Andrew Bogut's Effect on Warriors; Story on Steph Curry's Contact Lenses

Editor's note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors reporter, will take you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #askkerith


The Warriors have four games left. Starting with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night, three out of the four opponents they'll face have losing records. Golden State should be able to cruise into the playoffs, although it depends what "cruise" will mean.

Will they get up for struggling opponents? I think so. They want to put the polish on their play to fine-tune things for the real prize. A chance to defend their back-to-back titles and turn this thing into a three-peat is nearly here. 

Game On!

@SN0FL4KE Kerith, I'm curious how Bogut's presence has changed the overall energy for the team on the defensive side of the ball? Has he been vocal with the young guys in practice? I've noticed a different level of confidence from the second unit over the past few games.

At a time when the Warriors are focusing on getting their defense in tip-top shape for the postseason, it's a nice coincidence that this span overlaps with Bogut's arrival.

I've noticed Bogut has no problem being vocal, and that comes from his personal confidence and knowing he's seen all this before. Draymond praised Bogut's defense ahead of his arrival and called the big man one of his favorite teammates. They communicate well on the court. They trust each other. You're in great shape if you have Draymond's trust on D.

Bogut has played in just nine games, so he doesn't get all the credit for the defensive improvements the team has been emphasizing. But his presence surely hasn't hurt.

@FerrisKnight Even though the focus is on the playoffs do you get the sense that Bob & Steve are open to the idea of Bogut coming back next year? He's only 34.

The Warriors will try to get younger next season, and in basketball years, 34 can be retirement age. 

It's not the end for Bogut, though. When he came back to the NBA, his team in Australia reminded fans he's still under contract in Sydney. Here was their announcement: 

Bogut is not in the Warriors' long-term plans. He's a rental for the end of the regular season and the playoffs. He's been great, but it's 99.5 percent certain he will not be in a Warriors uniform next year. 

@kvlemmon What are the Warriors watching or listening to on the way to away games these days? #AskKerith

Lately, it's been Nipsey Hussle. Logan Murdock captured how some players were feeling about Hussle's death here. The newest Future album was in heavy rotation. Same with 2 Chainz. 

If you want to know what players are listening to on a daily basis, KD, DeMarcus, Kevon and Zo frequently put songs in their Instagram stories. 

As for shows, KD told me he watches "Martin" every day. And Quinn recently finished "Unsolved," the Netflix mystery series about who shot Tupac and Biggie.

@pixedit A few years back both Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala made comments about how different it was with the Warriors and off court relationships. They spoke of having team dinners together often and a bonding that they rarely saw elsewhere. Wondering if this is still the case?

It is! The team dinners are a special place to chill together. It's also a relief not to have to make dinner plans on your own from city to city. Can you imagine the commotion that would happen if Steph Curry walked into any old restaurant? The tall guys can't move incognito either. If they stay at the hotel, it's no fun eating room service by yourself every night.

Any time to be together is a good time. In the previous mailbag, someone asked if the players are real friends, and they are.

Another thing that stands out is the music at practice. Not all teams allow it, and I like how this story from Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle captured how the playlists come together. 

The Warriors have a good vibe, and when you hear vets like Shaun and Andre talking about it, it's true.

@ACook05 What role do the Warriors expect from Iggy this postseason, given new rotations with Boogie and considering that he has been a key piece to their postseason success?

They trust the former NBA Finals MVP to do what he always does: Be himself. 

Andre will be on the floor to finish tight games. He's part of the Death Lineup that's secured championships. He rarely makes a bone-headed mistake. His assist-to-turnover ratio is 4.14-to-1.

And the great part is, Andre is healthy right now. We had a laugh when he told me his health and happiness is tied to the golf course.

But don't underestimate the mental side of things of being healthy. It allows you to perform freely. The dunks we've seen from Andre this season are coming from a guy playing with nothing to lose. He knows he's in the twilight of his career. He's making the most of it. 

@stagedarren Here's one I hope hasn't been asked too much: what is the health of Steve Kerr? Is he 80-90% of full recovery? Does he still deal with daily issues that he had to deal with?

This question comes up a lot, and it stems from a place of caring. Fans have good hearts. I don't answer this question often because Steve doesn't like to talk about it. 

To summarize quickly: Steve is feeling good this season. He's even played some golf, something that "fills his cup," as he likes to say regarding the things that makes him happy and rejuvenated. 

I don't know a percentage for his recovery. I don't know what daily issues he's dealing with, or to what degree he's feeling pain or annoyance.

When people ask him about his back -- and he gets questions on the road from local reporters and those fans, too -- he answers with a polite, "I'm fine, thank you." 

@pekod1971 Is it a pain in the butt ironing your wardrobe during road trips? Asking as a weary road warrior.

I don't iron! I bring a mini travel steamer in my suitcase. It works better, and there's no risk of the steam damaging the clothes. Here's the one I use. It's less than $20! 

High Five

High five to Steph Curry for wearing his contacts. 

If you missed it, here's the full story. That's the "secret" Steph told me on March 19 after he scored 36 points against the Timberwolves. That day, we had a casual conversation about eyesight at the team brunch. I had glasses on, and I asked him if he ever wore glasses. It went from there. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking credit for Steph wearing his contacts. I'm just telling you the backstory about what he whispered. He told me he was wearing them, but he didn't want to talk about it in the interview. 

Steph downplayed his vision adjustment, which seems to be just fine after he passed Chris Mullen for fourth all time on the Warriors' scoring list. But yes, it is correct: The best shooter in the game has been doing it with imperfect vision. Watch out, NBA. 

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors coverage all season.

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