Friday , Jan , 02 , 2009 Oly Sandor

3 Ways Toronto Raptors Get More From Andrea Bargnani

Colangelo’s choice in 2006 could have fatal consequences. In July of 2010, Bosh becomes an unrestricted free agent and, if Toronto’s supporting cast is still sub par, he’ll sign elsewhere. Getting more from Bargnani will improve the club’s 12-20 record and improve their chances of extending ‘CB4′ …

3 Ways Toronto Raptors Get More From Andrea Bargnani

Like rubbing salt in a wound larger than Lake Ontario.

That’s how Brandon Roy’s fourth quarter scoring spree and 32 points in last week’s 102-89 Blazers’ win over the Raptors must have felt for Bryan Colangelo.

At the 2006 NBA draft, Toronto’s GM passed on Roy and selected Andrea Bargnani first overall. Portland’s soon-to-be-All-Star is the type of co-star the team needs to complement franchise face Chris Bosh. Instead, they have a disappointment in Bargnani.  

Colangelo’s choice in 2006 could have fatal consequences. In July of 2010, Bosh becomes an unrestricted free agent and, if Toronto’s supporting cast is still sub par, he’ll sign elsewhere. Getting more from Bargnani will not only improve the club’s 12-20 record, but also improve their chances of keeping ‘CB4’ long-term.

So how can the Raptors develop their underachieving Italian?

  • 1) He has to lighten up. Being the first overall pick has become an Oliver Miller sized weight on Bargnani’s slender shoulders. He over-thinks the game and plays passively. A confident, loose player simply reacts. The third year pro must stay aggressive at all times and, most importantly, have fun.
  • 2) Fans must lower expectations. Bargnani isn’t the second coming of perennial All-Star and former MVP Dirk Nowtizki. Never will be, either. Their skill-sets are similar, but Nowitzki has more talent and a defined position at the four-spot, while Bargnani is a ‘tweener’.
  • 3) Put him in a role where he can succeed. For now, he’s not a second option to Bosh or even a starter, so the Raptors should make Bargnani their sixth-man or second-unit game-changer. Think Detlef Schrempf with Seattle and Indiana. He would get more minutes, shots, and, best of all, build confidence.

There is hope. On Wednesday, Bargnani scored 26 in a loss to Denver. Toronto’s season and future depends on these performances becoming the norm, not the rare exception.

How can Toronto get more Bargnani? Get at us with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of cuberoshumann.