Andrea Bargnani is reportedly set to meet with the Raptors medical staff at some point today to address the calf issue that has kept him out of 27 games so far this season.

Bargnani did not return for the second half against the Thunder on Sunday night after aggravating his left calf, and he was M.I.A. for the Raptors’ 103-98 loss in Indiana last night. Bargs has now been sidelined by a left calf injury three separate times this season.

Whether the calf problems are a result of the lockout-shortened and condensed season or the result of Bargnani playing harder than he ever has before through the first month of the season, we’ll never know, but I would unknowingly suspect it’s a little bit of both.

A lot of people seem to be assuming that Bargnani will be shut down for the final eight games of the season, and to be honest, I really hope that’s the case. We pretty much know what Andrea Bargnani is and isn’t after parts of six seasons in the NBA. He’s a very good offensive player with a unique offensive skill set for his size, and is usually a very bad defensive player with an underwhelming defensive presence for his size. You probably can’t win if he’s your best player, but I believe you can win if he’s one of your primary scoring options and is playing power forward next to a defensively dominating centre.

What I’m more concerned with is finding out a little bit more about young players like Ed Davis over the final two weeks of this season and finishing in a spot that enhances the Raptors’ chances in May’s Draft Lottery. Sitting Bargnani for the last eight games could help accomplish both of those priorities.

As it stands right now, the Raptors have the NBA’s sixth-worst record, but they lead the fourth-worst Kings by just a half game, and sit only three games behind the ninth-worst Warriors.

Let’s face it, for all the talk of internal development, the real deciding factor in how bright the Raptors’ future is will likely depend on how the ping pong balls bounce on May 30.

The way I see it, nothing more can be learned or gained from playing Bargnani down the stretch, but much can be lost from rolling him out there if he’s not fully healthy.

It’s been another confusing “interesting” season, Andrea. See you in October?

Comments (7)

  1. I don’t know why they even have to think about it. He should be shut down for the year, just as Calderon should have been with the eye injury.

    They’re not doing themselves any favours by not giving others (like Davis) a chance to prove themselves, and bringing back guys for meaningless wins could ultimately cost them a better pick.

  2. Are you contractually obligated to say he’s a “very good offensive player” every time you bring him up? It’s like you feel pressure to go out of your way to tout how great he is at the only facet of the game where he isn’t a complete trainwreck.

    But yes, shut him down, shut down Calderon, shut down Casey.

  3. I thought your title was referring to something else.

  4. Bargnani isn’t a very bad defensive player overall, he’s just very bad at certain parts of it. He’s a terrible defensive rebounder and help side defender. He’s an excellent at post defense and hedging the pick and roll.

    • He’s not “excellent at post defense and hedging the pick and roll”. He is sometimes a good post defender, but is far too inconsistent to be called good. And he does hedge hard on the pick and roll most of the time, but too often he overcommits, and more and more teams are taking notice and taking advantage of it, splitting the double team and getting into the paint.

      Add that to his extremely poor defensive rebounding and his poor help defense, and I’d classify him as a below average defender, at best. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

    • How is he not a bad overall defensive player when he isn’t good at probably the 3 most important elements of defense for a PF/C?

      Defensive rebounding
      Help side defending
      Post defense

      He isn’t good at any of these. And as Tim said, not consistent enough a post defender to be called good at that either.

  5. Yes, we know what we have got in him. Yes, sit him and do not aggravate his injury over a bunch of meaningless games.

    Plus, tank as hard as you can. The Raps really need MKG to make this roster work. Of course, better yet, get Davis and blow it all up.

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