LOS ANGELES • The jury may be out on the impact Andrew Bogut will have for the Golden State Warriors but, with DeMarcus Cousins out indefinitely with a torn quad muscle, Steve Kerr feels they "are lucky" to have him as a replacement.
Confirming the 34-year-old will start at centre - likely for the remainder of the play-offs - the coach for the two-time defending National Basketball Association champions also believes "he will do a great job".
Ahead of Game 3 (this morning, Singapore time) of their post-season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers with the series tied at 1-1, Kerr said: "He's been great since he's been back.
"This is why we got him - just in case. We were hoping we wouldn't have any injuries obviously, but that was our most vulnerable position.
"More than anything, I'm just crushed for DeMarcus. He's been waiting his whole career for this... He's had a great season for us."
Kerr added that while he could have plumped for back-up Kevon Looney or opted to move All-Star forward Draymond Green to centre, he ultimately decided to place his faith in Bogut, who won a championship title with Golden State in 2015.
Last month, the Australian rejoined the team as a back-up to Cousins after a standout season with the Sydney Kings before declaring he was happy to just be along for the ride, and would be fine just cheering his teammates from the bench.
However, Bogut, who has averaged 3.5 points per game since his NBA return, will now see a lot more action.
All-Star centre Cousins, who returned only in January after a year out with a torn Achilles tendon, was averaging 16.3 points per game until he suffered the injury in Game 2.