BASKETBALL: Andrew Bogut is facing a race against time to be fit for the Rio Olympics after being told he will need at least six to eight weeks to recover from a knee injury.
The Australian centre will miss the remainder of the NBA finals series for Golden State Warriors, which goes into game six in Cleveland tomorrow, and is now a doubt for the Boomers’ first match at the Games on August 6.
Bogut was hurt making a block in the game-five loss to the Cavaliers.
Nigerian Festus Ezeli will get some more game time with Bogut missing, while Brazilian big man Anderson Varejao, a former Cavaliers player, will also get on the boards.
“It’s bad news. Boges has made an impact in this series,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
“Last two we played him fewer minutes, but still he’s a defensive presence at the rim and rebounder and a great passer.
“So we’ll miss the minutes he has been giving us.
“Festus will play a role, so will Andy (Varejao).
“Everybody has got to be ready. Festus hasn’t had big minutes in this series.
“But with Bogut out, his minutes will definitely climb.
“I feel very confident playing Festus and he will play an important role in the rest of the series.”
Bogut has been a key defensive player for the Warriors in this series but Draymond Green, who missed the game-five loss through suspension, said Bogut’s absence would be a chance for someone else to step up.
“It’s not like a loss where you say, ‘Aw, it doesn’t matter.’ It definitely matters,” Green said. “We’re going to miss him.
“But one thing we always talk about is our depth. So it’s an opportunity for someone else to step up.
“One guy goes down, another guy has to step up. I’m not sure what the rotations or none of that stuff will be, but whoever touches the floor, it’s an opportunity to step up.
“No one will be Bogut. But give to this team what you can give.”
Golden State leads the series 3-2. If necessary, game seven is on Monday (AEST) in Oakland.
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