As for the advice to close out and crash the boards hard. That is a really good strategy but it seems in doing that then you leave Howard free to terrorize the interior. While Bargnani was matched up on Anderson, many of the TEAM defensive rotations left Anderson open. Bargnani did make a couple of boo-boo's that Anderson made them pay for however I feel the original statement of "terrible defensively" is far from a fair depiction of the game. The suggestion of closing out and crashing the boards is a good one but this is something that Anderson has done to OKC, HOU, CHA, and now TOR in 4 of 5 games this year and the Magic led by Stan Van Gundy have as a team done to the majority of the league for 4-5 seasons.
yes he is hedging hard, but he is hedging too far and too soon and his man is just rolling leaving the rest of a team in a tough spot. He is becoming ridiculously predictable and that became obvious when Anderson slipped the screen yet Bargnani was still hedging a screen that didn't even happen. His help defense is still non-existent. But he is doing a better job closing out on shots.
As for his rebounding, I'm not sure what to make of him noticeably trying harder with very little to show for it. Last two games he's racked up 7 boards a peice, but needed 40+ minutes to do it.
I think Casey over extended him tonight. Yes he was on fire offensively in the first half, but he did nothing in the 2nd half
(3/10 with 2 rebounds in approx 20 minutes). He made one shot and had no rebounds in the fourth and was a waste of space (not blaming him, even after the breather he had he was still worn out). It makes no sense to wear a player out when he is not producing. Casey needed to sit him earlier in the 3rd, or bring him out later in the 4th. Couldn't have turned out any worse than the blown lead and loss that came with it anyways.
I guess I just want my bigs to play inside, back to the basket, rebound/hustle and play defense. If they can score 20 pgs doing this, even better. His skill from the outside is incredible for a man his size, but I don't think that type of skill will help in the playoffs when each point is critical and a cold shooting night from the outside can kill you (especially when he may not be able to make up for it completely on the other end).
If I am biased about anything its his type of game. I'm not a fan of it, and I don't think that's going to change for me no matter how much he improves on the defensive end and with his rebounding (although the amount he needs to improve has to be remarkable, which may not be feasible for a player like him).
They may not have to do either. With JV coming next year (a true " inside, back to the basket, rebound/hustle and play defense" kind of guy) and the chance to draft an effective, create his own shot, get to the basket 3, and the room to buy a younger PG, Bargs can continue doing just what he is doing. Which is what BC's plan is, I suspect. That is certainly how he is positioning the team.
As one of the people who had negative things to say about AB in advance of the season, I would like to congratulate him on doing one thing I asked for, that hasn't been recognized yet. His shooting efficiency has improved significantly: he is 35-68 or .515. Of course the season is very young yet ... and if he keeps up this improvement over the year, I will be impressed.
(I really said his Wins Produced per 48 number was what mattered. I haven't found a site yet where I can track that and pull the number up. If anyone else knows a site, it would be good to hear what that is.)
The problem with relying on JV and the 2012 pick is that they will be rookies. JV hopefully is going to be great (top 10 center), but he has to gain a lot of strength to be able to play the type of game that will make him a top 10 center in the league. Would you want Bargnani for 2 more years while JV fills out and becomes that guy that we want him to be, or the SF can be that slasher that you need him to be?
The other thing about a SF, is that the best SF's in the league like to shoot the ball. They play their games like Bargnani plays his. I think it would be tougher to find a SF that would want to slash and play at the rim to complement Bargnani.
I'd rather have a guy like Cousins (if he wasn't such a head case) then Bargnani, even though Bargnani scores about 10 more points per game than Cousins does. If only Bargnani was a few inches shorter, filled out more, and could play SF.. then that work for me. He's just not built that way unfortunately.
Moving Bargnani to the bench is an idea.. but he makes to much money to warrant that.
I want the best chance to win a championship.. and if there is a formula for creating one then I want to emulate that as much as possible. I don't think Bargnani fits that equation. Dallas winning last year helps showcase one team that was able to do it, but again Nowitski is a much better player than Bargnani is and ever will be.
Of course the results dont show up outright (because to win you need effort from the whole team), but from what ive seen, he's been chasing his man around, providing help D and exerting effort on rebounding the ball. I think Tim was correct in saying he just doesnt have the instinct to be a good rebounder/defender, but if he puts effort in night in and night out, eventually, he'll get used to where to position himself, when to box out, etc etc. He may not have the instincts but repetition will eventually make him good. But the key point is, so far 4 games in, IMO, he's not being a defensive liability. He's been protecting the paint and putting a body on his man down low.
And he was gassed out last night because he kept chasing Anderson around. Like i said, i dont blame him for Anderson's 3 pointers, someone else shouldve leaked out and switched to Anderson. The only complaint i have is he still cant block guards that driving through the lane. Nelson put one under him, and that was a crucial point in the 4th. And it wasnt like Nelson put a floater over him, it was a damn layup which him, as a 7 footer couldnt block. But on the other hand, Jose had a couple of layups under Howard as well.
For years NBA fans in Toronto have been involved in a love-hate relationship with Andrea Bargnani. Yes, he’s a seven-footer who can shoot from the parking lot, but his lack of defense or consistent effort on the glass has them ready to trade him away . . .to just about any team that would take him. Some have even suggested the Raptors use the amnesty clause on him.
Well, hold that thought, Toronto. There’s a new sheriff in town.
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki is a seven-footer who can shoot, and also paid little attention to the defensive end of the floor before Avery Johnson came to town. Avery introduced Dirk to the defensive end, but he was actively engaged in the Mavericks’ defensive effort until assistant coach Dwane Casey came along. In an amazingly short period of time we’ve seen a transformation in Bargnani’s game, due largely to the influence of his new head coach.
“He’s growing, he’s really doing a good job for us,” Casey tells HOOPSWORLD. “Dirk is more of a veteran, experienced player now. In the process, Andrea’s a few years behind but a very talented young man, a very willing student. He’s been a sponge. I spent a lot of time with him, did dinner with him and talked to him about his responsibility. He’s taken everything in and going with it. He’s improved, he’s taken a step defensively up and this is what he needs to do.”
“Dwane has already had a significant impact on Andrea, first and foremost just by being able to communicate that experience with a guy with similar skill set,” says Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo. “I don’t like to make the comparison to Dirk, and I don’t think Andrea likes to be compared, but at the end of the day it is a similar skill set, especially the size to skill ratio that they display. With regard to Dirk and his improved defensive performance and his ability to play a key roll at the championship last year, not to mention what you see in Dwane’s experience has been able, I think it’s been impressive to see his ability to communicate with Andrea and in short, in a short window so far, we’ve had three or four weeks together, you see it every day in practice, every possession of every game. Andrea’s focused more on the defensive end, he’s getting out, he’s showing hard, he’s gotten out and taken a few charges, you never would’ve seen that out of him. I think that’s also a testament to Dwane’s statement early on to this group that if you don’t do what’s asked you probably will be sitting down here next to me, but if you want to be on the floor, you’ve got to do your part in what we’re trying to accomplish defensively as a team. I think that accountability is the thing that has really been evident in not only Andrea’s buy-in but I think everybody’s buy-in.”
So far Bargnani is embracing the challenges set forth by his new coach, and is even happy to see a better defensive approach being employed.
“He’s going to make us work, that’s for sure, so we’re working pretty hard,” Bargnani says of Casey. “Work ethic is really important, and we’re putting in a lot of hard work on the defensive end. Defense is the focus of everything that we do, and that’s good because from my point of view, last year we were one of the worst defensive teams. The one thing we have to improve is our defense, so that’s what we need to do. I’m happy that we’re going to work to improve that, and we already have. We’re already better now than we were last year.”
More than ever before, Bargnani understands that a better defensive approach can make a huge difference for the Raptors as they look to redefine who they are as a team.
“We have to play with the same intensity every game. We have to try to have the mental toughness on the defensive end. That will give us the opportunity to compete . . .the defense will give us the ability to play against everybody, not just our offense. Against Indiana we only scored 11 points in the first quarter, but in the fourth quarter, against a very good team, we were there and we had the opportunity to win the game. We didn’t make it, but we were right there.”
Since then the Raptors have been in games midway through the fourth quarter before big pushes by the Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic put them away. After four games Bargnani is showing he might just evolve into the player the Raptors hoped he would become after Chris Bosh last. He poured in 30 points in Dallas and 28 in Orlando, grabbing seven rebounds in each contest and showing a marked improvement on the defensive end. Bargnani admits he learned a lot from Bosh, but is also quick to point out that Bosh wasn’t exactly a championship player for the Raptors.
“Chris is a great player, but we never won anything with him. I respect Chris a lot and I learned many things from him, but it’s not like we were coming from a championship run, or we were first in the Eastern Conference before he left. It’s not like Cleveland when they lost LeBron. They were the best team in the NBA and we didn’t even make the playoffs. We still need a winning mentality, and it’s not like we had one when Chris was here and now we have to rebuild. We never had it, and we have to get a winning mentality before we can hope to be a good team. I’m not saying Chris was bad. He was an All-Star and a great player, but it’s not like we were a great team and now we’re not any more.”
That winning mentality is beginning to sink in, and it starts on the defensive end.
“I know I have to get better defensively, just like everybody. It’s a team effort so everybody has to get better. I can see that everybody is really making an extra effort. There is a big difference now from what we did last year.”
The Raptors are only going to get better, and with Bargnani buying into the defensive end of the floor, he may even convince Raptors fans that he’s worth keeping around.
Bargnani telling it like it is on Bosh.
love the quotes above, definitely what ive wanted to hear from bargnani for the past 5 years!
He was excellent today.
Bargnani's stats this year have been impressive. And not only his personal stats, his on/off stats are pretty amazing. When he's on the court the team is significantly better than when he's off.
What a great quote from Bargs. Love what I've been seeing so far.Quote:
Andrea Bargnani wrote:
Last year was really the only year I was disappointed with his effort on the defensive end.
It just didn't look like he was trying. I didn't see it nearly as much in years past.
Glad to see he's got his gusto back. For now anyway.
I've also been pretty vocal in the past on bargnani. I did not believe that he would show this kind of improvement this quickly. It's nice to see the shooting efficiency has improved. I must admit that I'm getting excited about his development, but i'm not quite ready to apologize yet.
Can he sustain this effort over the course of this season and hopefully his career? I don't know.
Where the heck is Tim W.??? Shouldn't his Christmas vacation he over by now?
I went over to tim's blog and asked him three questions, so i figure i might as well ask the rest of the republic as well
1) do you think barg's can sustain his effort and productivity over the majority of the season?
2) has he increased his trade value?
3) what would you have to be offered to trade bargs today?
BONUS QUESTION!!! I thought of this after i emailed tim...
right now would you rather have
Bargnani age 26 owed 9 mil 10mil 11 mill and 12 mill (or 4 years 42 mil)
Nowitzki age 33 owed 19 mil 21 mil 23 mil (or 3 years 63 mil)
to answer my one questions
1) yes it is possible, although i'm hesitant to say it's likely
2) yes (i doubt they'll be any who argue he hasn't)
3) it would take at least 1 first round lottery pick AND and player that is a starting calibre SF or PG.
I'd probably take bargs even if i was in win now mode, as the age does play a factor and bargs is half the cost
2) Most definitely.
3) A lottery pick, plus a rotation player capable of providing 30 mpg.
BONUS) No, I wouldn't take Dirk now. His window is small enough that the rest of our team would also need to be replaced with aging veterans in order to field a contending team. I'd rather aim to build a team with a 5 year window in the future, rather than a 2 year window now.
2) I can never guess as to what Bargnani's trade value was prior to this season. But I'd think yes simply because he's been playing great. One big boost was playing well in NYC. That always gets some attention.
3) first round lottery pick, and an expiring contract.
Yes, just so I can trade him again for better assets. Dirk at age 33 can fetch more assets than Bargnani at age 26. Always go for the better player, because you can swing him for even better assets. Just makes sense to me. But if you are asking long term, then no because Dirk only has about 2-3 years left in his tank, and he's in a win now mode - a position the Raptors are not going to be reaching anytime soon.
I'm surprised you'd want Bargs over Dirk if we are in win now mode.. if you don't care about the future then Dirk is always a better choice - he's a top 5 player in the league, reigning finals MVP and a future hall of famer. Bargnani wishes to get into one all star game.
2) im really not keen on the phrase "trade value" coz trades rarely result in equal value for teams involved. will teams try to trade up for him, i dont think so, at least not yet.
3) a franchise player. coz right now, he seems to be the raps franchise player, why would i trade down?
Id take Dirk. Nilanka is right, if you want to build for the future, Dirk can definitely fetch assets for the future. If win now mode, Dirk is a proven winner.