It's because of the modern NBA rules (i.e. lax hand-checking). No perimeter player is capable of guarding another 1-on-1.Modern NBA defensive criticism is interesting because it specifically targets centers with fault for failing to cover for the mistakes of their teammates. It sounds counter-intuitive, doesnít it? Why is it Andrea Bargananiís fault that Jose Calderon canít contain perimeter penetration? Why should Bargnani have to clean up the mess for DeMar DeRozan?
If you're 7-feet tall, you're expected to rotate. That's just the way the game is designed nowadays.
"I won't shoot 5 for 19 again...." - DeFrozen (in theaters now)
Good read and pretty accurate, I think at one time or another we have discussed the fact that Andrea is a solid post defender, and, like the article states, his help defence is where the problem is.
i am patiently waiting for the Andale McNani photoshops to start
This article just makes me want the season to start more - because JV is the perfect compliment to bargnani (a great help defender)
Good article, but poor Bargnani.
Now that they have good perimeter defenders in Lowry and Fields, will the expectations on Bargnani being a "better defender" because he now only has to guard less penetration and well, his own man, be a lot higher?? I think so.
Or we he relapse and think he may not need to put too much effort on defense since the team now has better wing defenders?
The saga continues.
With Casey as the coach Bargnani will be a decent defender and now that we have better wing defenders and a legit C our team defensive rating should be above league average. Bargnani is an athletic 7 footer - he can guard 4's one on one with his height and lateral quicks
very accurate...i don't think he will ever do it, but he could be a great stopper if he clogged the lane and helped from the weak side. Maybe a summer with Casey will flick a switch, at least we can hope
No surprise here, last year all anyone was talking about was how much better Bargs was defending before his injury. What I'm excited about it that Bargs is probably not going to be relied on as much to provide the last line of help. We have Jonas for that.
"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival."
Yeah, it's stretch to say Bargnani is an elite athlete, but to say he isn't athletic is a stretch as well. It's hard to have good hand-eye coordination and explosiveness when 7 feet or over (or so I hear, but a quick youtube search confirms any suspicions), but I'd say for his size Andrea is a pretty good athlete. He's much better than the average 7 footer at rolling to the rim and driving the lane.
But i still believe that he'd get the most out of somebody who's actually played a position that he's currently in.
Hakeem? Jabbar? Casey can only tell him the x and o's, but an actually big man who was a great defender in the NBA can re-live the experience with him.
I agree with everything in the article. I also want to add something to the article. Bargnani, in his NBA career, sometimes seemed uninterested in the game on the rebounding end. Sometimes I feel like he doesn't have any motor at all. No interest in rebounding for balls or even fighting for loose balls. Although last season, I've seen sparks where he seems interested but it's not always there. Need to see more of that energy from him.
I don't care how many boards he grabs because it is a team game. As long as he boxes out and his man doesn't get the ball, I'm happy. The Raps have shown with him on the floor they can out rebound the opposition. Bargnani critics will likely say that is another example of lowering the bar for him.... and they'd be right when it comes to statistical rebounding. But to be honest, I don't give a shit anymore. He is such a unique talent and appears to be on the verge of really putting his career together whereby he capitalizes on his strengths and minimizes his weaknesses. If I'm wrong on that, he can pack his bags with Colangelo after next season ('13-14).
That does come as a suprise to me as I haven't found that to be true. Bargnani's match ups were very much situational where he covered PFs when out with Gray, Cs when out with Ed, and either or (depending on match up) when out with Amir. There seemed to be a definite attempt to keep him from having to 'bang' with the Cs in general, except in certain cases of elite PFs.Unfortunately, if you have too much time on your hands, as I have over the past four years, you can actually watch the game video and discover that, whoops, often Bargnani was actually defending the better offensive threat due to his raw height. Surprise!
Now I could very well be wrong here (although I feel confident in my above statement) but it would be nice for the writer to provide some evidence, especially since he is the one trying to counter criticism of the legitamacy of statistics and claiming people need to understand the 'nuance' of statistics.
This to would be interesting to see considering he missed half a season (therefore missed alot of possession vs most players), and seemed to play a large portion of his minutes at PF and thereby less time in the post (not that playing PF doesn't mean said person doesn't play in the post, but its a much less common than a C). Yes his sample of post D probably exceeds most perimeter players and very deep bench players, but most big men? His minutes played alone keeps him at the low end of statistical valuations. A quick example, he played 70% of the total minutes Ed Davis did.Bear in mind these numbers are regardless of the number of possessions, so someone that defended in the post once successfully logs in at the top of the chart. So basically, heís even better than these numbers indicate, relative to his position
That doesn't even touch pace, in which the Raps was one of the slowest in the league, or percentage of possessions where the Raptors played zone defense as opposed to man defense (and this is a guess here, but it wouldn't come as a suprise if the Raps played more zone than most NBA teams. Nothing to back that up however)
Looking at all those combined its not hard to imagine Bargnani's actual sample of possessions used is very low compared to the most players, as opposed to high as the writer is trying to infer.
I do think Bargnani's man defense is ok. He doesn't leave his man and he doesn't go for pump fakes. He'll keep his hands up or out when his man has the ball. But I also think some of that leads to the problem of his defense in general. He doesn't leave his man so he doesn't help. He doesn't go for pump fakes because he never jumps - which is good outside the post, not necessarily so much while in the post or in a position to help protect the rim.
In the pick and roll he was a hedging machine this past year. But he was also routine about it and got burned many times by his man simply slipping the screen.
His help defense was simply bad yet again. And as Nilanka pointed out in todays NBA (of no hand checking) help defense is very important especially from big men.
Rebounding has ofcourse always been, and likely always will be, an issue.
I think 'robotic' would be the best way to judge Bargnani's D. It has seemed as if coaches have asked him to do X or Y while in a situation, and thats what he does. But there is little to no room for the unexpected to occur without it becoming a problem, amplified by slow decision making and reaction time while on D.
There is little doubt in my mind that Casey system has had a profound impact. The team avoided offensive rebounds like they were a disease in order to run back and get into position. Slow pace to keep possessions low. Heavy doses of zone defenses.
I think saying Bargnani is ok defensively in certain situations is fair, but taking a few isolated snap shots doesn't come close to describing the big picture.
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