To conclude the player grades for the 2010-2011 season, it’s time to do the player I’m sure most of you have been waiting for the most: Andrea Bargnani.
In his first season as the focal point of the offense, the former first overall pick flourished on that side of the court. Putting up a career high 21.4 points per game was good enough to get him into the top 15 in the NBA for points per game for the season.
For the longest time, Bargnani has been labeled as a bust, which is a bit of a reach considering he is a top scorer in this league, whether you like it or not. However, there is no denying that Bargnani is soft and is not a very good defender.
In Bargnani’s defense, he’s never really had a chance to play in his natural position at the power forward slot, and this could be a part of his defense and rebounding woes. Andrea averaged just 5.2 rebounds per game this season as the starting center for the team, and that is completely unacceptable.
Defensively, Bargnani is bad, but not as bad as people make him out to be. Andrea is actually an average man to man defender, but because of his ‘soft’ label, Andrea is portrayed a pylon on the defensive end. While his man to man D may be decent, his help defense is just atrocious, and this needs to be acknowledged this offseason.
Overall, this season had it’s ups and downs for Andrea. Offensively, he was solid, and even terrific at times. On the other end of the court, he just didn’t seem determined to grab rebounds or help out on defense. Bargnani didn’t do an awful job guarding his check, but as the center of the team, Bargnani had to play better help defense.
Bargnani is in a unique situation right now. The Raptors are stacked with power forwards, and are still lacking a true center so Bargs is forced to play at that 5 slot. GM Bryan Colangelo has assured the fans that a true center will be brought in this offseason, which will lead to Bargnani having a chance at the power forward slot.
This could be Andrea’s last chance. Don’t mess it up.
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