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Old 01-14-2008, 02:17 PM   #26 (permalink)
effin' ineffable

In the Paint
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 30,070

It's not tough love. It's expecting accountability. And it's working with everyone else. Nobody gets laid into more than Jamario. And he responds. Bargnani merely needs to show some kind of a response. He is tremendously skilled, so it shouldn't be so hard right? Does he need Sam to give him a gold star in recognition of those skills.

And let's look at this trend -

Hoffa - admittedly a stiff - so that doesn't count.

Joey - struggling? I question that. I think the team has gotten a lot out of Joey all in all. At the end of last season he came up big. He suffers from inconsistency, and having guys ahead of him on the roster, but I don't call that struggling.

Andrea - struggling? Or learning a new position and facing opponents that are fully prepared for him, and not proving mentally prepared for either most of the time. So reward him for that? Bargnani is not falling behind the rest of the team. He has shown that he has what it takes, that he knows what he needs to do. He just has to get himself in the right frame of mind whenever he is out on the court.

If there is any criticism I might take a stab at - it would be regarding how the team allowed him to coast a little too much on his natural skillset last season. Somewhere along the line he seems to have gotten the idea that he doesn't really need to play a physical game. He had free reign to launch a ton of threes last season, and I guess that never should have been the case. He did use his size, and pretty well, but they should have insisted on it being used consistently, and more aggressively. He would have fallen into the same funk I imagine, but then he should have come out of it by now.

Slowly but surely he's going to feel more comfortable, Really - he just needs time, and not time on the court playing poorly. He needs time to understand where he needs to go as a player, along with time to get more comfortable so far away from home and all that.

And let's see...this team losses a few in a row and what do we hear? Not that Sam shouldn't worry about winning.
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