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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 10:30 am  |  41 responses

Andrea Bargnani: Raptors’ New Leader

No one expects Andrea to fill Bosh’s shoes in the T.Dot, but according to his coach, Bargnani has improved dramatically and appears ready to lead. The Toronto Star reports: “As the Raptors enter the second week of training camp, it’s hard not to notice how much bigger Bargnani has evolved from a physical makeup. For the past eight years, Bargnani has worked with Francesco Cuzzolin, the team’s strength and conditioning coach, bulking up, while at the same time trying to add a new dimension to his game. This summer, Bargnani and Cuzzolin renewed their association in Italy, running a youth camp and later as members of their national team. How everything gets translated onto the court when games begin to count can’t be measured now, but Bargnani comes across as a new man, more determined and more comfortable in his surroundings. ‘It’s normal in anything you do in life to feel more comfortable,’ Bargnani [said]. ‘You just know how it’s going to be.’ … For the Raptors to be relevant this season, Bargnani has to play like he’s the team’s best player because no player on the roster has his unique skill set and no player is going to draw double teams. He’s no Chris Bosh and it’s not likely Bargnani will average 20 points and 10 rebounds. But the Raptors don’t need Bargnani to be a Bosh — what is required is for Bargnani to be consistent, less inclined to settle for outside jumpers and more polished as a weak-side defender. ‘I see a more confident player,’ head coach Jay Triano said of Bargnani. ‘He’s more vocal than he has been in the past and he’s very dedicated. Watching Andrea is like watching a kid grow and before you know it they’re big.’”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Averaging 20 and 10 for Bargnani is pretty crazy, cause of the 10 rebounds part. Lol
    On another note, I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about DeRozan. I hope he can play more than just 20 mpg this season.

  • Dayum

    Bargs is just a jack of all trades but master of none. If he doesn’t show up this year the excuses people give him go straight out the window.

  • JoeMaMa

    NIQ! Bargs can definitely drop 20+…but yes, the 10rebs won’t happen. 20/7 would be nice, while keeping the floor spaced so that Demar, Linas, and Sonny can cut away. We won’t make the playoffs, but this year can give our young guys alot of confidence.

  • JTaylor21

    Look for him to lead them into unseen heights of NBA team defense. I think that 129 PPG allowed might be too low for guy of his defensive standards.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Please no.

  • Dagger

    “The Raptors don’t need Bargnani to be a Bosh” . . . false. They need him to be better than Bosh in order to make the playoffs. Not bloody likely.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    @JoeMaMa, yea we have a pretty athletic team that can run. Although I don’t think the coach wants to be a running team. I’m hoping for Linas and Barbosa to give the Raps a boost this season. And I know no team aims to be a lottery team but when you just lost your All-Star playing and you’re rebuilding, having a top 5 pick doesn’t sound so bad. The 2011 draft is starting to look pretty stacked. So any of the top 5 picks should be good.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Migs

    @Dagger – Let’s not kid ourselves here – the Raps aren’t going to make the playoffs. They shouldn’t make the playoffs talent-wise, and it would be best for them to try and stockpile young talent now via the draft and allow their guys to grow together.

    All I hope for this season is improvement in their young gunz, better (or at least more hard working) D, no major injuries, and more consistency out of Bargnani. He doesn’t have to be the leader, but he needs to contribute on a regular basis. Hard to believe but dude’s entering his 5th year and he’s still very inconsistent. Let’s see what a bigger role does for him.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m looking forward to watching Linas and Barbosa as well, but the Raptors would be smart to develop DeRozan and Weems A LOT this season. They should start.

  • ben2424

    hahahaha thats not a good sign

  • Pindajung

    Wow, you know you in trouble right there… Could this team set a new record winning <9 this season??

  • SWIFTboy

    @Teddy: Triano needs to find a balance between extending the leash/allowing them to make mistakes and making them earn their minutes. Though neither DeRozan or Weems seem to have an air of entitlement about them.
    Raptors fans, for the sake of the Raptors, need to be patient in the next 2-3years. Even though it seems like we’ve had to be patient the entire duration of this franchise.

  • PDC

    I ve watched Bargs career (TO) being an objetive baskeball fun. (im not canadian or italian , neither Raptor fun…)

    This kid is overated like hell. He is just a good offensive player but his defense is SOFT (way more soft than Pau Gasol in Memphis). His rebounding is awful! Alergic to the paint. He fails every summer with his nation team also.

    I expect the Raps out of playoff for the next 3-4 years.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    This team is too deep and too streaky to win less than nine. Barbosa, Linas, even Bargnani can go off for 30 at least ONCE in a season and DeRozan is gonna bring good things this season. They’ll be a 20 win team, but they wont make history.

  • Exile

    Here’s hoping DeRozan grabs that title before too long….. Bargs as “the face of the franchise” is just scary.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    @Exile. I was thinking the same thing. hahah. It probably won’t happen this season, hopefully the next though!

  • Sparty’s Law

    It’s going to be a very long season.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    i expect demar to breakout this year, sonny too

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Raps suck

  • add

    theyre just not a winning team

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Damn shame when 7 rebounds is acceptable and expected for a 7-footer. Whether it’s this guy or rasheed wallace.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    hahaha @ headline. Don’t even joke about that stuff–oh what now? Shoot, feel for you, Toronto fans…

  • Ghost

    Andrea isn’t the leader. Jarret Jack is, no doubt. Andrea will be their best player which is sad to say the least, but I’m more than willing to watch the development of Demar Derozan, Sonny Weems, and Ed Davis. Give me 25 wins and a lottery pick and I’ll be tickled pink.

  • Exile

    Thanks tealish….

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    There aren’t many players where we go “Well, he’d be great if he was six inches shorter.” Sigh.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Moose, if he was six inches shorter he wouldn’t be in the league.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    True, but what I meant was that he shoots the three-ball well and has the offensive skill set of a tweener forward.

  • http://www.oprah.com Doyouwantmore

    I always thought Bargnani was a good addition. Brandon Roy, No, but still a good player. I enjoy watching him play and I always root for the Raptors, but what that team needs is to get a Manu Ginobli/Gilbert Arenas-type player. Someone who will not only step up and be the all-star, but also appreciate the organization that provided the opportunity to get there. First-round picks and big contracts are always going to bolt. Bryan Colangelo, are you listening?

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    I read the headline and it immediately made me even more depressed about our season. Even the fact that we’re gonna be in the lottery isn’t much help — Colangelo is just gonna draft another soft euro and we all know it.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    ^Allenp..
    dude if all of the big men of the nba were 6 inches shorter almost none of them would be in the nba

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    DeRozan will be the franchise player if not this season then eventually. He’s improved his game a tonne and we’ll be seeing evidence of that this season. Co-sign “Ghost.”

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    Nice to know he’s willing to step-up. But when you call Bargs your leader, you know you’re in trouble.

  • iLL wiLL

    I’m worried here.

  • Buschfire

    Why are people worried and bashing T dot saying they suck?

    isn’t it obvious? people shouldn’t be worried it should be expected. and saying they suck is just stupid. fine they’ll be a 20 win team but they’re developing, simple as that. I look forward to Sonny Demar Linas Barbosa and Ed Davis this season, I look forward to a good draft and I could see this team sneak into the playoffs in 2 years.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Cantrell
    I agree.

  • thalilbigkahuna

    Didn’t he get drafted #1? He should have BEEN a leader.

  • Aaron

    This title is the epitome of Raptors basketball.

  • http://jayemmbee.blogspot.com Clutch Performer

    we are doomed

  • Vince5

    Good thing to hear, the Raps really needs bigger help from him. Anyway, we’ll see what will heppen when the season comes around.

  • Yes.We.Did.

    He’s got a shot to live up to the potential of being the leader , but its put up or shut up time. He could be a late bloomer a la Chauncey Billups and (possibly) make Toronto relevant again.

  • CONEY ISLANDER

    LMMFAO @ Andrea Bargnani: Raptors’ New Leader

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