OAKLAND -- Andrew Bogut admitted to feeling a little next-day slowness after playing nearly 30 minutes against Toronto, his first action after a six-game hiatus because of back spasms brought on by a bulging disk.
But at least the Warriors center was upright Tuesday and looking forward to Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings, which was a far cry from the last time he played. He said that when he got out of bed that next day, Feb. 21, he fell to the floor at his home in excruciating pain.
"I called the trainer and said I didn't know if I was going to be able to get to my car to come in for treatment," Bogut said Monday after the Warriors' 125-118 win over the Raptors. "After about an hour, I literally crawled to my car."
With that episode in mind, just being a little slow is a quantum leap in physical recovery.
"It's to be expected because I didn't play for (11) days," Bogut said. "But my body feels pretty good otherwise."
That's particularly encouraging with the Kings on tap at Oracle Arena for the Warriors, who have been worn out by Sacramento big man DeMarcus Cousins in two losses this year. Cousins scored 23 points with 15 rebounds in a 94-92 Kings victory on Nov. 5 (a game in which Bogut played). Cousins had 24 points and seven rebounds in a 131-127 win on Dec. 19 with Bogut on the sideline.
"It's going to be tough," Bogut said of the 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins. "He's one of the best bigs in the league, a physical presence who's been playing very well for them. You have to do your work early against him and hopefully make him drift out and shoot jumpers."
Coach Mark Jackson agreed.
"We have to step up to the challenge and force him to make plays on our terms as opposed to his," Jackson said. "He has a history of playing extremely well against us, so we have to match his intensity. If you make him work for everything early, it gets interesting. But if he starts out with a couple of dunks, you're in for a long night."
While he didn't fare so well in the Nov. 5 game, Bogut wasn't right physically. He played only 18 minutes and would play just one more game afterward before missing 38 straight to rehabilitate a left ankle that wasn't responding to April surgery. Now, he feels he's more up to the task of facing Cousins, at least defensively and on the boards.
"He's a very underrated offensive rebounder," he said. "He can get physical in there and get a lot of loose balls and tip-ins, so you have to make sure that even when you're off the ball, your job isn't done."
Bogut's stat line from Monday night isn't going to wow anybody, but he did collect eight rebounds and also altered shots inside even though he was credited with just one block. In short, he was a presence the Warriors have sorely lacked defensively, not just because he can match up with other big men but because Golden State doesn't have to collapse inside to protect the paint.
Bogut said Tuesday that although he still needs a lot of work on his shooting touch and post-up moves, he feels he can give a representative effort defensively and on the boards. It doesn't bother him in the slightest that he scored only four points against the Raptors and is averaging just 6.8 points in the 13 games he has played.
"A lot of guys around the league can get big numbers and still be on losing teams," he said. "I don't mind if I'm not scoring. I just try to defend and rebound and make the right play, make the right pass. I don't look much in the numbers column, I look more in the letters column -- having more W's than L's is the most important thing."
For the Warriors right now, just having Bogut in the lineup is the most important thing.
"We know exactly who he is," Jackson said. "He gives us a totally different weapon than what we've had. We saw some flashes (Monday) night, and now it's just about him getting as healthy as possible."
"I feel like we've done enough talking," Jack said. "We've had enough team meetings about what we need to do to correct things. Let's lead by our actions. I tried to do that (Monday), and hopefully guys saw that.
"I thought collectively, we just got away from having fun -- smiling, laughing, high-fiving one another. Just play with a more carefree attitude, and give it everything you've got."
"Being chosen as one of eight teams to travel abroad to further develop the game of basketball and the NBA globally is an honor," said Rick Welts, Warriors president and chief operating officer.
The Warriors last took part in the Global Games program in 2008, playing two games against the Milwaukee Bucks in China.
Sacramento () at Warriors (34-27), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA