Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut's season is over, and it's a shame. Bogut would have had a chance to clinch a second consecutive championship on in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday if not for a knee injury suffered in Game 5 on Monday. At shootaround, Bogut addressed the collision in which he was injured for the first time, and he said he wasn't sure if it was a basketball play or not.
"I don't know how he fell and all that, but tough for interpretation," Bogut said Thursday before Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Bogut heard two cracks as he suffered a significant injury and bone bruises in his left knee when Smith crashed into him in the third quarter of Game 5 on Monday.
"I blocked his shot," Bogut said. "Somehow he cannon-balled right into my shin with his shoulder. It was painful."
Smith, for the record, said Wednesday that it was a basketball play and "it's not like I'm out there trying to take his legs out."
When you watch the film, it's a bit weird. It certainly doesn't look like Smith is trying to injure anybody, but it's strange to see someone tumble over like that when taking a shot. It looked extremely awkward in real-time, and no less so on replay.
Freak play or not, it's horrible timing for an injury. After being taken out of the rotation in last year's NBA Finals, Bogut was starting and playing a significant role protecting the rim, albeit in fewer minutes than usual. He was looking forward to representing Australia at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer, too, and now that is all but officially out of the equation. He doesn't even expect to be able to be on the bench with his teammates during Game 6.
This season can still end happily for Bogut as long as Golden State gets one more victory. It will just be the beginning, though, of a six-to-eight-week rehabilitation process. Bogut called that "pretty disappointing," and that is a pretty big understatement.