How many defensive possessions end when Bargnani forgets to rotate/help

How many defensive possessions end when Bargnani forgets to rotate/help

If you read my thoughts on the game after the Raptors coughed up another winnable game last night in Cleveland, you’ll know that I was flabbergasted by the sight of Andrea Bargnani for the last 10 minutes of the game. Bargnani had done absolutely nothingĀ  in his first few minutes of action in the first half and had sat for the entire third quarter, yet there he was in crunch time, rewarded with minutes he didn’t drop a bead of sweat to earn.

Bargnani lost his starting job while he was out of the lineup with an elbow injury, and rightfully so, as Ed Davis and Amir Johnson gave more to the Raptors in that two month stretch than Bargnani has in over a year. The obvious answer was to bring Andrea in off of the bench and try to turn him into a scoring spark in the second unit. For a couple of games, it actually worked, as Bargnani averaged 13.5 points on 60 per cent shooting in two contests against the Celtics and Pacers. Sure, he didn’t really rebound or do much else, but it seemed like a promising venture since Bargs could focus on the one thing that actually seems to interest him – scoring.

Unfortunately, since then, Bargnani has produced some of the most uninspiring basketball we’ve ever seen (and remember, we’ve watched the Raptors for the last 18 seasons), averaging 3.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and a turnover in about 18 minutes per game over his last seven games, all while shooting 30 per cent from the field and failing to reach the free throw line at all in his last 160 minutes of floor time. Just stop, read those numbers over again and let them sink in. And for the naive among us who believe poor Andrea is just being negatively affected by those “cruel” home fans, Bargs is averaging 3.7 points on 41 per cent shooting to go with 1.7 rebounds in his last three road games.

To make matters worse, despite that consistently pitiful display of basketball (other than the Wizards game, where Bargnani looked to be trying, but was just incapable), Bargnani has still logged at least 11:50 of playing time in all seven on those games, logging over 21 minutes in three of those seven games. Now based on the first 300 words of this post, you probably assume that I’m going to advocate for cutting back Andrea’s minutes, but you’re only half right.

Not only should Bargnani’s minutes be limited, he shouldn’t play – period – on Friday against the Pacers. Dwane Casey has gone public numerous times to tell us that he doesn’t concern himself with player salaries when making decisions about who will and won’t play and that the guys who earn minutes will see the floor. Well if Andrea Bargnani has “earned” minutes over these last seven games, then sign me up for an open tryout, because apparently it takes very little to no effort to earn a spot in the Raptors’ rotation.

With the way Bargnani is playing right now, you literally cannot come up with one good reason to put him on the floor.

He’s still a three-point threat that can spread the floor, you say? Nope, sorry, Bargnani is a pathetic 1-of-15 from behind the arc since returning to the lineup, has shot 28.4 per cent from deep this season and has shot just 29 per cent from long range over his last two seasons. In fact, as I’ve mentioned a ton this season, Bargnani hasn’t actually been a legitimate three-point threat in some time, as other than a few stretches here and there, he’s shot 31.8 per cent from deep over his last three seasons and hasn’t shot 35 per cent or better from three-point territory since the 2009-10 season. Heck, even in the infamous 13-game stretch to start last season that saw Bargnani play at an All-Star level, he still only shot 34 per cent from deep. The only reason his career percentage from behind the arc is a respectable 35.9 is because he shot the three at a 37.6 per cent clip over his first four seasons in the NBA. Even watching him in pre-game warmups, it’s clear to see that his shot is missing the lift required to be an effective three-point threat in the NBA.

Well he is an excellent one-on-one post defender, his supporters will remind me. My response? Yes, he is, but when you continue to show that you either have no concept of help-defence or just don’t care enough to play effective help-defence and when you rank 123rd in defensive rebounding (with a 12.0 defensive rebound rate) out of 124 listed big men (ahead of only Ekpe Udoh), you will always remain a defensive liability, no matter how well you can guard another big man one-on-one.

What we’re left with right now, despite Bargnani’s talent (which shouldn’t factor into the playing time debate since he isn’t actually showing off that talent), is a seven-foot three-point decoy that doesn’t actually shoot the three well, isn’t doing much else offensively, is a defensive liability and doesn’t rebound. If the coaching staff and organization actually believe a six-game hole is surmountable over the final 24 games (the Raps would probably have to go 17-7 to sneak into eighth), then does that sound like the type of player who can contribute to a winning formula over the next month and a half?

Bargnani isn’t good enough right now to consistently give a team fighting for its playoff life effective minutes, and if/when the Raptors are finally eliminated from post-season contention, since Bargnani doesn’t figure to be part of the future anymore, he’s not worth wasting minutes on when younger, developing rookies like Jonas Valanciunas and even Quincy Acy could use those minutes.

Simply put, whether you’re still looking for the Raptors to make an improbable run this season or just looking down the line to the future of the franchise, it doesn’t make much sense for Andrea Bargnani to be logging minutes right now, let alone 18 minutes a night, regardless of how weak Toronto’s bench already is.

If Friday’s game against the Pacers ends with some garbage time because of a blowout one way or the other, or if David West is going off and you absolutely feel Bargnani’s post defence can be useful after giving Quincy Acy a chance, then fine, throw Andrea into the fire and see what he can give you in a short spurt. But otherwise, saddle him with the dreaded and very much deserved DNP-CD.

Make him earn minutes and a spot in the rotation the old fashioned way, by busting his tail in practice and showing you something in those aforementioned garbage time minutes. If he’s not going to even come close to using some of his given talent, then treat him the way guys with a lot less talent are treated as they’re forced to scrap and claw for each shred of playing time and respect.

Comments (57)

  1. Agree with you on everything here.

    Not only does he not deserve the time he’s given, but he’s also taking minutes away from the players who do deserve them, like Acy. You even get the sense that his team mates know exactly what’s going on and don’t want him there either.

    In fact, if it were me, I’d give Andrea the same treatment that Lamar Odom got in Dallas last season. Tell him to go home and stay away from the team until we can trade you in the offseason.

    Not sure what exactly is going on here, if it’s Casey making poor coaching decisions or if it’s actually Colangelo forcing it. The fact that Andrea’s still here, despite Colangelo being able to trade him at the deadline gives even more reason for Colangelo to lose his job after this season. I just hope that MLSE isn’t dumb enough to buy into his new “plans” for the future.

    • I honestly believe BC is telling Casey to play him, so he can try and have some value for him in the offseason. However, i think his play is actually decreasing his vallue….

      • best thing for his value would have been once theyd seen his bad play, they should have been “injured” for the rest of the season, like bynum. not knowing is more valuable than knowing

      • I believe BC is saying play him as well.

        The problem is, we really shouldn’t be. His trade value is zilch. ZILCH BC. He can bring nothing to the team with value because of the stupid contract you handed him when everyone was screaming to trade him. You have personally FCUKED UP this team with your horrible ideas and choices.

        MLSE, fire BC or don’t renew his contract. Amnesty Bargs this summer and lets move on.

        The team needs to miss the playoffs for all of this to happen. If they do, we let the worst possible pick from BC’s Lowry deal go in a bad draft and can then move on with a new GM, possibly a new coach, and without Bargs albatross salary and horrible lack of effort dragging this team down like a 1 ton boat anchor.

    • Agreed with both you and Jospeh 100%. I am sick of seeing this guy’s poor attitude and work ethic on the court, he shouldn’t be playing at all.

  2. So the question becomes do we Amnesty him or try and trade him in the offseason. Are the trade offers going to get better in the offseason, especially with his recent performance. Some of those trade deadline deals are looking soooo much better right now…..

    • As I said heading into the deadline, if the Sixers were actually offering Spencer Hawes then the Raptors should have taken it and ran. Hawes isn’t a big name or big time game changer, but he’s a better big man than Bargnani right now on a much more team friendly (and shorter) contract.

      Check out their comparison this season: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=bargnan01&y1=2013&p2=hawessp01&y2=2013 Bargs scores more, but Hawes is more efficient on offence and does everything else significantly better.

      • If that trade offer was true, I didn’t understand why Colangelo didn’t take that. Obviously he’s holding out for more, but what exactly is he expecting? More troubling, why haven’t we heard of offers Colangelo has made? Is he simply waiting for offers to come in?

    • The notion that he is going to magically rebuild his trade value from now until the offseason is idiotic and typical BC bs. They will have the same problem finding a suitor for him in the summer. At this point, I would consider amnestying him because his impact right now is worse than the biggest scrub in the dleague would have. I see no signs of his effort improving either.

  3. How many artciles are you going to write about this guy? Everything in this blog has been said countless times already this year. He won’t be back next year, we all know that. This season is a write off anyways. Looking forward to a much improved and Bargnaniless Raptor squad next season.

    • How is it a write off when we’re only 5 games from eighth spot? Fool.

      • I’m not saying they can’t still make the playoffs, If they magically sneak into eight spot, how many games will they win against Miami? Write off. You’re a fool.

  4. I’m sure Kyle Lowry is re-thinking that tweet he sent out last week defending Bargnani. He’s only seen 7 months of his bullshit. It’s the fans that have had to suffer through 7 years.

  5. Why oh why didnt he trade this guy for Potatoes like I wanted….I didnt really like the Hawes deal when I saw it, and preferred the Boozer deal, but now im thinking DJ Mbenga would be a better option.

    Watching him collapse ever defensive possession made me sick to my stomach…look at all those dudes flying to the hoop cause the help defence was not there….

    I noticed Calderon had that deficiency as well, but at least he gave Toronto his heart to win games, this guy is not even doing that…..he looks like a lost puppy who needs a new home…

    • At least when Jose was on the floor, and Bargnani was NOT, the Raps got some help defence in the paint, and Jose at least had the right idea about how to steer his man into the help. Lowry gets blown by at LEAST as frequently as Jose, but by leaving his man to run down rebounds, and gambling on steals, it’s not as noticeable.

  6. Couldn’t agree more with this analysis. Acy can’t possibly do more damage than Bargs to us on the floor. In fact, we can use that hustle. We need to amnesty AB this summer, if we can’t trade him for some kind of useful asset (I don’t see how a lopsided trade is helpful in any way). It’d be potentially more expensive, but at least we would free up cap space.

    • Yes, I can NOT believe that Bargs is getting minutes over Acy right now.

      Casey is blowing smoke up your ass if you believe him when he says all of his players have to earn their minutes.

      Bargs has not earned anything. Acy has looked good when he has been on the floor.

  7. Send him back to Italy.

  8. Casey was on Tim and Sid today and said the reason why Andrea was on the floor in the 4th quarter was to matchup with Luke Walton and for rebounding.

    Again Bargs was brought in to matchup with LUKE WALTON and for REBOUNDING!

    • Then we ended up getting burned by Luke fuckin Walton, and Bargnani grabs 1 rebound. Raptor fans must have done something horribly wrong in a previous life to deserve this + the last 18 (mostly) miserable years.

  9. He would actually be a good fit for the Lakers. A team with an Italian coach who plays a European style of game and will not be held accountable on defence

  10. can he be sent to the d-league to figure his shit out??

  11. Colangelo has beem completely unwilling to admit Andrea is a bust and it has handicapped the franchise in so many ways .So why does he have a job?

  12. I don’t attend games (I have long refused to pay to see a team run by Colangelo and starring Andrea Bargnani), but I hope that those who are attending will bring out the boos for the duration of Bargnani’s stay on the court.

  13. I absolutely agree with everything you said and this is once again a well written article by you. You looked at every point of view and wasn’t just biased about bargnani but threw in good ideas. I just don’t understand how Casey played barg in crunch time over jv I mean I think the bigger issue is the coach. The coach decides which plays when and if he is serious about winning now AND future then jv has to play because he’s definitely our future plus he’s a MUCH better player than bargnanI now. But one issue is will his value be better if he’s benched and has to deserve the minutes or will it be better if Casey gives him the same minutes he is now. My best guess is both situation is bad because teams want to see flashes of what he can possibly do when He’s in the flow and that won’t happen on the bench and obvs he won’t try to get back in the lineup because He’s so damn lazy. Then we’re left with playing him the same amount of minutes where he proves to be absolutely garbage. Therefore, it’s a mess and I don’t see a solution to this unless he somehow starts to play decent….which I wouldn’t guarantee.

    • I posted this above but Casey on the Fan590 said Bargs was put in to matchup with Luke Walton and for rebounding…….

  14. Too bad they cant amnesty him as kleiza needs to go first right

    • Wrong! Amnesty Bargs. You only get one shot at it. They are both useless and detriments to the team. Amnesty the one that clears the most cap space.

  15. You know I don’t watch the Score much on TV and I’m not really sure why I started reading your blog. In my short stint of participating I have continually been astounded at you and your readership’s lack of understanding of the game.

    I could have just stopped but thought the feedback might help you adjust the focus of your blog. Scapegoating is neither accurate or a positive action. From reading the various comments on here it seems that a majority of your readership believes that the reason that the Raps have not been successful were due to Calderon and Bargs. I would bet money that many are of the opinion that Bosh was a talent-less player who would never amount to anything.

    These positions are so ridiculous that I find it hard to give credit to the writers as to their knowledge and understanding of the game. And so while I won’t be reading your blog again I wish you luck and encourage you to look at the whole picture and temper your comments with some logic instead of the rampant emotionalism demonstrated here. Way too much drama for me.

    • Hey Dorothy. Say hello to the Straw Man for me.

    • Oh, fuck off already then.

    • @Hope Caper

      “way too much drama for me”…that’s cause you over 60. To the readers of this comment – I have read this guy before on other blogs and he gets beat up all the time on his comments (unless its Doug Smiths blog)…Over at the Star, the over 50 crowd (nothing wrong that, they just are who they are) can get a wee bit sulky when others don’t see things there way – especially if you read there comments that are written after 4 pm, its almost bed time for them, so they come off cranky!
      Hope Caper….tell us then, please – How many “winning years” or “play-off wins” have the Raps had featuring Calderon and Bargs? if you can give me 1 strong argument that suggests the team has or will win more keeping when those two are in the line-up…I would love to hear it! So please enlighten us!

      • Oh God, Doug Smith. The same idiot that said no chance the raps will get rudy. Also, said on numerous times calderon and bargs have a great reputation around the league. It took them YEARS to shed calderon and bargs staying here until his contract expires is a strong possibility. Hes the worst BC cock gobbler in the media, by far.

    • I hope you’re being honest in saying that you will never come back to this blog.

      You’re an idiot.

    • @ Hope Caper: http://youtu.be/6kS_qLzPWVg

      No one ever said that it’s 100% Bargnani’s fault that this team has had problems. And no one is saying that if we trade him, all our problems will be solved. What we are saying, is that we’re sick of paying someone almost $10 mil a year to go out on the court and stink it up. No effort, no intensity, no desire to win at all. We’re sick of Colangelo keeping him around and having him play big/crucial minutes when it’s now costing us games we need to win. I’ll go out on a limb and say that if we had JV/Acy playing in the 4th, we probably would have won the game last night.

      If you’re defending Bargs or think that he’s not the biggest part of the problem now (whether it’s Colangelo pulling strings or not), then i think it’s YOU who has no knowledge of the game of basketball.

      • Well said.
        Well said.
        Well said.
        Well said.
        Well said.

      • … nailed it – earn it in practice first, garbage time second, and then as a sixth man. This crap about Barg/Walton matchup, and rebounding is utter bullshit – JV, Acy…even T-Ross would have been a better match in that respect.

    • condescension, condescension everywhere…and btw this isn’t the same score as on or moving picture box anymore. my guess is this site is a little too forward thinking for you…

  16. well ur right about everything!!! 100% accurate, we all want bargnani gone, but thats just scratching the surface to a bunch of other problems! THe fact that we didn’t make any other moves at the deadline kills me….why keep anderson…he had been alright and had great value to other teams because of his offence off the bench!! BUT>> what we all see is a guy who thinks hes an all star player who is fighting for his own goals….(CONTRACT) just cuz he had a few games where he lit it up he blows way too many possesions trying to do it again instead of letting the team try and get am open look!!!

  17. Honestly IMO – everything thing said is dead on and well summed up – JV, Acy and Ross have to “earn” minutes and AB gets them handed to him – Ill take JV and Acy’s heart over AB’s money any day.
    Remember when: back in Jan Sam Mitchel said in an interview that it was Colengelo dictating all of AB’s playing time and how he should be handled…so that suggests (along with AB’s unearned minutes) that is exactly what BC is doing to Casey. I have protected BC is whole tenure, but I’m now off his ship – We need him gone as GM if this team wants to win.
    Remember when 2: back in Dec before AB was hurt on some fans (me) wanted Davis to play instead of AB and some fans spoke about how dumb it was – I wonder what those people are saying now?

    • Probably some dumb shit like Bargs and Davis are both getting 2 points and 1 rebound per game now.

      Fire BC!

  18. I agree with Bargs simply having to earn his time through practice now. Him being in the game yesterday was frustrating.

    I’d rather see JV and Acy in the game. You don’t seem to have to ask those two for effort on a minute-to-minute basis, let alone game-to-game. Yes they’ll make mistakes, but in my opinion it’s due to lack of experience and those lessons can only come with time.

  19. He gets PT because Raps can’t increase leverage on his trade value if he doesn’t show he can play. On the other hand, he’s obviously playing lethargic like back when VC mailed it in. Sigh…

  20. I would love it if the raptors no longer played Andrea, John the third, Anderson. that’s all…Andrea should have left at the deadline just buy out his contract in the summer….John the third does not pass the ball at all put bassy out there instead. and Anderson should go back to Europe. i also think hey need to fire BC AND CASEY ASAP. BC has killed the raps cap space with the GAY trade and I can not longer take CASEY’S terrible rotation decisions..and also get Lowry out of there as well ….he doesn’t pass the ball either and I don’t buy this …he likes he’s a tough guy routine and wants to be like Mike Lowry off the Bad Boys movies….just start from scratch with DD,Gay,JV,Landry,Ross, Bassy and Acy.

  21. BC must be saying something or someone even higher then him, casey is stubborn sometimes but he knows defence and i feel he wouldnt be this blind to AB, or his assistant coaches

    Could be mistaken but pretty sure Acy has been ripped on by Oliver and Joe, (i know above he said he wants Acy to even get minutes now) but i never thought he was that bad in the first place, he hustles and is explosive, is that not everything we want AB to be? Lowry is a fantastic 3pt shooter anyways when he does decide to shoot, AB is esentially useless

    I just dont see what Casey could see in AB, must be BC or someone else

  22. Until they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, the Raps owe it to their fans to put the players on the floor who give them the best chance to win. PERIOD.
    If Casey is letting BC dictate Bargnani’s playing time, then he has no credibility left, because he was told by an MLSE Board member that he should play to win – not to play political games.
    There is only one way that they get ANYTHING back for Bargnani, and that is he EARNS his way back on the floor from outperforming JV and Acy in practice, and then EARNS 6th-man minutes by consistently putting out with the second unit.
    Just like Vince Carter after Butch was canned, Bargnani has killed coaches (Smitch in particular), and been coddled beyond belief for 7 years, and now the Raps are going to get about the same trade return they got for VC – SQUAT.

  23. I blame Casey. He’s the guy who puts Andrea in the game for whatever reasons. Yeah the Raptors aren’t a great team but they are much improved. I think a lot of blown leads have come from Casey’s terrible coaching decisions. He always puts the second unit in too soon, and keeps them in when they are clearly blowing the lead the starters got. He always seems to wait until its too late to call time outs, and then decides to call them when there is 30 seconds left and the game is out of reach. His inbound plays have just been atrocious I have never seen a team struggle so much to inbound a damn ball. Plus his game winning plays Never ever pan out. I use to think Casey was the guy the raps needed I’m starting to think he’s behind just as much of the losses as the players themselves.

  24. AlixtheGambitsports. I believe Colangelo tells Casey who to play because the Raptors need Bargnani to increase his trade value by playing him. I do believe if the Raptors want to make a serious playoff run they would need Bargnani to score 15 points a game.
    Coach Casey is playing Bargnani, but hasn’t done anything to build the player’s confidence.
    Acy hustles but he is too short to play the post. I would have preferred if the Raptors had drafted Robert Sacre a true 7 footer.

    • Appreciate the read and comment, but with all due respect to a good Canadian guy in Sacre, his seven feet doesn’t amount to much. Acy is the much better player in virtually every facet of the game and is also much more polished than Sacre, which is really saying something considering that Acy himself is still very RAW. All in all, if the Raps had taken Sacre 37th overall, they would have been the laughingstock of the Draft. I personally wanted Quincy Miller, but Acy is still better than what’s usually left on the board at 37.

      But again, Sacre at 37 – or just Sacre over Acy in general, is ridiculous.

      • I played against sacre in HS he was a beast …but yeah no acy is better

        • Its funny how the biggest scrubs in the league were still beasts in HS. Shows how good you have to be in the nba obviously.

  25. AlixtheGambitsports. Acy is a Reggie Evans clone. Seriously that doesn’t amount to much. He will never really be a big contributor.
    I will agree with you on Quincy Miller would have been a valuable pick. He is exactly what the Raptors needed over an undersized Acy.

  26. really hope casey doesn’t screw j.v out of a great performance again tonight . the kid had 5 points and 5 boards 2 blocks in the 1st last game and he gives crunch time minutes to retard , i also hope he gets boo’s he 100 % deserves it , i for one don’t feel bad for him at all lol

  27. It’s unusual for a player showing not owed to the fans and the team management. I guess, he just think that he hit the lotto jackpot. He is a spoiler.

  28. Colangelo may have made a deal with some Italian gangsters.

  29. Hello to every , for the reason that I am in fact
    eager of reading this website’s post to be updated regularly. It contains good data.

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