If Raptors head coach Jay Triano was being 100% honest at Thursday's season-ending media availability, this rebuild is going nowhere. Poor defence is the reason why the team has missed the playoffs the past three seasons and if the Raptors remain serious about round-pegging Andrea Bargnani into the square hole that is the centre position, well, expect a third-consecutive last-place finish in defensive rating next season. All of what ails the club defensively can't be placed at the feet of the 7-foot Roman – it's not his fault most of his teammates can't keep anybody in front of them, or that they aren't big or strong enough to match up with many opponents. But having a centre who rotates well enough to make up for the mistakes of his pals – think Kendrick Perkins, Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah, Al Horford - or if you're as lucky as Orlando, Dwight Howard - is often enough to turn a decent defensive squad into a good one or a terrible one into a passable group. "The good teams, everyone has a dominant guy in the back there, that anchor," Triano confirmed. "He understands he has to get better at the defensive end, as far as the help side, and being aware and being an intimidator back there. "He's got to become that for us. Is that asking a homerun hitter to bunt? Maybe, but he has to add that to his game if he's going to become successful." That's never going to come to pass, coach, and if you're truly counting on it happening the league might as well just give the Raptors a permanent chair at the lottery in New Jersey. Bargnani certainly doesn't seem to think he's the man for that role. And he's right. "My natural position is power forward, always has been," Bargnani said after earlier noting how tough it is to play good team defence. "I think we could use a legit centre," added Amir Johnson, throwing his two cents in. Regardless of where he plays, Bargnani knows his help and overall defence must get significantly better if his reputation is to evolve into more than just a one-trick pony.
Bargnani not the answer in the middle
Toronto Sun | Apr 15