Programming note: Watch "Warriors Playoff Central" Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and immediately after Game 1 on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area Plus. Both shows will also be streamed live right here.
OAKLAND – It's probable, maybe even likely, that Rockets coach Kevin McHale will purposely send Andrew Bogut to the foul line in the Western Conference Finals.
The Warriors center anticipates being intentionally fouled, forcing him score from the line, where he shot 52.4 percent in the regular season.
"If I get hacked," Bogut said after practice Sunday, "I've got go down there and make them."
McHale and Clippers coach Doc Rivers both employed the tactic in their series, which ended Sunday with a Houston victory. It generally failed. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan shot 34 free throws in Game 4, but Los Angeles won by 33 points.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich also used the ploy against Jordan, a 39.7-percent shooter from the line, in the first round. He shot 28 free throws in one game. Still, Los Angeles ousted the Spurs in seven.
The Clippers entered the playoffs with a 12-0 record in games when Jordan shot at least 14 free throws. They're 3-0 when he shot at least 25 free throws.
"It's not the be-all, end-all," Bogut said, citing the Clippers' success. "The pressure is on, but a lot of guys with analytics have done studies.
"When teams have done that to me this year, we've won most of those games. So it's not a huge deal. You've only got to make one of two, if that. Most teams score under a point a possession anyway, so if you knock one down and they keep doing it, it can have the reverse effect."
Either way, Bogut will brace for the possibility of being hacked. As will his teammate, Andre Iguodala, who shot 59.6 percent from the line in the regular season.
Houston center Dwight Howard, a 52.8-percent shooter from the line, probably doesn't have to worry about it, as Warriors coach Steve Kerr is not a big believer in the tactic.