It is about time Andrea Bargnani decides if he is going to be part of the problem or part of the solution. Long ago Bryan Colangelo hitched his wagon to the idea that Bargnani would be a big part of the latter in Toronto but the man he put his faith in has been a massive disappointment of late. Granted Bargnani's 17-for-62 shooting over his past three games makes it easy to fire shots at him, but this goes far beyond what he does or does not provide at the offensive end. The issue with Bargnani remains his frustrating inability to get the best out of his talents by outworking opponents and showing commitment at both ends of the floor. That means not allowing big men such as Roy Hibbert (24 points, 11 rebounds vs. Raptors), Kevin Love (6-for-10, 12 rebounds in 24 minutes against Toronto), Ersan Ilyasova (9-for-10) and Andrew Bogut (10-for-12) to do whatever they want inside. It means chasing down loose balls and doing a much better job keeping opponents off of the boards (Indiana outrebounded Toronto 56-38 on Monday - including 15-8 in a first quarter that saw Bargnani play 10.5 of 12 minutes). Bargnani has the height and base to do a better job in those regards. It is a matter of effort and will. There should be some pride shown in trying not to post the worst rebounding numbers for a big man in the history of the league. His other main deficiency - painfully poor help defence - a trait shared by the bulk of his teammates which makes him look even worse - is not something that is easily fixed, but it would be forgiven if he appeared to be working harder at the areas of his game that can be upgraded. Offensively, Bargnani can also work harder. That means going to the tough areas like the low post instead of flinging up jump shots, even if they are "good shots" as the Raptors constantly claim.
Bargnani needs to get more out of his talent
Toronto Sun | Feb 2