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Thread: Hollinger: Raptors' issues start with Bargnani (ESPN Insider)

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    Administrator Arsenalist's Avatar
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    Default Hollinger: Raptors' issues start with Bargnani (ESPN Insider)

    Here's a snippet from the article. Full one is here (need insider).

    The problem is that it's not adding up the way it should, and it's been a major contributor to one of the most fascinating stories in the NBA this season: The amazing ability of the Toronto Raptors to lose in the most gut-wrenching of ways. Whether it's having a dramatic comeback fall just short (Denver), getting jobbed by the refs in the final seconds (Charlotte, arguably San Antonio), snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (too many to recount) or failing to show up at all (such as Friday's withering 131-99 smackdown in Utah), Toronto has been one of the league's biggest disappointments.

    ...

    The weird part is that Bargnani is back this season, playing all but one game, but his weaknesses are again outweighing his strengths. A PER of 12.80 just doesn't cut it for a big with little to no defensive value and a severe rebounding allergy, and Casey has earned criticism for leaving him in the game in crunch-time situations despite his struggles and the strong play of Ed Davis and Amir Johnson off the bench.

    Bargnani is shooting only 39.9 percent overall and 32.6 percent on 3s; while these percentages are likely to improve (um, they will improve, right?), Bargnani's justification for playing time is as an uber-efficient floor-spacer who makes up for his soft defense and historically awful rebounding by knocking down shot after shot.

    Instead he's been something of a Charlie Villanueva clone, and there's not a great need for that kind of player. The Raptors, alas, are paying Bargnani $10 million a season through 2014. With a crowded frontcourt, no first-round pick (most likely) and the potential for $10 million in cap space, we're at the point where the A-word comes into play next summer if things don't pick up. (That's "amnesty," for the uninitiated, which would dump the final two years of his contract so the Raptors could sign somebody else with the cap space.)

    But back to the present. As a result of Bargnani's struggles, the Raptors are still a mediocre-to-bad offense (21st in efficiency) despite adding Kyle Lowry and improved production from DeMar DeRozan and Davis.

    Meanwhile, the Raps are backsliding on D in a major way, ranking just 27th at this end. The reasoning here is a bit clearer: The frontcourt of Bargnani and rookie center Jonas Valanciunas has simply been eviscerated. Valanciunas is a tremendous prospect who likely will be a top-10 center in a few seasons, but right now his inexperience on defense is magnified by the fact Bargnani offers no help.

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    Quote Arsenalist wrote: View Post
    Here's a snippet from the article. Full one is here (need insider).
    Key part of Hollingers observations is at the end.

    Why is the defence so bad? JV is a rook and makes mistakes no doubt but how many minutes is he playing a night?
    To insinuate (like BC did yesterday) that he is the reason for the slippage is CRAZY!

    Andrea plays 35 minutes a night. This is the problem. Last year with both Johnsons, Ed and Gray they defended much better. It still wasn't like they were an elite defensive team abut they were average which was a huge step up. Andrea was hurt most of last season.

    This year, only one Johnson (James had to go and those glasses he wears are wack) Ed plays less, but Andrea's presence is the heart of the problem, which surprisingly enough BC never mentioned or even contemplated.

    Of course, JV and Andrea are a bad combo. Andrea's defence is a huge liability and JV is learning on the job, trying to also compensate for a teammate that doesn't offer much help. He's usually fighting 2 on 1 in the paint

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    Raptors Republic Starter draftedraptor's Avatar
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    excellent article.

    Casey might not like it but stats don't lie.

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    Raptors Republic Starter draftedraptor's Avatar
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    Quote sleepz wrote: View Post
    Key part of Hollingers observations is at the end.

    Why is the defence so bad? JV is a rook and makes mistakes no doubt but how many minutes is he playing a night?
    To insinuate (like BC did yesterday) that he is the reason for the slippage is CRAZY!

    Andrea plays 35 minutes a night. This is the problem. Last year with both Johnsons, Ed and Gray they defended much better. It still wasn't like they were an elite defensive team abut they were average which was a huge step up. Andrea was hurt most of last season.

    This year, only one Johnson (James had to go and those glasses he wears are wack) Ed plays less, but Andrea's presence is the heart of the problem, which surprisingly enough BC never mentioned or even contemplated.

    Of course, JV and Andrea are a bad combo. Andrea's defence is a huge liability and JV is learning on the job, trying to also compensate for a teammate that doesn't offer much help. He's usually fighting 2 on 1 in the paint
    Only a shotblocking super athletic franchise center like Dwight Howard can compensate for a liability like bargnani

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote draftedraptor wrote: View Post
    Only a shotblocking super athletic franchise center like Dwight Howard can compensate for a liability like bargnani
    Hey....

    *snark on* Has anyone considered trading Bargnani to LA? *snark off*
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    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Raptors Republic Starter c_bcm's Avatar
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    Not much to argue with here unfortunately. I'm sure that Casey is getting the message. He has the power to distribute minutes and can try to correct this with whatever talent is on the roster. Surely there is enough to improve the defence a little bit, no?

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    After defending Andrea, and blaming a rookie for your defensive woe's (How many years have we been rebuilding now? Oh, sorry 'Building' is the new snake oil term) its become clear that until BC goes, we will always stink.

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    Really solid article. If you have insider I highly recommend reading it.

    One thing that surprised me (even after reading B. Murph's write up the other day) is how vastly Boss Davis and Amir3000 are outperforming the starters.

    I think that part of the difficulty Casey has with playing them together in the crunch time (other than his need to, *shudder*, "go with our guy") is that our offence tends to degenerate at the end of games to iso's and the ball movement slows down.

    Amir and Boss are actually solid offensive players (especially from an efficiency standpoint, and especially compared to Bargs) but neither is a strong one-on-one player. Amir needs to be rolling to the basket when he gets the ball. And despite Boss's improved jumpshot, it still doesn't represent a one-v-one threat, which reduces his effectiveness outside the paint.

    I think if we could somehow keep the offence flowing in the 4th Q (and if we could manage to keep Bargs on the bench) we could really improve on both sides of the floor.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Quote sleepz wrote: View Post
    Of course, JV and Andrea are a bad combo. Andrea's defence is a huge liability and JV is learning on the job, trying to also compensate for a teammate that doesn't offer much help. He's usually fighting 2 on 1 in the paint
    sleepz, I know you'll remember when Bosh couldn't play defense in Toronto, right? Then he went to the Olympics and was the best defensive big on the floor? Or Miami? Or that Amir can only play defense when Ed Davis is on the floor?

    I wonder if there is some common denominator that may help explain all these coincidences?

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    Raptors Republic Starter Fuchan's Avatar
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    #tradebargnani

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Fuchan wrote: View Post
    #tradebargnani
    The problem is that Vince's mom's ACC parking spot is worth more than Bargnani right now...
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    The problem is that Vince's mom's ACC parking spot is worth more than Bargnani right now...
    +1

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    Raptors Republic Starter Fuchan's Avatar
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    We need improvements at every posistion, including GM. Here's hoping Bell/Rogers are going to blow this shit up sooner than later. The longer we wait, the longer it will take for the next guy to build something relevant.

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    The problem is the LACK of talent. Colangelo can sugarcoat all he wants but if Bargnani is your #1 "guy" as Casey always say, you have a MAJOR problem.

    It's unfair for Andrea to get all the blame though. I really feel bad for him. It's not really his fault to be put into this situation. Because let's face it, on a playoff team he's not a #1 guy, he's not even a #2 guy maybe just maybe a #3 guy.
    Follow me on Twitter - @11_RRyan

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    excellent article, every little bit helps (especially an espn article) in eliminating the scum that is andrea bargnani. And then I can go back to watching this team.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote akashsingh wrote: View Post
    excellent article, every little bit helps (especially an espn article) in eliminating the scum that is andrea bargnani. And then I can go back to watching this team.
    Even with Bargnani gone, this team will still suck hard. Colangelo is still trying to sell us a Porsche.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic All-Star hateslosing's Avatar
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    Great read, another in a string of people pointing out what is obvious: Bargs has got to go if we are ever going to rebuild properly. It was a great idea and he may find success elsewhere but he is killing this team.
    "When Life gives you lemons, you clone those Lemons to make super lemons!"
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    i'm really happy these kinds of articles are finally coming out, exposing just how bad this team really is. hopefully now BC gets fired.
    @jerboat

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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    sleepz, I know you'll remember when Bosh couldn't play defense in Toronto, right? Then he went to the Olympics and was the best defensive big on the floor? Or Miami? Or that Amir can only play defense when Ed Davis is on the floor?

    I wonder if there is some common denominator that may help explain all these coincidences?
    I know right.

    Chris played on a Raps team where not much thought was given to defence and he had such large offensive responsibilities that he didn't give as much on that end of the floor but he's always had the ability. In fact, I am going to take it a step further and say during his time here Chris should have taken a more 'lead by example' approach defensively as he was the best player on the team and if he's doing it, everyone else could be expected to follow and maybe AB would have seen from early how you need to play the game properly.

    That being said.......none of that happened and everyone is accountable for themselves at the end of the day.

    It truly bothers me that we as a basketball community (fans, media, players, management) are aware of a big problem (not the only problem on this team, but a big one) and yet we haven't fixed it yet and look for all other sorts of analysis to try and explain it.

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    Raptors Republic Starter AJ360's Avatar
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    I would like to thank ESPN and John Hollinger for writing this article.

    My sincerest thanks,

    - AJ360

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