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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 18.02.11
With Bargnani, there are no easy answers
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
His 22-point, 5.5-rebound average a game is nothing to sneeze at, but more often than not the big Italian is the lightning rod for discontent on a team where discontent has been a fact of life.
Consistency just doesnít seem to be a concept Bargnani can get acquainted with.
But you go to the numbers and try to determine why he is so inconsistent and you find that heís really not that inconsistent at all.
He began the season averaging 20.7 points and 5.3 rebounds a night in November. In December the scoring went up incrementally to 21.9 and the rebounding rose to 6.5 a night. Then in January the scoring was down to 21.1 a night the rebounding back to 5.4 a night.
Whether heís playing a back-to-back, on one days rest, two or even three, heís only a basket a night better at his best, which comes on two days rest than at this worst, which is on three days rest.
The only significant difference is his scoring home and away. In 25 games at the ACC this season, Bargnani has averaged 24.5 points a night. Away from home, he averages just 19.4.
Other than that, he actually has been somewhat consistent month to month but not necessarily week to week.
His rebounding numbers have been almost flat no matter where he plays, when he plays, or on how much rest heís getting. Unfortunately, thatís not an area where the Raptors seek consistency. A seven-footer should, even with minimal effort, pull down more than the 5.5 boards he averages on a nightly basis, but Bargnani gives no indication that will ever change.
You can make the argument that he spends a lot of his time away from the basket with the Raptors on offence but defensively he spends far more time in the shadow of the basket than he does away from it.
We really donít expect Bargnani will ever be more than a mediocre rebounder based on 41/2 seasons or work. What that means is his scoring has to not just be a given night in and night out it has to be better than the 22 a night, heís averaging this season.
The good news is, Bargnani heads into the break coming off six consecutive games of exactly that level of scoring.
Take away the 12-point night he opened the month of February with against Atlanta and heís a few 10ths below a 30-point average for the month of February.
If Bargnani can keep his scoring at those levels, his average defence and sub-par rebounding are no longer the problem they once were.
Fans burn Bosh's jersey - Click here for video
Iím sitting with a couple of NBA big whigs (well, not the biggest of big but pretty darn close) and the subject of all-star weekend comes up.
Weíre talking about different cities itís been in lately Ė unanimous disapproval of Las Vegas, Dallas sucked because of the snow and was rescued by the stadium, New Orleans was emotional Ė and someone says, Ďhey, how about Toronto?í
I gasp because itís an awful lot of work for the home writer and the general consensus is too cold, the arena back of house is too small, the convention centreís booked at the same time the next two years and I donít know if itíll ever come.
Raptors' trade exception likely to go unused
Former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh was booed Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre. The basketball star was playing in the city for the first time since he bolted to play for Miami.
First, there are 10 teams currently with trade exceptions, flooding the market, although only Cleveland has a larger exception to use than the Raptors.
Then, there is the issue of available players to take back. Not as many teams are trying to dump salary to avoid paying the league's luxury tax.
"It's tough to put a value on the trade exception, except to say that this year there seems to be fewer quality contracts available in the form of salary unloads because so many teams lined up to get under the [salary] cap last summer in the banner free-agent year that it was," Colangelo wrote in an email. "There are fewer [teams paying the tax] this year, as well, and most of them are contenders so [avoiding paying the tax] will be less common.
"Of course there are toxic deals available, but with good reason."
That brings us to the third reason the Raptors will likely let the exception sit, at least until the off-season: They do not want to take on money.
The Raptors have committed to rebuilding, whether that word gets said aloud by Colangelo or not. A summertime work stoppage could affect things, but the Raptors have money committed to just four players following next season. Eventual contract extensions to DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis could push that number up to six, but the Raptors are no longer looking to add expensive talent to hunt down a low playoff seed.
Sunshine Girl - 18.02.11
RF Girl of the Day
RF Man Candy of the Day
SUNshine Girl Krysta Lee wants to be a world famous singer and actor. This doesn't give her much time, she says, for extracurricular activities, although she did once meet Bruce Willis on the set of RED. She loves to dance and perform. You can see more about Krysta Lee by logging on to her website, Krysta Lee, Singer ,Songwriter, Actress, Model, Pop, Rock, R&B, Country, Dance, and Entertainer!.