Odds are, Toronto doesn’t have much of a chance on a game-to-game basis, and it’s been a long season for the Raptors.
However, there have been a few bright spots and one of those has been the offensive play of Andrea Bargnani, who, for all of his defensive deficiencies, can put the ball in the hoop.
Bargnani is averaging 21.9 points on 44.8% shooting from the floor, and even though he is shooting a career-low 34.3% from behind the three-point line, Bargnani is being more aggressive when it comes to getting to the charity stripe, heading to the foul line a career-high 5.5 times per game and making 81.4% of those attempts.
The NBA spread says Bargnani is never going to be your typical “back to the basket” type of center, and the Raptors are trying to accommodate that with the likes of Reggie Evans and Amir Johnson in the post. Bargnani’s skill set is more akin to Dirk Nowitzki’s with his perimeter shooting, but the fact that he is going to the hoop more and looking for contact has to be very encouraging to Raptors fans.
Bargnani may be a defensive liability, but Nowitzki, the man he is most compared to, is no defensive stopper either. The Raptors as a team aren’t very good defensively, so it’s tough to pin that all on Bargnani, who wasn’t drafted for his defense.
Bargnani’s best defense is a good offense, and he can be a handful for anyone trying to guard him.