Despite the best attempts of Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, Andrea Bargnani was not named to his first all-star game on Thursday evening. Bargnani has only played in 13 games this season, missing 14 and Casey is convinced that is all that prevented Bargnani from making it as a reserve. "I would bet my house he would have made it if he'd stayed healthy," Casey said after Thursday's practice. "He had the numbers offensively, he was doing the things defensively. If you notice everybody talks about how we've dropped defensively in the standings (of late), a lot of that correlates (with Bargnani being out). We've dropped without him in there and a lot of the coaches noticed that as much as his offence, how much he's improved defensively." Veteran Raptors centre Jamaal Magloire agreed. "I've played against him many years, but seeing the impact he has when he's out there versus when he's not is tremendous," Magloire said. "He has given an honest effort since Day One. He's bought into coach Casey's system. I have seen the transition with him defensively, he has gotten a lot better." Casey said he has been exchanging texts with fellow Eastern Conference coaches ever since Bargnani started off the season on a tear. The 7-footer is averaging career bests in points (23.5), rebounds (6.4), field goal and free throw percentage (47.6% and 84.3%), assists (2.1) and minutes per game (36.0).
Bargnani's an all-star in Casey's books
Toronto Sun | Feb 10