here essentially.
"It wasn't to play big minutes. It was to be ready when called upon and, if not, be a good teammate."