In his fourth NBA season, the former first overall understands the first rule of floor time. If you want it, you have got to give the coach what he wants. No quid pro, yes bench.
“It’s the only way to stay on the court. If you don’t score, don’t rebound and don’t play defence, why would the coach keep you on the court?”
But Bargnani wasn’t surprised and this is what is remarkable about him. He never seems to doubt himself. It’s just that he doesn’t say so unless he is asked.
“Sooner or later I thought it (the rebounds) was going to happen,” he said.
That’s interesting. Bargnani’s previous best was 11, a plateau he has hit two other times. This is only the sixth time in 38 games this season he has hit double figures.
So why does he think he can do so much more.
Well, for one, he has been improving. This season’s 6.4 rebounds per game are a career high. Second, rebounding is something that comes with experience since players have to track both the ball and their opponents. It takes years to accrue the necessary skills.
“I definitely have to improve,” said Bargnani. “It’s the aspect of my game that is more, I would say, bad. Ten a game would be nice but I have a long way to go.”