Programming note: Pistons-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – Warriors center Andrew Bogut, who missed six games after sustaining a concussion on Oct. 27, was a full participant in shootaround Monday morning, cleared the NBA's concussion protocol and is expected to be in uniform against the Pistons on Monday night at Oracle Arena.
Bogut will not start, however, as backup center Festus Ezeli will make his seventh consecutive start.
“It’s kind of a nice luxury to not have to start Bogie tonight after missing a couple weeks,” interim coach Luke Walston said. “Festus has played well enough. If you’re on a team that’s struggling, you probably have to throw your starting center right back in.
“We haven’t had a single practice yet that (Bogut) has been able to take part in, besides a shootaround. Because of Festus and how well he’s been playing, we feel comfortable that we can keep rolling and get Andrew back into game shape.”
Though fully recovered from his concussion, Bogut will continue to wear a fitted mask to protect his nose, which was broken in an Oct. 15 preseason game against the Houston Rockets.
Ezeli’s emergence means the Warriors now have two starter-quality centers to utilize as they see fit. Though both are strong defenders, eager to protect the rim, they in many other ways compliment each other.
Bogut is the superior passer, able to drift out to the top of the key and initiate offense with his vision and anticipation.
Ezeli is more at home on the block, where has developed some offensive moves, and has gotten more effective at running pick-and-roll offense, which results in him converting lob passes into easy baskets.
Bogut was injured in the third quarter opening night when he banged heads with New Orleans forward Dante Cunningham. Bogut immediately left the floor, bleeding from a cut that required three stitches. The concussion was diagnosed the next day.