Before practice Sunday morning, Andrew Bogut sat in a courtside seat - well, two seats - with his enormous frame dwarfing the chairs as he tied his shoes.
He sauntered onto the AT&T Center court, dribbled between his legs twice and around his back once and then softly flipped the ball through the hoop.
The Warriors haven't had a center of Bogut's size in years and haven't had a center couple that type of beef and grace in decades. That's a big reason they're in the Western Conference semifinals for only the second time in 22 seasons and a big reason they have a legitimate chance of making some noise against the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs.
"When you talk about playoff basketball, you're talking about a physical game," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said. "You need an anchor on the defensive end. There are times when teams will trick you and go small and it may not be as important, but overall, to win it all, you've got to have someone in the middle to give you great minutes.
"Does that guarantee success? No, but Andrew Bogut is a big-time defender and a big-time rebounder. That's something this organization has craved for a mighty long time."
Bogut was one of only five players in the NBA who averaged more than two assists and 1.5 blocked shots this season, joining Tim Duncan, Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah and Josh Smith. The other Warriors to accomplish the feat were Ronny Turiaf (2008-09), Chris Webber (1993-94), Ralph Sampson (1987-88), Joe Barry Carroll (1987-88) and Nate Thurmond (1973-74).