Hollinger: In Toronto, 'D' Stands for Dreadful
Courtesy of John Hollinger via ESPN Insider.
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In fact, sad-sack help defense seemed to be the overwhelming problem for the Raptors. At different times, both Calderon and Bargnani were caught with their back to the ball while a Jazz player laid it in no more than two feet away.
And while Calderon was getting torched on the perimeter, Bargnani in particular was awful as the last line of defense. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Calling him a center is like calling the guy who programs the synthesizers for Depeche Mode a drummer. He might be the worst help defender in basketball.
On one particularly brutal sequence, Bargnani was the help defender on a pick-and-roll with Williams and Carlos Boozer. His options: (A) show hard, (B) hedge and race back to Boozer or (C) just stay with Boozer. His choice: (D) none of the above. Bargnani watched Williams breeze by, stood in place as Boozer cut to the hoop and watched Boozer lay the ball in off a pass from Williams. He moved perhaps three feet the entire duration of the play.
On another help situation, Bargnani was actually more or less in the correct position when Utah's Ronnie Brewer drove past his man toward the hoop. Shocked by this state of affairs, Bargnani deftly avoided taking a charge against a man driving right into his midsection, permitting yet another Utah lay-in. Somehow, by the end of this play, Brewer was directly behind Bargnani, who was basically trying to block the shot with the back of his neck.