Coming into Tuesday’s game Bargnani
appeared to be slowly rounding into the scoring form he had before a 20-game layoff with a left calf strain.
Casey sees the progress and he’s fine with that. What he’s not fine with, however, is the slippage in Bargnani’s defence.
As apparent and understandable his offensive struggles have been since returning from the long layoff, Casey seemed more concerned about his game at the other end of the floor.
“Defensively he’s kind of been a step off too
,” Casey said. “I told him I understand the offence being (slow to come) but there’s no reason defensively that you can’t be where you are supposed to be. It’s not effort. It’s more focus and recognizing the situation.
“He’s focused but there’s a timing element that goes into rotations and when you’re out that long and you haven’t practised or had a lot of time to get a lot of practice, that timing of when to rotate and who do I rotate to, that split second is huge and that recognition is a part of the rust that he has been dealing with.”
In the six games since his return, Bargnani
has averaged 12.8 points and 5.2 rebounds. As a team the Raps have given up an average of 102.2 points since his return. For the year opponents are averaging 94.8 points against Toronto.
One change for Bargnani Tuesday night was the lifting of his minutes restriction.
It was a preventative measure put in by Casey to ensure he didn’t overwork Bargnani
too early in his comeback.
“The minute restrictions kind of took him out of his rhythm,” Casey said.
“Jerking him in and out to make sure I kept his minutes down. That has been an issue to kind of keep him from getting an offensive rhythm down.”
Mike Ganter Toronto Sun
So the offensive struggles can be explained based on the minute restrictions and having to jump in and out of action, however Casey is unhappy with his defence since coming back.