Say WHAT????

Posted on October 12, 2012 | 17 Comments

With the season ramping up again and a couple of preseason games done, I’m going to try and write a bit more regularly.  I’ve got about half a dozen partially finished posts I will try and get to, including an Offseason Report Card and Season Preview (which I will hopefully be able to do before the season actually starts).

In the meantime, Adam Francis, at RaptorsHQ, posted a link to this article in Toronto Sun (a publication I would normally not read, since I read above a 3rd grade level) about Toronto’s own Andrea Bargnani. In it, he talks about how his shooting struggles is due to fatigue and that no one should worry about it. I actually agree. A couple of seasons ago, Bargnani shot poorly in the preseason and I was trying to be a voice of reason. Bargnani’s shooting is not something we should really worry about. He’s always been an above average shooter and he should always be.

Of course, the fact that he’s coming into camp out of shape is troubling, if not surprising. At this point, though, Bargnani has become the king of excuses. Not just from him, but from the organization and it’s fans. I think one of the reasons he missed so many games, last season, is because he simply isn’t able to handle playing hard for very long. His body isn’t used to it. Expecting him to play at a similar level as the vaunted “13 games” over an entire season is asking to be disappointed.

Speaking of the “13 games”, is it just me, or have those games grown, as most legends do, into something they never were. Yes, Bargnani’s offense was excellent, during those games, and yes he did appear as though he was playing harder, but he still rebounded very poorly and his defense was still below average.

But I digress.

The most troubling thing from this article, though, was this quote…

“We’re going to go as far as he takes us. He’s going to be an anchor for us, a guy that can knock down shots. A lot of what we do is predicated on him making open shots. I’ve been pushing him, (getting) on him, mainly about running the floor both ways.”

This is head coach, Dwane Casey, talking about Bargnani.

It’s becoming more and more apparent that Bryan Colangelo brought in Casey from Dallas because of Casey’s ability to build a defense around Dirk Nowitzki, as well as an offense. Doesn’t this scare anyone else? Does Colangelo really think the Raptors can achieve success by copying another team with inferior parts? Has he not followed NBA history?

Loads of teams tried to draft or convert players into big point guards, like Magic Johnson, but not one of them was even able to get to the Finals with one. Teams tried to copy Houston’s twin towers, after the success of Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon. No one could.

Bargnani is an offensive talent. There is little argument about that. But other than his 13 games, he’s always been a rather inefficient offensive player and he was pretty poor at most other aspects of the game. He’s nowhere near the scorer that Nowitzki is, who can score inside and out, as well as get to the line at a high rate. Dirk is also a much better rebounder, defender and passer.

So what happens when you try and copy something successful with inferior products?

You end up with crap that ends up in the garbage after it breaks in a couple of weeks.

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Join the discussion: 17 Comments


  • Malefax

    What a surprise: a post bashing Bargnani. Until you figure out something else to say, this will never be much of a blog.

  • Tinman

    Your comments on the Sun are offensive, wow not sure how many millions you’ve insulted. To me it is the only paper worth reading. An apology is owed.
    That comment makes me think you lean towards the left, and it is now making sense. Seems to me that they seem to feel very strongly about individual’s rights except when it concerns people whose opinion differs from theirs.
    Guess you did not vote for Rob Ford.
    As per your post, we h adhave the Bargnani discussion before, and I’ll agree he is no Nowitzki.

  • BP

    I agree. It really shows the type of player that Bargnani is and his work ethic, he knows he’ll never get the blame, so why bother trying his hardest?

    What also bothers me is the whole plan that this could be a year where the Raptors compete for the playoffs, and Bargnani isn’t even prepared at all. This makes me wonder how Colangelo still has a job with the Raptors, and also how someone like Lowry will respond on the court when he’s back.

    Anyways, here’s my take on the situation if you’re interested.

  • Tim W.

    I didn’t vote for Ford, but I haven’t lived in Toronto in a couple of decades. And I really have no idea what that has to do with ANYTHING I said. Whether I’m left leaning, right leaning or middle of the road, the fact is that the Toronto Sun is a paper that requires only a fifth grade reading level (I exaggerated for effect). This is not a judgement. This is a simple fact. And I don’t think it’s really much of a secret, either.

    In mine, and many many other people’s opinion (left, right and center) the Sun is not a very good newspaper. It’s articles are quite a bit shorter than other newspaper articles about the same subject, which prevents any in in depth understanding of the story.

    “…they seem to feel very strongly about individual’s rights except when it concerns people whose opinion differs from theirs.”

    Horrible, horrible attitude and a big part of why the US government can’t get anything done. Let’s stereotype and demonize the other side, apparently unaware that by doing so, you’re being exactly what you accuse the other side of being. When you believe you peg me as left leaning (for no other reason that I dislike a poorly written newspaper), and then immediately stereotype and insult half of Canada right after you take me to task for insulting the readers of the Toronto Sun. Do you not see the hypocrisy?

    This is a basketball website, and I don’t feel it’s the place for politics, and my comment about the Toronto Sun was not political. It was based purely on the level of writing and the actual fact that you only require a fifth grade reading level to read the newspaper.

    And just to be clear, millions of people do not read the Toronto Sun. Their circulation high is about 200,000.

  • Tim W.

    We’re obviously of the same opinion about this. Can’t agree with your article any more. I just find it astounding that Colangelo continues to back and make excuses for a player who simply doesn’t deserve it. If Bargnani were a superstar who had the ability to change a team, then I could, at least, understand Colangelo’s handling of him. But he’s not. AT BEST, he’s a borderline All Star who needs to be surrounded by the specific types of players to cover up his flaws. And his “at best” has been a 13 game stretch that won’t likely be repeated over an entire season. And if he’s ever going to play on a good team, his most likely role would be a bench player who can come in and be a matchup problem and provide some instant offense.

    I’ve completely lost all faith in Colangelo’s judgement and can’t, for the life of me, see how anyone can continue to have faith in a GM who has the track record he does in Toronto.

  • Tinman

    Not apology I expected – thanks for califying what you are.
    Go occupy a park.

  • Tim W.

    That is possibly one of the most ignorant comments ever left on this blog. Really? That’s where you’re going? I don’t like the Toronto Sun. I don’t think it’s a very good newspaper. And from that you somehow assume I’m left leaning and tell me to “occupy a park”? What the hell does that even mean?

    I don’t feel it’s germane to the discussion whether I’m right, left or middle of the road and have not said one way or the other which way I lean. You assumed.

    What bothers me is the attitude.

    “Seems to me that they seem to feel very strongly about individual’s rights except when it concerns people whose opinion differs from theirs.”

    From your description, you’re left leaning too. When you assumed I was left leaning, you immediately felt my opinion was worthless and only good for an insult. How are you any different from the people you vilify?

    And for the record, it bothers me when a left leaning person has the same attitude about a right leaning person. What I hate is hypocrisy, no matter where it comes from, and it’s spewing out of you like Mount Pinatubo.

    And just for the record, I didn’t feel an apology was warranted. It was a simple joke. Perhaps you work for the newspaper, or something, but it’s not as if I said anything untrue. If you were offended, maybe you need to stop being so sensitive.

  • Tim W.

    Unless I figure out something else to say? Really? I haven’t talked about Bargnani in, at least, a dozen posts, but don’t let the facts get in the way of your opinion. Of course, you’ve never let that happen before, have you?

  • FPB94

    At first I tought his comment was a joke. LOL

    Meh. What do we have to lose exactly? We can find out if this doesn’t pan out very quickly. At least give it a shot. He did play well in those games, he did defend, he did attack the rim (huge jump in foul line rate) he did CARE (most important… his attitude after he got injured). I won’t blame him for not giving a fuck when they were already out of the playoffs.

    It’s not the ideal, but it’s where they’re at. Valanciunas won’t carry anybody anywhere in his first year, might as well have someone to help him carve out an offensive arsenal and hand him over the carkeys when it’s go time.

  • Tim W.

    I would blame him for not caring while they were already out of the playoffs and making $10 million. If he really couldn’t find a reason to care, then maybe he should have had a chat with some of the people who forked over a lot of money to watch him play and collect the money he did. And is that really the type of guy you want on your team? Someone with that little competitiveness in him?

    What the team has to lose is to infect the roster with that mentality. They see a guy who doesn’t give 100% being handed minutes and shots. How do you think that will/has gone over?

    If the want the Raptors to be a respected organization inside and out, then they can allow this sort of attitude. They need to ship him off.

  • Tim W.

    And unfortunately, I really don’t think his comment was a joke.

  • Rex

    I gotta agree with Malefax here. No offence, just constructive criticism, but this post is a recurring theme on the Picket fence — Bargnani and all of his deficiencies, why you can’t cover them up, how Dirk is better, how he should be traded etc etc etc. It’s just a regurgitation of the same thing, of past posts. And it’s not as though I disagree with what you write about him, but it almost seems that once Bargnani is gone, you’ll have nothing to blog about… or a regurgitation of other past themes (ie. Raptors needing to tank, needing an elite player to be competitive etc.) As a reader, I’m recommending that you try something fresh and new, but each to his own I guess.

  • Tim W.

    I appreciate the construction criticism, and if I felt you were right I’d agree, but I’ve posted very little about Bargnani since the end of last season, and purposely avoided discussing much over the entire season. I’ll certainly admit to doing it in the past, but not in the last year. In fact, of the 31 posts since last season started, 15 even mention Bargnani (compare that to 14 that mention DeRozan) and only 5 talk about him in something more than in passing.

    The fact that Malefax only seems to comment on posts that talk about Bargnani tells you something about him.

    As for the tanking theme, it’s hard to avoid talking about it too much since it’s such an important issue, and since there was very little to talk about this past summer. Plus, it kind of hovers over every move Colangelo makes. It’s like expecting Obama and Romney to debate without bringing up the economy.

  • Tim W.

    Plus, some people just seem to take his criticism so personally and it’s fun to make those people upset.

  • 2damkule

    as a reader of the sun, i think tinman will need this:
    for the record, tinman’s opinion is EXACTLY what i’d expect from someone of his, er, ilk.

  • 2damkule

    you have a point, but the simple fact is, the quote from casey sums up this franchise’s perspective on things quite succinctly, and until that attitude changes, then it’s something any raptor fan should be concerned with.
    re. the quote: i don’t think for one second that a guy with casey’s background thinks that andrea bargnani is a franchise player (which is what many will likely perceive his belief to be from that quote)…but his job is to win games, and if it takes selling the idea that bargs is something he isn’t to motivate him, or get his players on the same page, or whatever, then that’s what he’s going to do. simple rule of thumb: take any quote a coach or GM provides to any media member – on the record – about any player with about 3 lbs of salt.

  • Stephen Waugh

    I’ve read and watched sports articles across many different outlets including the Sun, and much of it (especially lately) has been the same sob story about athletes’ opinions about Toronto and why Toronto teams can’t win and what’s wrong with Toronto and why don’t free agents want to come and play in Toronto because it’s Canada, or it’s cold, or Canadians charge too much tax (without knowing that teams pay extra to offset those taxes), Americans want the American lifestyle blah blah blah junk that has been recycled over and over tirelessly, and Steve Simmons has been a large part of that. Yet many of these writers are coincidentally (or not) the same ones that turn critical about particular athletes (surprisingly not Andrea Bargnani) that do play here (Nazem Kadri anyone?).

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