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Old 10-19-2012, 08:55 AM   #1
RaininThrees
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Default Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

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TORONTO — The pre-season usually comes with a clean slate for everybody involved. It is one of the interminable month’s merits: It is a season of renewal.

Not for Andrea Bargnani, though; not anymore. For Bargnani and the Raptors, it is the stuff of broken-up couples that frequently reunite for the very same reason: They have too much history together.

Through six years, there have been all sorts of asterisks used to explain his failure to reach heights that were likely never attainable for him in the first place. He clashed with Sam Mitchell. He played in the frontcourt with Chris Bosh, who was too similar to him. He was misplaced at centre. The Raptors stagnated his growth when they acquired Jermaine O’Neal. Playing with weak defensive players such as Jose Calderon and Hedo Turkoglu just exposed Bargnani’s weaknesses.

Now, it might be sink-or-swim time in deciding whether Bargnani is an integral part of the Raptors.

“I’m going to push him and pull him as much as I can,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “But it’s up to Andrea. The talent is there. He’s the only guy that can pull it out from himself. I think every method in the world, every scenario has been played for him for this organization.”


Casey has only been here for a little more than a year. Imagine how the patience is draining from long-term Raptors employees.

A recurring calf strain — and, yes, he left Wednesday’s game with a calf contusion — kept him out of 35 of 66 games last year and cut his season into two distinct parts. He averaged 23.5 points and 6.4 rebounds on 48% shooting at the start of the season, while providing the best defence of his career. In the 18 games following his injury, he averaged 16.5 points and 4.9 rebounds on 39% shooting, with his defence slipping.

Bargnani was tentative on his calf, but it has also been suggested that he was less intense because the Raptors were playing for lottery balls.

“That’s not a reason not to come back,” Casey said. “I think it was more that he was cautious on the calf … But that could have played into it. At that point, when he did come back, we were playing young guys and had no chance at the playoffs.”

If you are going to believe this season is going to be any different — that Bargnani will be consistent rather than uneven — you would do well to look at the composition of the team.

Kyle Lowry is the best defensive point guard the Raptors have had during Bargnani’s time in Toronto, meaning there should be fewer direct instances of penetration into the heart of the defence. Up front, the players Bargnani will be paired with, such as Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson, Ed Davis and Aaron Gray, are all capable of being high-volume rebounders. And Johnson and Valanciunas are solid help defenders. Raptors analytics consultant Alex Rucker said pairing Bargnani with a bunch of good rebounders, especially on the offensive end, was by design.

If the key pieces stay healthy, Bargnani will be counted on for two things above all others: high-volume scoring and quality defending on his man and in the pick-and-roll. His historic weaknesses — rebounding and help defence in the middle — will fall largely to other players.

And so far in the pre-season, even though he has been struggling offensively, his defence has looked fine.

“That’s evidence of growth, because there are going to be nights where teams take you out of what you want to do,” Casey said. “But you still have to give it to us defensively and also rebounding. Andrea’s done that. That’s where his growth is. But we need him on both ends. We need him offensively because we’re going to go as far as he takes us.”

It is up to Bargnani to make that a pleasant proposition.

***

The numbers

Andrea Bargnani’s best offensive seasons have come the last two years, but he has also missed 51 games over that stretch. A look at his per-36-minute numbers since joining the Raptors:

Season Pts Reb Blk FG% 3pt%
2006-07 16.6 5.6 1.2 42.7 37.3
2007-08 15.3 5.6 0.7 38.6 34.5
2008-09 17.6 6.1 1.4 45.0 40.9
2009-10 17.7 6.3 1.4 47.0 37.2
2010-11 21.6 5.2 0.7 44.8 34.5
2011-12 21.0 6.0 0.5 43.2 29.6

natpo.st/PeR7Az
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

I wish this article were true, but the guy is signed until 2015 and I feel that he's gonna hard to get rid of next year if he comes back as the same player again this year because he'll still have 2 years and almost 22mill left on his contract. I think BC is pretty much all in on him and his worse consequence would be getting replaced in the starting lineup.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

He's here and getting 32+ minutes per game as long as Colangelo is here regardless of his quality of play.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

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Originally Posted by Qwyjibo
He's here and getting 32+ minutes per game as long as Colangelo is here regardless of his quality of play.
Why would you want the best player on your team to be getting less than 32 minutes/game?
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

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Originally Posted by Qwyjibo
He's here and getting 32+ minutes per game as long as Colangelo is here regardless of his quality of play.

I honestly disagree.

Heard BC on 590 a couple weeks ago (on PTS I think) and he basically said the same thing: that it's on Andrea to actually play this year.

I think he's sufficiently pleased with JV, has a new apple in his eye, and would have no qualms with moving AB if that's what was needed. I do think he'll get a lot of rope.

bokes - I don't think he'd be that hard to get rid of. You might not get the value back that you would have a year or two ago, but there's always a GM out there who thinks he can "fix" a player with as much skill as AB has.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

Yes i'm sure a team would take him on on a deal that favored them more than us. I was referring to something close to equal value.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

Doubt that. If he is gone, who on this squad can handle the opposing team keying in on them? Anyway he is too big of a part for this team's goal of just making the playoffs yearly.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

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Originally Posted by Himan12
Doubt that. If he is gone, who on this squad can handle the opposing team keying in on them? Anyway he is too big of a part for this team's goal of just making the playoffs yearly.
You're right. The sad part is, if he leaves who's our biggest offensive threat? Numbers wise it's Demar and we know he's shaky at best. And would be even worse if we truly counted on him as our #1 option. So realistically, if Bargs puts up anything close to his numbers of recent years (19/6/1) he's likely not going anywhere.

For all intents and purposes this team is built around him, whether we like it or not. He's the centerpiece. They added a defense first, back to the basket oldschool style 7 footer to play in the paint, do the dirty work, and grab rebounds. They added solid perimeter defenders in Lowry and Fields and made it so all he really has to do is score and be in the correct position defensively. BC actually built the team to pretty much mask his weaknesses and put him in a position to do what he loves to do without it being considered a failure.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

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Originally Posted by bokes15
You're right. The sad part is, if he leaves who's our biggest offensive threat? Numbers wise it's Demar and we know he's shaky at best. And would be even worse if we truly counted on him as our #1 option. So realistically, if Bargs puts up anything close to his numbers of recent years (19/6/1) he's likely not going anywhere.

For all intents and purposes this team is built around him, whether we like it or not. He's the centerpiece. They added a defense first, back to the basket oldschool style 7 footer to play in the paint, do the dirty work, and grab rebounds. They added solid perimeter defenders in Lowry and Fields and made it so all he really has to do is score and be in the correct position defensively. BC actually built the team to pretty much mask his weaknesses and put him in a position to do what he loves to do without it being considered a failure.

All on point. Wouldn't make sense at all for BC to trade bargnani when he essentially chose him over bosh.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

believe it or not, bargnani is still extremely talented and a rarity in terms of his skill set and size. come deadline day there WILL be teams interested, the only thing is how high will BC set the price/will he scare off potential bidders as a backdoor way of saying "we're stuck with him"

so far he's been chucking threes, loved that one timeout against the Knicks Casey was tearing him a new one in the huddle, cant remember Triano doing anything like that.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

To me, he's not as much as a rarity as Dirk was when he came into the league. Yeah he's a big dude who has a lot of different offensive abilities. Shoot 3's, take you off the dribble, back down (capability, though he doesn't do it often) etc... But the way of the big man has transformed to the perimeter. Look at a lot of the prominent 4's in todays NBA. K. Love, Amar'e, Bosh, Gasol, Randolph, Aldridge, Dirk, Boozer, etc... Offensively, there's actually a lot of bigs i'd take over Bargnani. If we're just talking strictly talent in terms of ability then yes his overall skillset is pretty unique for his size. But in terms of how much of that ability he utilizes over the course of a season, not so much. He's the Vince Carter of big men in terms of untapped potential.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

What would you guys consider a fair return for bargs?
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

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What would you guys consider a fair return for bargs?
Bargs and Jose and another asset (maybe Ross)
For
Gay and randolf
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

Lowry/Derozan/Gay/Randolph/Val would be a solid lineup.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Andrea Bargnani facing sink-or-swim season with Raptors

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Originally Posted by bluerap
Bargs and Jose and another asset (maybe Ross)
For
Gay and randolf

I like it alot for us. Dont think the griz would do it though lol. Randolph brings alot more than bargs to table on both sides.
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