Raptors fans booing Andrea Bargnani

Quite obviously, things are getting ugly at the Air Canada Centre as it relates to Andrea Bargnani. The longest-serving Raptor is being booed every time he takes a shot now, with things getting particularly gruesome on Friday night against New York.

But, here is a question worth asking: Can the Raptors do anything to help Bargnani get out of his funk? The team has changed a lot since his December injury, with the pick and roll, where Bargnani has thrived before, rarely used since the arrival of Rudy Gay and departure of Jose Calderon. Bargnani has taken just six shots in 34 minutes in the last two games. For his career, Bargnani averages 15.2 field-goal attempts per 36 minutes.

The Raptors are barely looking his way. Given his defensive and rebounding deficiencies, there is little point using him at all if the Raptors are not going to use him on offence.

“We have some sets in that feature Andrea,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “We haven’t run them as much since he [has come back from injury], but we’re starting to run them more now. And [when] we run those for him, they’re basically his plays. Kyle [Lowry] is an effective pick-and-roll player, a different type of pick-and-roll player than Jose is, but there’s some things we can do in our pick and rolls with Andrea involved that can make sure we’re taking advantage of his skill set.”

– Reported by Eric Koreen of the National Post