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Old 03-22-2012, 12:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Time for Toronto Raptors' Andrea Bargnani to prove he is a star | Sports | National Post

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Offensively, as expected, he’s a little rusty. His timing is off, knowing when to attack and when not to,” Casey said before his team lost 94-82 to the Chicago Bulls at the Air Canada Centre. “And also the same defensively: His timing is off a little bit. But it’s not from the lack of effort … He’s been playing hard, going hard, working his way back into shape. It’s just that timing.”
Bargnani had eight points and five rebounds on two-for-10 shooting against the Bulls, continuing a trend. He averaged just 13.1 points per game on 35% shooting — 17% on three-pointers — in his first seven games back. He was down to 4.1 free-throw attempts per game.
And the timing, certainly, is a factor. Bargnani’s six assists against the Bulls spoke to his contribution elsewhere on the floor. The defence, poor in the past stretch, improved. That has to earn him some points.

However, this is a player for whom Casey went to the wall for, claiming he was a legitimate star. If Bargnani is a star, he must produce. He does not get two weeks to round into shape. It is time for Bargnani to prove the first month of the season was not a fantasy. Bargnani, sooner rather than later, is going to have to re-earn his coach’s praise with more than just effort.

“The leg is fine. Of course, I don’t have the rhythm, the shape,” Bargnani said after the game. “Anyway, I’m playing really bad offensively.”

“He’s one of our guys. He’ll get it back,” Casey added. ”Once he gets his sea legs … he’s going to get his offence back.
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