Sometimes it's like reading 1960s editions of Pravda when the topic of Bargnani comes up and his detractors can't even muster a vague complement for a good game. Ya, I'm open to trading him for value, to align PF with the rest of our younger lineup, and providing the incoming talent is real value and contributes to our offence. But it's really mind- blowing how petty people are. Five boards is what they focus on, never mentioning two blocks, or two steals, solid positional D most of the game or a beautiful and very important assist in crunch time, nor a pair of key baskets that helped take a tie out to a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Holly McKenzie, like a lot of media, have been very critical of him, and justifiably so, but this is what she wrote today.
* Andrea's strong start: There hasn't been a lot of positive surrounding Andrea Bargnani's start to this season. He finally had a strong start against the Magic, looking engaged, energetic and actually attacking the basket. After the game, Dwane Casey talked about the importance of Bargnani coming out strong because, as he said, offensively the team goes as Bargnani goes. While Bargnani was active offensively, he was aggressive defensively as well, grabbing five rebounds and blocking two shots in 39 minutes.
This was a much better game for him. When he was in, we were generally the better team by a good margin. He hasn't had enough of these games, that's a legit criticism, but have the intellectual honesty to admit he had a good one today.
The problem is dagger, it was a "good game for him". The reason it was a good game for him was because he actually tried. Do you think he'll show this same effort for the rest of the season? Do you think he'll do what's needed to improve his scoring efficiency?
I've generally been a Bargnani supporter over the years, but at 27 years old & this being his 7th season......the guy should know what it means to be a professional professional by now. That means showing up for the season in shape & bringing his "A game" night in & night out.
I want players like Lowry, Amir & Jonas on this team. Guys who you know are going to bring the competitive intensity night in & night out. Guys that are reliable. Guys that "effort" is never a question.
The guy shot .368, took some questionable shots & had 5 rebounds in 40 minutes. We're setting the bar pretty damn low for our players if we're saying a player with those stats "had a good game". If that was Bosh instead of Bargnani, would we all be saying "he had a good game"?