Raptors.com Interview With Bargnani
Old 07-25-2008, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raptors.com Interview With Bargnani

So, let's see if it really was his adeniods that held him back.

Anyhow, joking aside I'm going to have a change of heart here and hope that this is the season where Bargnani breaks out and becomes a legit household name here in Toronto. Let's go Andrea.

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Originally Posted by Mike Ulmer
Off season surgeries to remove his adenoids, and more importantly, clear obstructions in his nose mean Bargnani isn’t fighting for breath when he pushes himself hard. He hopes the surgery will allow him to reach a level of physical strength that wasn’t possible before.

“The doctors say it will make a big difference,” he said. “I’m finally able to breathe the right way.”

This figures to be a revealing season for Bargnani. The seven-foot-Italian impressed in his first year, but struggled in his second. His defensive troubles and his inability to guard without fouling frequently prompted Raptors’ coach Sam Mitchell to sit Bargnani down. Bargnani, who played facing the basket throughout his career, struggled in the low post.

But what was tantalizing about Bargnani remains so. He is a seven footer who can put the ball on the floor. He has an untapped but still noticeable ability to pass the ball. And he is only 22 years old.

“Last year was up and down,” Bargnani said. “One night I played 35 minutes and the next night, just 15 minutes. It was the way our team was too, up and down.”

The acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal is supposed to change that.

“I met Jermaine a couple of days ago,” said Bargnani. “We played a pickup game and we were on different sides. He seems like a really smart, humble guy. He’s a very good player.”

A very good player who figures to spent a lot of time playing centre, which sets the wheels in motion.

Would Mitchell envision using Bargnani as a seven-foot-small forward? Bargnani would be able to shoot, almost at will.

“The defence could be hard,” Bargnani said. “It depends on who the other three is. Certainly, on offence I think it could work but guarding a smaller, athletic three might be difficult.”

Maybe less so with O’Neal and Bosh, more experienced, able defenders, ready to help.

Bargnani said he is looking forward to working with Jose Calderon now that T.J. Ford has been traded to Indiana.

“I think this move will help,” Bargnani said. “T.J. is a great player but having two point guards of that caliber wasn’t very good. Someone was going to be upset.”

Bargnani said he is looking forward to playing all three front-court positions.

“I’m working and pushing myself every day. I like to learn and if it happens that I have to play with my back to the basket, it will not be a problem.”

The third year is often pivotal for a player. Bargnani, his confidence unshaken by last year, is sure it will be.

“I think this year is very important. I’m looking forward to it.”
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What I like to read here is that he understands what he can and can't do, specifically in regards to guarding the other teams' SFs. It shows a player who is VERY mature and aware of his skill set. Also, the fact that he says he likes "to learn" again is a very nice thing to read from a kid who is only 22. It will be interesting to see what he does.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No doubt he has all the natural ability to turn himself into a good player. He just needs to make it happen. Hopefully he bounces back to at least where he was at in his rookie season. That alone would be a huge boost to the team.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice find. Here's hoping that he can turn it around this year. If he plays well that would be huge for this team.

I mean, Bargs is a 7 foot gifted offensive player who is only 22 and entering his third year in the league. What the Raps need to do is focus on his strengths which is on offense, he can be a dominating force on offense in the NBA for sure. He'll never be a defensive player of the year but that can be said for a lot of guys. I can't wait for him to break out this year, and when he does I would love to see some of the bashers here even try to start praising him.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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He is very smart.And i like that he knows his limitations on defence and knows that guarding smaller athletic 3's is difficult for him.I think he'll improve all around this season and alot of it is because he'll be around JO.I think JO's play will rub off on Andrea and that can only benefit him in the long run.

Bargnani this season - 14PPG/6RPG
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's not like we've given up on him. Not the majority of us, anyway, right Doc?

His shot was off all season long, pretty much, and for an offensive-minded player like Bargs that sets the "tone" for the rest of his game. Not saying that's good, just saying that's what it looked like to me.

He will never be a SF, he understands that defence at that position will always be a problem for him. Coming off the bench behind JO and Bosh at 4-5 is absolutely ideal for Andrea.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Encouraging comments from Andrea.

Just a note on that surgery...adenoid problems are not a joke. I didn't realize that was an issue for him, but getting them removed could certainly make a difference. Swollen adenoids result is pretty severe discomfort and breathing problems when doing physical activity.

I don't know if the surgery will improve his play directly, but it will certainly make him more comfortable on the court.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adequate Swag View Post
Encouraging comments from Andrea.

Just a note on that surgery...adenoid problems are not a joke. I didn't realize that was an issue for him, but getting them removed could certainly make a difference. Swollen adenoids result is pretty severe discomfort and breathing problems when doing physical activity.

I don't know if the surgery will improve his play directly, but it will certainly make him more comfortable on the court.
Add to that not getting proper rest during sleep due the sleep apnia which usually accompanies the swollen adnoids
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Most player say the right things, grain of salt imo.

If the new plan is him to be an SF, its a pretty bad plan, he will get burned a ridiculously large amount of times on D. I guess im very small minority on this forum, ive almost given up on him and dont really expect much except a 7th or 8th man from a 1st overall pick. Hopefully im proven very wrong.
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugo Ferst View Post
I guess im very small minority on this forum, ive almost given up on him and dont really expect much except a 7th or 8th man from a 1st overall pick. Hopefully im proven very wrong.
Ugo, you might be right in the end - noone knows for sure. However, even though I admit he is unlikely to ever become a franchise-level player (something generally expected from #1 overall pick), he certainly has the tools and, seemingly, the attitude/work habits to be a solid starter on a good team - and that's a lot for the positions he plays.
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugo Ferst View Post
Most player say the right things, grain of salt imo.

If the new plan is him to be an SF, its a pretty bad plan, he will get burned a ridiculously large amount of times on D. I guess im very small minority on this forum, ive almost given up on him and dont really expect much except a 7th or 8th man from a 1st overall pick. Hopefully im proven very wrong.
I don't remember him getting "burned a ridiculously large amount of times on D". He was no worse guarding fives than Bosh was in his first couple seasons when he was tossed in at the five. Bargnani had to commit a lot of fouls because he just wasn't strong enough to handle the position last season. On top of that he was practically playing on one leg and he had breathing problems. These factors probably can't be attributed to all the poor play but it damn well didn't help.
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo View Post
I don't remember him getting "burned a ridiculously large amount of times on D". He was no worse guarding fives than Bosh was in his first couple seasons when he was tossed in at the five. Bargnani had to commit a lot of fouls because he just wasn't strong enough to handle the position last season. On top of that he was practically playing on one leg and he had breathing problems. These factors probably can't be attributed to all the poor play but it damn well didn't help.
I was referring to moving him to SF, he would get burned imo. I didnt find him to be a that good a defender 1v1 as a C, but not horrible, but his help D was beyond horrible imo.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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he's not going to play SF, maybe now and then we'll experiment with that - but don't expect that to be a rule. The only reason he played SF in his first season was because they wanted him to get confidence, and since he had no inside game, at SF he could play to his strengths on offence (shooting). While offensively it's a huge advantage to have him at SF, unless the other team has a clown at SF, what you gain on offense you give away doubled on defense, so it's not a winning strategy.

However, you're making it sound like it's his fault that he "gets burned" on D when really, it's only common sense that a guy of his size will be destroyed by all but the slowest SF in the game. Heck, even Bosh who is much quicker, has little chance at defending that position.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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he's not going to play SF, maybe now and then we'll experiment with that - but don't expect that to be a rule.
Exactly. Most of the time he'll be coming off the bench to fill in for either Jermaine or Chris. There will no doubt be times when he will be thrown in at the 3 to provide a mismatch. It will obviously won't be when guys like LeBron or T-Mac would be the assignment though...
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Old 07-26-2008, 04:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thats excatly what I was thinking if he plays SF he wont be able to gaurd LeBron James or any other top Sf in the league
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Bargs starting at the SF....that could be interesting

Definitely a big scoring line-up

Defense doesn't look half bad with JO. Parker losing his legs might hurt us. But if Jose could keep his man in front and then lead him to where the help defenders are, I could see this line causing nightmare match-ups for a lot of teams.

With Smitch and his ever-popular line changes, I wouldn't be surprised if we do see this line-up at one point in the season.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:08 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Smitch did put Bargs at the SF in the playoffs and I see it happening but not working
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Thats excatly what I was thinking if he plays SF he wont be able to gaurd LeBron James or any other top Sf in the league
Bosh wouldn't be able to guard the top 3's in the league either...Assignments which call for the Raptors to go big is where he'll see time at the 3. I can tell you right now that a front line of Jermaine, Chris and Andrea could go toe to toe any day with Dwight, Rashard and Hedo.

Basically, there are lots of teams who like to go big. No one should expect Bargnani to start but they should expect him to get PT at the 3.

Last edited by Apollo; 07-26-2008 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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orlando was one of those teams where it *might* have worked, they have tall players at SF.

But it's not even a question if it works or not - the reality is that Bargnani must play PF/C to really be effective. Even if he does better at SF in the short run, the time is now to force the issue and get him to learn his true position. Just like Durant is playing SG now - that's not going to be his real position in the future ...
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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orlando was one of those teams where it *might* have worked, they have tall players at SF.

But it's not even a question if it works or not - the reality is that Bargnani must play PF/C to really be effective
I disagree. I fail to see the difference between them playing Andrea at the 3 against another big guy or playing him at the 4. I mean its not like Sam runs any plays for Andrea in the post. The only time Andrea gets in the paint is when he makes a concerted effort to slash. Whether it be the 5, 4 or 3 it doesn't matter for Andrea because you're going to see the same strategy; face up, draw the guy in to slash or put one up. I think whatever label you place on Andrea's position this year it will be irrelevant because of how Sam will use him. I fully expect the Raptors to go back to taking advantage of his abilities rather than trying to put a square block into a circle hole, so to speak.
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