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?