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Warriors vs. Bucks Preview: Bogut returns to a suit

The Warriors are still without Andrew Bogut, but the former Buck's continued absence hasn't stopped Golden State from surging to a 26-16 start--which has Mark Jackson's crew in position to reach the playoffs for just the second time in nearly two decades.

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2012/2013 NBA Season
(22-19, 11-9 home)
(26-16, 12-10 road)
January 25, 2012
BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI
7:30 CT
FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Brandon Jennings PG Stephen Curry
Monta Ellis SG Klay Thompson
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute SF Harrison Barnes
Ersan Ilyasova
PF David Lee
Larry Sanders C Festus Ezeli
2012/13 Advanced Stats
94.3 (5th) Pace 93.8 (7th)
102.6 (25th) ORtg 106.0 (12th)
103.5 (10th) DRtg 105.0 (12th)

On the Warriors: Golden State of Mind | Warrior World | Bucks Game Notes

Warriors update. Andrew Bogut hasn't played since November 7, and his return date remains unclear despite reports for weeks that he was getting closer to "full" health--or whatever that means at this point. Rusty Simmons at the San Francisco Chronicle writes:

Bogut has traveled with the team on three consecutive trips - something he previously said caused his ankle to swell because of the flights and the consistent getting on and off buses. He has advanced to on-court workouts that are strenuous enough to require a brace on his ankle after doing only light, flat-footed shooting drills for portions of the past two months.

Still, in his last public comments, Bogut said he would like to practice with the team for a week or two before he returns to game action. The Warriors no longer allow injured players to speak to the media, but the team says Bogut has not returned to practice since restarting his rehabilitation.

Bogut will be with the Warriors tonight so I'm looking forward to a warm welcome for the former first overall pick; while nothing went as it should since Bogut's horrendous fall in the spring of 2010, there's no point in dwelling on the disappointments of Bogut's nearly seven years in Milwaukee. Good luck, Andrew.

In Bogut's absence, David Lee has returned to the all-star form of his last year in New York, flirting with 20/10 numbers on a nightly basis, while Milwaukee native Carl Landry has been a terrific post scorer off the bench (12.0 ppg, 60.3% true shooting).

Steph. While Brandon Jennings might have understandably been a bit disappointed by his exclusion from the East's all-star squad, Steph Curry's snub credentials are much stronger. Dell's kid has been the 26-16 Warriors' leading light, scoring a career-high 20.9 ppg, 6.5 apg and 4.0 rpg while hitting an absurd 45.0% of his threes (57.3% true shooting). Curry's lights-out efficiency has offset Klay Thompson's sophomore regression and Harrison Barnes' rookie growing pains (0/9 shooting his last two games, 11.1 PER, 51.1% true shooting). Still, Warrior fans have every reason to be excited about their trio of young sharpshooters, all of whom are hitting at least 37% from distance. The Warriors rank 3rd in the NBA in three point accuracy but are overall a balanced team, ranking 12th in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

Collapse. Via Charles Gardner, Jim Boylan had a fairly simple explanation for the Bucks' bewildering loss in Cleveland last night.

"When you give up 30 points a quarter, unless you're an unbelievable offensive team, you're not going to win the game," Boylan said.

"They got in the paint on us; we didn't stop the ball. They sucked our defense in and were able to kick it out for shots. They were very good around the basket."

It seems like it's in the Bucks' very nature to suffer a disappointing loss just when they're gaining some momentum, and the current Warriors aren't the same fun-but-eminently-beatable bunch we've gotten used to seeing over the years.