Andrew Bogut is the difference-maker for this year's Warriors

Matt Slocum/AP Images

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's May 11 Fight For Perfection Issue. Subscribe today!

FOR DECADES, the Warriors toiled in mediocrity, producing electric offenses that were designed -- but ultimately failed -- to outscore their foes. But this season offers a new narrative. Sure, employing the greatest shooting duo in history helps. But the D? That's where this team is different. And the man who anchors it all is center Andrew Bogut. While holding his own on offense, the 10-year vet leads the top-ranked defense, which is predicated on funneling drivers his way. Here's how he leaves his mark on both ends of the court.

44.6 percent
Opponent FG percentage on shots within 6 feet of the rim with Bogut on the floor. Opponents' typical rate: 59.4 percent.

28.3 percent
Percentage of shots opponents take within 5 feet of the rim when Bogut is in. With Bogut out: 35.3 percent.

Three-point attempts per 48 minutes that Golden State takes when Bogut is in the game. When he's on the bench, that number drops to 24.2 attempts.

56.3 percent
The Warriors' effective FG percentage, which accounts for both 2s and 3s, with Bogut on the court. That's 4 percentage points higher than when he's a spectator.

+16.6 Net Rating
The Warriors' net rating (offensive rating minus defensive rating) when Bogut is on the floor. That's more than double what it is when he's on the bench and is the top mark among NBA centers this season.

4.1 assists per 36 minutes
Bogut's distribution rose this year to well above his career rate of 2.7.

181 elbow touches
Bogut is a key cog in the Warriors' offensive sets, as evidenced by this stat -- up 
from just 87 in the 2013-14 season.

Bogut's defensive real plus-minus, No. 1 in the NBA by a wide margin.

14.9 percent assist percentage
Bogut's career high is also good for sixth best among starting centers.

Defensive Real Plus-Minus is the estimated on-court impact of defensive performance, measured in points allowed per 100 defensive possessions. Elbow touches are ones that originate within a 5-foot radius nearing the edge of the lane and the free throw line, inside the 3-point line. Assist percentage is the percentage of teammates' field goals that a player assisted.