The Toronto Raptors centre responded with a heroic solo effort, scoring a tournament-high 36 points along with seven rebounds to give his team a fighting chance of reaching the second group stage.

The Italians need to win their remaining two preliminary stage games against France and Israel and hope that other results go their way if they are to advance to the top 12, featuring two groups of six.

“It was very important to win and stay in contention after the opening two defeats, we are all exhausted after playing three games in as many days but also overjoyed that we have finally put some points on the board,” said Bargnani.

“We have now rekindled our hopes of not just winning our next two games, but playing to the best of our abilities because we know we can improve.”


Valanciunas helped host Lithuania become the first team at the tournament to score 100 points with a 100-90 win over Serbia.

Valanciunas had 18 points (on 8-of-9 shooting), five rebounds and a block in just 20 minutes, as Lithuania, 2-1, got 47 points from its bench.

Lithuania rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth.

Valanciunas, one of the youngest players competing, is now shooting 75% from the field and averaging 9.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, a block and a steal in 17 minutes per game.


I’m hearing through spies in Lithuania that Linas Kleiza’s on schedule in his rehab from knee surgery. He’s been doing some broadcasting over at the European championships and is due back in North America later this month to be seen by the doctors who did the surgery out in Colorado.

He’s still looking at a couple of months before he can get back on the court but things are coming along as well as can be expected.

Let’s recap.

Our starting center/PF is tearing shit up. Our rookie is blazing a trail in Europe. Our small forward is on his way to being healthy while honing his broadcasting skills. Awesome stuff. If only the Raptors played in Europe, I’d be even more jacked up than I am now. Also, having a season would help.

I saw Jonas the other day against Nenad Krstic (he’s considered quality here), and he looked good. Well, he looked great setting screens and rolling to the rim, and it’s clear that he’ll give slower centers fits just based on his movement. He’s the most agile big man on the Raptors right now, his movement is quick and determined, and he sees a play through, almost always trying to position himself for an offensive rebound. The ball-handling is expectedly suspect, which means his offensive game is limited, and he doesn’t know how/when to look for his shot. The theory is that his negatives are offset by the positives of the Raptors, and that his positives are in such great need by the club, that he’s going to have an immediate impact.

To me, the starting center job is still Bargnani’s to lose. Bargnani is the more skilled big man, has the greater talent, has vastly superior experience, and should by all accounts, be blowing Valanciunas out of the water. People talk about Bargnani shifting over to the four to make way for Valanciunas. F**k that. Have these two fight for the starting center role. If losing his starting center job to a rookie isn’t going to light a fire under Bargnani, then nothing will. The Raptors have a chance to give Bargnani’s character the ultimate litmus test: step up your defense and attitude, or you lose out to a rookie! You don’t have to waste a whole season watching these two battle it out, training camp should be good enough, and with Casey’s discerning eye serving as motivation, this would be a fight to relish.

Back to Jonas. Overall, if you’re looking for a contrast to Bargnani, you got it. Of course, I still have no idea how his game will translate to the NBA, but one thing’s for certain: rebounding always translates to the pro-level – unless you’re short, which Jonas is not. Reason to be excited? Sure, I’m a little excited, mostly because everybody else seems to be excited so the hype rubs off on me. Kinda like in the same way it did when Bargnani was drafted.

I see Valanciunas teetering somewhere between a skilled big man like Luis Scola, a defensive big man like Tyson Chandler, or f***in’ Jeff Foster. I have no idea. All I can say with surety is that he’s got the right attitude to be playing his position, the question becomes, how well can he develop, and how well can the Raptors help him develop. If you look at the number of “project” big men on the Raptors, the coaching staff has their work cut-out: Amir Johnson, Ed Davis, Solomon Alabi, and Jonas Valanciunas. That is a lot of “potential” that needs coaching, and I’m not even sure one Eric Hughes is enough. Remember, Colangelo’s working under the timeline that foreign big men can take up to five years to “develop” – that’s a whole lot of developing.

Where am I going with this? To work, I got an early meeting.

Random life note: Two weeks ago my Dad felt some chest pain, made nothing of it and continued gardening. Three days later he felt it again, this time not as bad, sat down, had a glass of water and read a book. Four days later, he felt it again. Had a glass of milk, went for a walk, felt better, but thought of going to the ER just in case since it was a weekend anyway. Turns out he had had three heart attacks. He’s better now, released from hospital after an angioplasty. Moral of the story: feel chest-pain, go the ER, regardless of your family history or diet.

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  • Thecaptain2000

     I am glad to hear your dad is fine. That said I do not  buy your argument (“Fu*k that”) against playing Andrea at the 4 spot. The Italian national team could not (they had just 2 Bigs)  but the Raptors can and should (Especially if JV gains some weight).  BTW I would not count the 36pt performance as the interesting one, way more telling were the performance against France and (NBA frount court) and Serbia. ( Elite Euroleague – good NBA  front court, you cannot play easily alone inside against those and Andrea did it, actually they had to bench Nenad Krstic  because he was getting pushed around easily). The Raptors have a quasi rookie at the 4 too and as of today, Andrea is the better player there too. Actually I would say the Raps front court seems set, here is hoping  there is no season this year, as the Raps could get out-tanked. If you manage to get a good 3 out of the 2012 draft interesting time could lie ahead for the Dinos

  • JoePanini

    The thing is, that Valanciunas will only be joining the Raptors in the 2012/13 season. And if an agreement is reached somewhere in the middle of this “season” then Bargnani will definitely be the starting center. If Bargnani does not perform up to par this season, then I doubt there will even be this discussion as he would probably be on his way out. Obviously, if he does perform well then we have a pretty nice situation going into 2012. And I agree that they should fight for the place, moving Bargnani to the 4 only means less minutes for both Ed and Amir, who have a far bigger impact on the game than Bargnani. It would be interesting to see whether it would be a win-win situation if the allocated minutes in 2012/13 looked like this: Bargnani-30 Valanciunas-18 Davis-28 Johnson-20. This would keep the more talented (currently) players playing more minutes, whilst giving Valanciunas time to adjust to the league. Also, allowing 4 bigmen to play a balanced amount of minutes will allow them to be less fatigued, and maybe perform better. Bargnani playing 30 minutes or so could be good, as he might put in more effort (BIG IF). I don’t know, this is all speculation, it’s a really really long summer.

  • p00ka

    LMAO. I swear a thought went through my head just yesterday that I bet a Bargnani commentary is coming, as the posts are down over the last few entries. Sure way to generate more traffic/activity: prod the masses on Bargs.
    I’ll just say that if you’re looking for a one-on-one JV vs Bargs, winner take all, you have no appreciation, perhaps no understanding, of the complexities of coaching and managing an NBA team.

    • arsenalist

      Um. Just to be clear, the Bargnani posts only tend to increase the # of comments, and that too stupid ones that add nothing.  And we’re already banned a couple people who tend to do that, so I’m hoping that doesn’t happen either.  Traffic doesn’t change one iota.

      Moving Bargnani to the four is a cop-out.  His #1 advantage is still his long-range shooting combined with quickness, something that is more usable against C’s.  Shorter players also tend to be more quicker, and if Bargnani is to be played at a 4, his quickness advantage will be negated.  Instead, he’ll have to rely on post-moves, turn-around jumpers etc., basically try to use his height more, and his quickness less.

      Said this a million times, it doesn’t matter where you play him, and that’s not just me, that’s pretty much every “expert” out there who think you need two bigs who can play, regardless of position.  

      The reason I want those two to fight for it has little to do me not having “appreciation”  of the “complexities of coaching and managing an NBA team”, it has everything to do with setting a goal and challenge for Bargnani.  This site does tend to leer towards him a bit, but that doesn’t mean I’d want to see him go to another team, and find his way there.  Talent is obviously there, it’s a question of mining it out. Right now I’m 50-50 between shipping him out, and giving him another chance.  I have a sick feeling that if he goes somewhere else, he’s going to end up being an All-Star, it’s just the Raptors’ luck.

      • Nilanka15

        Agreed on the “cop-out”.  It won’t make any difference if Bargnani plays the 4.  He’ll still be required to rebound, and provide help-defense…2 attributes he’s notoriously horrendous in.

        As for the front-court rotation, we already have too many bodies.  IMO, a good rotation uses 8-9 players every night:
        – 5 starters
        – backup PG
        – backup SG/SF
        – backup PF/C
        – *anyone else

        In most cases, this means a front-court rotation of 3 players.  But with Bargnani, Valanciunas, Davis, Amir…and potentially Alabi all battling for minutes, something’s gotta give.  2 of these 5 players will either need to be traded, or get comfortable with multiple DNPCDs.

        • points

          In the first place we should ask why our #1 pick have to battle for playing time ?

          • Robert Archibald

            The curse of the draft position lives on.  We must start our #1 Pick, even if our #5 pick is better. Hmmmm, no.  I’ll side with Arse on this one-I’m amazed it isn’t what everyone is saying. Bargs would look great at the first big off the bench at either position, quick scoring, different look.  Little overpaid but I think it is definitely the best role for him.

        • Every team uses at least a 4 man big rotation.  Most use 5.  In the playoffs you might trim the rotation to 8-9 but Regular season is 10 man without question.  Still your point is true.  We might already have too many bodies and this next draft is stuffed with lots of Bigs.  Interesting to see who gets shipped out.  Can BC find the deal with maximum value?  Whether Bargs, Davis or Amir gets moved they need to make sure its the right move.

      • p00ka

        Arse,,, (btw, glad that your father is doing well). Pardon my cynicism, but I don’t see any reason for this piece, except for getting action going between Bargs haters and “apologists” (as some say). Any conversation of pitting JV vs Bargs in a training camp is a year away from relevant. So much can happen between now and then. For example, from watching him over at Eurobasket, it appears the experiment of Bargs bulking up to be able to bang better has been dropped. He’s slimmer (perhaps his natural size) and seems quicker and more agile than we saw year. He might even have more energy, like we’d all like to see.

        Beyond that, I can’t quite figure where you’re coming from in regards to Bargnani at the 4. First you say such thought is a cop-out, then say that you’ve said a million times that it doesn’t matter where you play him, you need two bigs who can play. One point seems to counter the other. I agree with the latter. I can easily see a rotation of Bargs, ED, and JV, with Bargs being the “swing”, playing primarily the 4 with JV, and the 5 with ED. Also, there’s nothing wrong with a big playing different role (4,5) between offense and defence. As you say, you need two bigs who can play, and the goal is to use them where best suited, which can be different depending on match-up, or even offense/defense. Opponents don’t always lock their “5” on to bargs on defending him, because he appears to be the Raps “5” on their defense. It’s a mix and match thing in today’s NBA, n’est pas?

        • i think arse stated it quite clearly, and it’s something that’s been discussed on here quite a bit over the last few years:

          – bargs’ single biggest advantage (offensively) is when he’s matched up against the opposition’s 5; he can use his quickness to pull his check away from the hoop (which has the added effect of taking away an opponent’s rebounder); if his man gives him too much space on the perimeter, he has room to shoot – if he gets crowded, he’s (usually) quick enough to get around him; plus, the PnR/PnP works more effectively if you’re drawing a big, lumbering 5 out to defend it.

          – defensively, as others have mentioned, it’s something of a wash; bargs has shown himself to be a capable post defender (usually against ‘traditional,’ back-to-the-basket 5s).  he has shown spurts of being able to defend on the perimeter, but it’s a question whether he could guard the likes of a dirk or a bosh on a consistent basis; as a 4, you’re still required to help defend & rebound, even if deficiencies in those areas are somewhat easier to excuse from a 4 than a 5.

          at the end of the day, bargs already plays a considerable amount of time at the 4, both offensively & defensively, based on the matchups in play.  in this day/age, i’m not really sure it makes much of a difference (whether someones a 4 or a 5), you just have to make sure that you’re not getting exploited defensively in a given matchup.  the biggest concern i (and others) have with bargs playing the 4 is that it would undoubtedly take PT away from young guys who have – to date – had a positive impact on the team’s ability to produce wins, but who may not physically be capable of handling the rigors of the centre position on an everyday basis.  adding yet another player to the mix (JV) complicates things, though i’m pretty sure we’re getting a little over-excited about some ‘log-jam’ in the front-court about 18 months earlier than we need to.  yes, JV is coming over next year (’12/’13), but he’s going to need a year of 10-15 MPG (if that) to simply get adjusted to the NBA game & develop physically before he’s ready to contribute on any meaningful level.

          • p00ka

            Regardless of what’s been discussed for years, I don’t see how your
            “clarification” clears up the conflict in the statements I was referring

            Beyond that, some questions/comments about your statements:

            – Why is it easier to excuse poor rebounding and help defense from a 4? A
            TEAM needs offense, defense and rebounding from the 4&5 teaming,
            whatever label is on which player.

            – Bargs hasn’t played “a considerable amount of time at the 4” on
            defense since the day he arrived, and certainly not last year.

            – What young guys playing PF have had a more positive impact on the
            team’s ability to produce wins? Last year, with Bargs playing, the
            team’s winning % was .288, without him it was .188. Amir (who is only
            1.5 years younger) helped team to .277 winning record. ED contributed to
            .246 winning record, but they were .353 when he wasn’t playing.
            Winning/losing is a team thing, but based on those numbers, it’s pretty
            clear Bargs meant more to team wins than the young guys you speak of,
            even though he was double teamed on his strength (offense) all year
            because the Raps have nobody else opponents worry about on defense.

            – Do you actually think the Raptors would be better with a rotation of JV, ED and Amir, rather than JV, Bargs, ED? I’ve a strong feeling there isn’t a coach or GM in the NBA that would agree with that, but we’re all entitled to our opinions.

            – You think ED had a positive impact on ability to win in his rookie
            year, but know JV won’t contribute on a meaningful level until his
            second year? What’s the reasoning behind that?

            • points

              thats the rotation i would like to see going forward JV ED and Amir with ED and JV STARTING

              • p00ka

                What you would like isn’t relevant. You’ve mistaken me for someone who gives a damn.

            • – ‘Why is it easier to excuse poor rebounding and help defense from a 4? ATEAM needs offense, defense and rebounding from the 4&5 teaming, whatever label is on which player.’

              my bad, i should have clarified, but i feared that doing so would incite the masses; what i mean is that it’s easier for his FANS to excuse him in those areas.- Bargs hasn’t played “a considerable amount of time at the 4” on defense since the day he arrived, and certainly not last year.

              again, my bad…poor choice in words.  i guess ‘considerable’ isn’t appropriate, since it could be taken to mean the majority, when that isn’t what i intended; i guess ‘significant’ is a better descriptor.

              – What young guys playing PF have had a more positive impact on the team’s ability to produce wins? Last year, with Bargs playing, the team’s winning % was .288, without him it was .188. Amir (who is only 1.5 years younger) helped team to .277 winning record. ED contributed to.246 winning record, but they were .353 when he wasn’t playing. Winning/losing is a team thing, but based on those numbers, it’s pretty clear Bargs meant more to team wins than the young guys you speak of, even though he was double teamed on his strength (offense) all year because the Raps have nobody else opponents worry about on defense.

              well, i guess this goes to how much you value win shares…looking at a team’s winning % in isolation of all other factors (aside from who was playing in the games) is a bit rough. i prefer to look at a player’s contribution to the team (positive or negative) when they’re on the floor.- Do you actually think the Raptors would be better with a rotation of JV, ED and Amir, rather than JV, Bargs, ED? I’ve a strong feeling there isn’t a coach or GM in the NBA that would agree with that, but we’re all entitled to our opinions.

              i’ll ignore that it wasn’t a point i actually made…though to be honest, in the long term, i can certainly see a 3-headed front-court rotation of JV, ED & amir (with a 4th player – alabi, perhaps – spelling both the 4 & 5 for brief moments)…but that’s a couple years off, IMO.  i get a little excited thinking about JV & ED starting together…super-athletic, defensive-minded, high-efficient offense.  alas, 5’s shooting 21-footers, but i’ll learn to cope.

              – You think ED had a positive impact on ability to win in his rookie year, but know JV won’t contribute on a meaningful level until his second year? What’s the reasoning behind that?

              again, i’m looking at EDs win shares – what he produced while on the floor was beneficial to his team’s chances of winning.  reasoning behind my JV opinion is that he’ll need to establish himself as being worthy of PT, essentially competing with ED, amir & bargs.  and if he does that, he’s still got to overcome the physical disadvantage he’ll have against almost every 5 in the league (even if he bulks up between then & now, which he certainly will) & the fact he’ll need time to adjust to playing on a new continent in a new league (we’ll just keep our fingers crossed it won’t take 5 years…)

        • points

          pooh,i like everything you said if BC plans on keeping ANDREA and if he stays he SHOULD NOT be one of the starting five

      • c_bcm

        To be honest, I like that idea of giving a mature Bargs (5 years in) a defensive coach and a fight for his starting position. The guy is THE man on his national team. He definitely has pride. There is no way he’ll let the Rookie from Lithuania, who he plays in the European national tournaments, take his starting role on his club team. No way. Having an international player challenge him for a starting role along with Casey (who will actually make good on threats to bench players-hopefully) will have a profound effect in motivating Bargs. I’m sure of it. But it won’t happen this year….crap.

        • Nilanka15

          Yes Casey is considered a defensive-minded coach, but how do we know he’ll be “allowed” (for lack of a better word) to bench Bargnani if he deserves it?  Is Colangelo going to be a hands-off GM for the 1st time on his career?

          • c_bcm

            Is Colangelo going to be the GM once he hires another executive…? Lots of questions to be answered for sure. I just wanna see the season get going so we can debate what’s really happening, not what MIGHT happen.

      • Thecaptain2000

        ask your typical all star PF who went against Andrea how it is like…., I guess Bosh still wakes up at night screaming

      • EazyE

        1 comment: Bargnani is a failure at defense … an absolute failure! He is 7 foot and grabbed 5.2 rebounds last year.  Out of all the centers and power forwards in the NBA combined, bargnani is the 4th worst rebounder!  Not the 4th worst center … the 4th worst big!  All I want from the basketball Gods is for bargnani to be traded.  I don’t care if they trade him for a bag of peanuts, I don’t want to see him on the raptors line up.  I would rather give the minutes to Ed Davis and Amir Johnson and watch some real ballers develop. 

  • Statement

    Let me just say.

    Barganani must be off the team.  This is a perfect Bargs sell-high opportunity.   Please get rid of him.   He is best served playing a Jamal Crawford role off the bench.  Although I think Crawford is the better scorer.

    Before Multi-paul trolls, Bargs last in the league in Wins Produced and last on the Raps with adj+/- who isn’t a rookie.

    What do you have to say you loser Multi?  Whatever you say won’t change the fact that you are a loser.  That is all I have to say about your dumb ass.  You keep trolling this site, was banned before, yet came back.  Go away you idiot. 

    I’m depressed at the state of the Raptors.  The only young players that we have are Ed Davis and Amir Johnson.  I like Calderon but he is past the basketball “25-26” prime.

    Man, I’m depressed.  I figure one more draft next year we can get a legit swing, but it will still take the dude a couple years to get acclimated in the league.  

    We are looking at 2015 as the year that we are real competitors.

  • golden

    Arse, I know the well is running dry, but your pretext for this article is doubly flawed from the outset.  

    Let Bargnani and Jonas Fight for the Starting Center

    Think about that statement for minute, and answer these questions: 

    a) Does Bargs want to be a center? 
    b) When was the last time we saw Andrea fight for ‘anything’?

    • Nilanka15

      Isn’t Bargnani playing centre right now for Italy?

  • Real Hoops

    agree 100 %, bargnani can score, but clearly he doesn’t provide what the raptors need at center: a solid rebounder. how can the raptors expect to win games when they’re 7 footer is only grabbing 4 rebounds? they’ll get killed in rebounding every game.

  • Truthkiller

    If Bargnani is played the 4, expect to see more career highs from the likes of Trevor Booker.

  • SitnonDfence

    Correct me if im wrong but wasnt there a pre-lockout press conference with Casey that said he will NOT be playing center and that they would be looking for a C thru FA?

    • Nilanka15

      You’re absolutely right.  Casey said exactly that.  But the question is, was Casey simply regurgitating Colangelo’s ideology being a brand new employee, and wanting to kiss the boss’s ass?  Or does Casey honestly think Bargnani is a PF?

      • p00ka

        Why do you question his honesty and speculate that he’s a puppet? Shit, the guy isn’t even in town yet and he’s getting typical Toronto “fan” bullshit. Seems I’ve seen an awful lot of comments from people around the league that he’s more suited to PF than C. Are they all kissing BC’s ass?

        • Nilanka15

          At the risk of writing a lengthy post, I’ll just say that it seems remarkably “convenient” that all of a sudden, Bargnani has been miscast as a centre (even though he plays centre for his national team, and was drafted as a centre).  I see this Bargnani-is-a-power-forward nonsense as nothing more than an excuse for Bargnani’s notoriously putrid rebounding and help-defense.  It keeps Bargnani’s confidence and trade value from plummeting.

          And what is this Toronto fan “bullshit” you speak of?  Look at what this city has endured over the past 18+ years in professional sports (and no, I don’t consider the CFL a professional sport).  Isn’t it about time that we, as fans, raise our standards higher?  Have we gotten to the point where mediocrity is the goal?  If a player (i.e. Bargnani) has been with this team for 5 seasons, under different coaches, different strategies, different approaches, and has STATISTICALLY PROVEN time and time again to do more damage than good when playing heavy minutes, how is any of the Bargnani backlash considered “bullshit”?

          • p00ka

            – I referred to typical bullshit in regards to your comments/speculation about Casey, not Bargs. I recognize the losing tradition of Toronto sports teams. What I’m saying is that it has created a common fan atmosphere that gets silly enough to question a new coach’s honesty and speculate that he’s a lemming before he even arrives in town. Kinda twisted and sad, dude.
            – Playing centre for Italy in FIBA basketball is irrelevant to a discussion about his suitability to play centre vs PF in the NBA. A very different style of the game, and the Italian team’s make-up has nothing to do with what the Raps have on their team and where they need bargs to play at this point, or where they see him best suited moving forward.
            – You say he was drafted as a centre, even though he never played centre before, certainly not in a traditional NBA sense. His skill development was exactly what he brought. I do think he was drafted with “hope” that he would work out as a centre, but sometimes it takes a long time to re-shape a square peg to fit in a round hole, if you can. As you point out, there’s been different coaches, strategies and approaches to his role every year. He’s still only 25, with hopefully some stability in strategy and his role on the way, so there may be hope yet.

            Well, some of us choose hope, others choose doom and cynicism, becoming known as the Toronto way. It’s hard to feel you’re at the centre of the universe with so much losing. I understand. I just wish I wasn’t seeing so much of it regarding the Raptors.

            • Nilanka15

              Let me get this straight.  A brand new coach is speaking during a PR-driven press conference, and you believe every word that comes out of his mouth with 100% certainty?  Call me “sad” if you will, but you sir are delusional. 

              Don’t you remember what it felt like on your 1st day on the job?  You kiss ass, and say all the right things.  The last thing you want to do is piss off the guy signing your cheques before you’ve had a chance to work.  Politics dude, politics.

              When was the last time you heard a new coach under similar circumstances (in any sport) openly speak about differing opinions/strategies than what his boss preaches?  It’s called career suicide.

              • p00ka

                I didn’t say anything close to I “believe every word that comes out of his mouth with 100% certainty”. Who’s delusional?

                I don’t know how many asses you had to kiss to get jobs, but I never did. I had the good fortune to be able to choose jobs that I wasn’t starting out at odds with the boss and had to kiss his/her ass. In Casey’s case, until I see otherwise, I’ll assume he’s a strong man who didn’t kiss ass to get the job, rather than some weasel playing politics to get it. You wish to assume the opposite: whatever turns you on, dude.

            • Nilanka15

              You know what?  You’re right.  Bargnani’s contributions to the Italian National Team has nothing to do with Bargnani’s place with the Raptors.  So the next time a fanboy chirps away at how “King Bargs” is lighting up the competition in EuroBasket this summer, I expect you to be the 1st person to call them out on irrelevant commentary.

        • Nilanka15

          “Productivity in the NBA is not strictly about how many points you
          score.  Rebounds, turnovers, steals, and shooting efficiency matter. 
          And when you consider all these factors, properly weighted in terms of
          their impact on team wins, one can indeed link a player’s performance on
          the court to the final outcomes we see in the standings.”

          – David Berri

          • p00ka

            Okay. What does that have to do with Casey saying Bargs is more PF than C?
            Perhaps you’ll show that when you demonstrate the “proper” weighing of Bargs stats to wins vs other players on the team. It is a team game, remember

            • points

              have a seat

            • Nilanka15

              Let’s compare WS/48 (an estimate of the number of wins a player contributes per 48 minutes (league average is 0.100)), vs. their usage usage% (the estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while on the floor)

              WS/48 – USG%:
              Amir: 0.146 – 15.5%
              Davis: 0.120 – 13.5%
              Calderon: 0.085 – 16.9%
              Evans: 0.078 – 10.2%
              Dorsey: 0.073 – 14.5%
              Bayless: 0.065 – 22.2%
              DeRozan: 0.056 – 23.3%
              Barbosa: 0.053 – 25.8%
              BARGNANI 0.053 – 28.3%
              J.Johnson: 0.046 – 17.3%
              Wright: 0.039 – 13.2%

              To sum up, Bargnani had one of the lowest WS/48 scores on the team, yet had the single highest usage rate.  DeRozan was almost as bad.

              On the other hand, Amir and Davis had the highest WS/48 scores, with very low usage.

              These stats aren’t meant to suggest that Amir or Davis can “replace” Bargnani on the offensive end of the floor.  Instead, these stats give us an idea of which players truly are worth holding onto, and which ones are not.

              • p00ka

                1. You didn’t answer the question
                2. I put very little weight on some stat freak’s version of an “estimate” of a player’s value to a team. I can show you a stat that, taken alone, appears to state that Brandon Roy was the worst thing on the floor for his team during his rookie year. It’s way off base in judging his value, but it says the team point differential for Roy was the worst on the team. Stats are for stat freaks, not professional judges of talent and value to a team.

                • Nilanka15

                  The point of my Berri quote was to add weight to my previous post which mentioned proven statistics.  It had nothing to do Bargnani being a 4 or 5. 

                  Don’t you pick and choose which stats you use to value players?  Without PPG, what does Bargnani do even remotely well?  Actually scratch that, without PPG, what does Bargnani bring to the Raptors that the average journeyman D-Leaguer cannot bring?

                • p00ka

                  1. Nothing to do with responding to my point regarding the thread you started. Exactly.
                  2. And the beat goes on.

                • Nilanka15

                  There have been quite a few posts between us on this thread, so forgive me if I don’t recall what question you’re waiting for me to answer.  Count this as a personal victory if you will, but if you re-state your question, I’ll be more than willing to answer.

        • points

          WELL he shouldn’t have open his mouth and talk s#it when he first got here he should have waited before some of the players (ANDREA)

    • Juicey

      In some ways, this could be argued to change nothing.  If it’s a question of Bargs’s role with respect to JV, or Bargs’s role with respect to this FA Centre, the question is still there:  Should Bargs play 4 or 5.  The nice thing is that if they can land this centre then we get a preview of what Bargs can do next to a legitimate centre.  If they can’t land a centre then we wait a year until JV arrives to figure anything out.  So if there is a season this year it may do nothing to resolve any of these questions and will be a holding pattern until JV arrives.  The only progresss will be the draft pick that will come from an awful season, which might be the best progress we could ask for.

  • ehig

    sur·e·tynoun /ˈSHo͝oritē/ 
    sureties, pluralA person who takes responsibility for another’s performance of an undertaking, for example their appearing in court or the payment of a debtMoney given to support an undertaking that someone will perform a duty, pay their debts, etc.; a guarantee

    • points

      thats what i said now i’m hearing from pooh and the gang that we can’t even get a top 10 in the next draft for ANDREA  OLEEGUY!!!

  • Guest

    it makes sense to establish your defense with JV and Amir/Ed starting, and then bringing in Bargs to add some offense depending on the match up

    it seems like the Jonas pick is valid or even better than expected, and its time to start looking at the 2012 pick and the issue of re-signing demar

    • p00ka

      If that turns out to be the best set-up, why not? Having a top 3 player on the team coming off the bench has sure worked well for the Spurs. Having said that, the Raps need SOME offense from the starting unit before they’re going to make that move.

      • Nilanka15

        Offense isn’t hard to find.  It’s not a stretch to suggest that most of the Raptors roster should come back next year with marginal improvements to their offensive games (DeRozan, Davis, Amir, J.Johnson, Bayless).  Not to mention any free agent acquisition, and Valanciunas’ contributions.

        • p00ka

          JV isn’t here until next year, and we have no idea how well his game or spirit will translate to Toronto and the NBA, so it’s a mute point. The Raps need more than “marginal” improvement from those you mention before they relegate their #1 offensive weapon to coming off the bench. As they stand now, what do you think happens to the limited offense of their #2 guy (DD) when teams can double up on him? You may well see a series of lowest scoring 1st quarters in NBA history.

          • Robert Archibald

            moot point

  • Timo in Waterloo

    Good luck to your Dad… glad he decided to try the hospital… we guys can be stubborn when it comes to health issues… hope his Dr gets him on a heart healthy path now ( and that he listens after this wake up call)… Cheers, thanks for sharing that

  • Jeffrey Thompson

    Glad to hear your Dad is okay.  As for Mago and Jonas, we’ll just have to wait and see about that.  A lot can happen.  Jonas will not be playing this upcoming season anyways, but the next.  A lot can chnage over that time.  People get traded, players get injured, etc.  And I would not be puttinmg so much stock in Jonas.  Most European players’ games do not translate well in the NBA.  Just look at Tiago Splitter of the Spurs and the Suns’ Josh Childress.  They were the best players to play in Europe an neither one of them made an impact in their NBA debuts.  In Childress’ case, it was more of a comback as he played for the Hawks previously. 

  • Theswirsky

    “If losing his starting center job to a rookie isn’t going to light a fire under Bargnani, then nothing will”

    I have to ask… what are the chances of BC allowing his $10 mil contract, #1 overall pick to be benched or even having to compete with a rookie?  Almost zero. 

    It will only hurt Bargnani’s already decreasing (non-existent?) value, and will hit BC’s reputation (and ego) hard(er).  It goes against exactly what BC has been attempting (and failing to do) for years now. 

    As much as I would love to see Bargnani in the 6th to 7th man role, I don’t believe for a second its going to happen, atleast this early in his current contract and/or with BC running the show.

    We all know why BC went after Casey.  In hopes he can ‘hide’ Bargnani like Casey ‘hid’ Dirk. (I use that loosely because the need to hide Dirk vs Bargnani is comparable to having to hide a mouse vs an elephant.).  He didn’t chase Casey to hold players more accountable… he could have just told Jay to do that.  He didn’t go after Casey because he’s a proven coach…. Casey’s head coaching experience is limited, while other options were available who had years of experience.  He went after Casey in hopes the Raptors could better utilize Bargnani’s offensive ‘skills’ (again used loosely) while limiting the cost that is his defense and rebounding. (just to note, this should not be seen as a commentary from me on Casey’s ability to coach)

    There is no chance Bargnani does not start (barring an injury or BC getting fired) over the next 2 years.  And Casey will not be willing to risk his opportunity to finally be a head coach in the NBA by challenging BC.  It will not happen, Casey has a future in the NBA to consider to.

    What Raptors fans who actually want this team to be successful can only hope for now is:

    -the team is an utter embarassment next season and MLSE gives BC his walking papers
    -BC gets his head out of his ass and trades Bargnani ASAP (and he can save some face to boot).
    -Bargnani actually tries (hahahaha…. seriously though it is possible)
    -Bargnani goes down with a relatively long term injury, allowing the team to play and ‘adjust’ to not having him.  Consequently BC is forced to recognize how much better the team will run without him… thereby TJ-Ford’ing’ his ass behind the other bigs.

    There is nothing I would like to see more (considering the opportunities available) than a starting lineup of Jonas and Amir or Ed. Bargnani coming off the bench and being left in for extended periods if he is ‘on’ or the matchups are friendly.  But that is not going to happen as long as BC’s investment in #7 is so large.  The problem with Bargnani has not been the coaching, its been his treatment… and that is not going to change as long as the person getting special treatment is still here and the person responsible for that treatment is still in control. 

    Parents that have a history of spoiling a kid don’t stops doing it… they may say they will but in the end they don’t.  The kid (and the parent) do not learn responsibility until they are seperated from each other.  This is what this organization needs in some fashion…. for BC and Bargnani to be seperated somehow. 

    • p00ka

      So says the man who:

      – KNOWS what Bargnani’s value is around the league. Talk to many GMs lately to get an update?
      – KNOWS why BC hired Casey and presumes we all know that it’s all focused on hiding Bargnani. I’d have thought it a tad more complex than that, but do you have an insider, or get it straight from BC? I’m not sure many got that memo.
      – KNOWS that Casey won’t challenge BC. You’ve got an insider to Casey’s character and mentality too! What a man! Damn, could you fill us in on the details of the interview? Did Casey just say “whatever you want”, BC?
      – AND an expert on parent/child relationships and how they accurately equate to BC/Bargs.

      You da man!!

      • Theswirsky

        I’m sorry I thought this was a discussion board where we viewed our OPINIONS? (remember how you talked about “enjoy(ing) a sensible open-minded debate with someone that sees different than me”?)  Or are you one of those guys that seems to forget that and expects someone to put “I think” or “Its my opinion” before saying anything and everything?  Get over yourself dude… if you don’t realize that then you are short on reality (and more than a little pretentious).

        oh by the way how do you KNOW that:

        -“Bargnani commentary is coming, as the posts are down over the last few entries. Sure way to generate more traffic/activity: prod the masses on Bargs.” Do you read Arse’s mind?

        -“you have no appreciation, perhaps no understanding, of the complexities of coaching and managing an NBA team.” have you coached and manage in the NBA lately?
        -“Stats are for stat freaks, not professional judges of talent and value to a team” so you have an insider with Morey and Cuban (and multiple other sports managers around world) who told you they don’t actually use them?  Or is this where your experience as an NBA coach and manager have shown you that you shouldn’t use of them?

        – not to mention your expert NBA analysis on what the Raptors need and how much or little players need to be used or improved and how that will equate to success for the raptors?

        “what a man! damn…. ”

        Or is this just your hypocracy and ignorance (and NEED to counter any discussion that doesn’t make Bargnani out in a positive light) at work once again.  Its my opnion that it is.  Scratch that, I KNOW thats what it is because the Bargina boys never change. 

        • points


        • Nilanka15

          Haha, great post

  • p00ka

    You’re a eloquent, but an asshole nonetheless. Can’t take a little heat on stating that you know what you can’t possibly know, and even stating that everybody knows it, without resorting to  doing the lame Bargnani boys lip flapping. Eloquent, but a fucking clown. Dude, if anyone on here needs to get over themselves, the line begins with you.

    • Theswirsky

      and yet your hypocracy rears its ugly head again. 

      But keep trying to distract, discredit and dissuade from the initial point like always.  It is again, a typical ploy by the Bargina boys.

      • mountio

        Good to see that at least people can go back and forth on AB in a logical manner and be somewhat objective (albeit a little meanspirited .. but hey .. whats a blog like this for if you can’t get a little fiesty) .. without resorting to the typical dribble Ive read over the summer.
        Its fine to have different points of view .. but it sure as hell is more refreshing to read people who actually think about what they type .. kudos to pOOka, swirsk 2damkule and even Nilanka from above for making this comment section the most readable in a long, long time…

    • And the truth is

      Fanboy enuff said

    • Truthkiller

      Liking your own post, now that’s sad!

  • RapthoseLeafs

    Have to say … Arsenalist … I was a bit shocked by your follow-up comment:

    “Right now I’m 50-50 between shipping him out, and giving him another
    chance.  I have a sick feeling that if he goes somewhere else, he’s
    going to end up being an All-Star, it’s just the Raptors’ luck.”

    I had assumed that the odds were closer to 100% – in favour of trading Andrea. Never-the-less, it’s the latter part of your statement, that has always caused me concern ….. “going somewhere else and becoming a Star”. As a Toronto sports fans, that has always been an “anguish” to a faithful support. Watching a guy like Tomas Kaberle be instrumental in Boston’s Stanley Cup win, has only one redeeming quality. Seeing a classy guy achieve something that he would never have achieved in Toronto – for an organization that he “really wanted” to remain a part of.

    To me, it’s not just that these never-ending scenarios hurt the Toronto sports psyche, but that they perpetuate what ESPN commentator Skip Bayless said to Bosh ….  that he was “toiling away in obscurity in
    Toronto” despite being a perennial All Star and a “fine player.”
    [” Moving Bargnani to the four is a cop-out. “]

    I found this statement curious, as you later state: “… it doesn’t matter where you play him .. “.

    Watching Andrea in the Eurobasket games, it appears that his mobility had improved. Maybe it was just my eyes, but he looked lighter and trimmer, than he did during the NBA season. Which would help in guarding the 4 position. Of course, when it comes to guarding AB, there is no such choice – whoever is on him, is on him. 

    That being said, I agree that Raptors need 2 competent Bigs (on the Court). And I do believe Andrea can play “some” Centre positioning, depending on who else is on the Court. But, and this obviously has a time adjustment to it, if Jonas can develop a strong Centre game (more defense, less offense), then I see no reason why JV & AB can’t be the main cogs, becoming a Raptor dynamic duo – and not the Adam West kind either.

    While I’m on the Eurobasket thing, I found it interesting how the Italian Coach used Andrea. He didn’t start – an interesting option to consider for Casey. The trouble is, AB played too many minutes – averaging 34 minutes in a 40 minute game (the overtime game notwithstanding).

    • arsenalist

      The 50% that thinks he should stay is in the role of a bench-scorer.  That’s his ideal place in the league, and there’s zero shame in that.  He could EASILY be a candidate for 6th-Man if the Raptors have moderate success, because you know he’s going to drop 15-20 a night.  He needs a more “focused” role where you can almost tell him, “Hey Andrea, go score, and BTW, try to play some defense”.  Let’s accept it, he doesn’t like playing D so work with that by focusing on his offense, something he has potential to be quite good at.

      It just seems too obvious to me, and besides, doesn’t matter who start, it’s who finishes.  

      And yes, it doesn’t matter where you play him, I think the results will be the same.  What I don’t want is the Raptors to move him to PF only to find a place for him in the starting lineup.  That’s what I have a problem with.  

  • Chris

    Over the offseason…I’ve been able to read article comments in 5-10 minutes TOPS. Not on this one 🙂 Great article Arse and even better discussions in the comments.

  • Shakey

    OK, great idea…  Let the guy who doesn’t want to be THE centre, or a centre at all, fight for the job.  The battle has already been won by JV.  Arse, you need to stop drinking while you are writing these.  Better scenario, let AB fight Ed Davis or Amir for the starting PF.