(% = percent of total possible minutes 48 x games in a season. Done to normalize for the shortened season)

Minutes : (1) = most played (6) = least minutes
Defense : (1) = Worst year (6) = best year

Andrea Bargnani

Year -------Total Min.---- %----- Team DRTG---- Net On/Off Pts Given Up
2006/7 ------1629 ---- 41 (5)-----106.0 (5)-------- +1.9 (5)
2007/8 ----- 1861 ---- 47 (4)-----107.0 (4)-------- +1.7 (6)
2008/9 ----- 2453 ---- 62 (2)-----110.0 (3)--------- +6.9 (2)
2009/10 ----2799 -----71 (1)-----113.2 (1)--------- +8.5 (1)
2010/11---- 2353 -----60 (3)-----112.7 (2)--------- +5.5 (3)
2011/12---- 1032 -----33 (6)-----104.5 (6) ---------+3.1 (4)

Quite a strong correlation between Toronto Raptors defense vs Andrea Bargnani playing.

The more minutes he gets in a season the worse the teams defense rating is, less minutes the better. The only exception is the 2008/9 vs 2010/11 season where Andrea played 100 less minutes and the teams defense was worse.

On top of that, the more minutes Andrea sees, the larger the differential in on/off pts given up. 2006/07 vs 2007/08 we see a marginal improvement with marginally more minutes, and 20011/12 the defensive on/off differential actually becomes worse in less minutes. What could this indicate? Strengthens what we see in DRTG. That the teams total defense becomes worse because Andrea sees more and more floor time.

Well not a total suprise for some I guess (although how highly correlated it is may be), but this should be standard for all 'bad defenders' right?

Jose Calderon

Year------Total Min.---%------Team DRTG---Net On/Off Pts Given Up
2006/7-----1614---- 41 (6)-----106.0 (5)--------+2.8 (5)
2007/8-----2485---- 63 (1)-----107.0 (4)--------+4.6 (2)
2008/9-----2333-----59 (2)-----110.0 (3)--------+3.9 (3)
2009/10----1817-----46 (5)-----113.2 (1)--------+3.2 (4)
2010/11----2102-----53 (4)-----112.7 (2)-------- -1.0 (6)
2011/12----1799-----57 (3)-----104.5 (6)-------- +6.9 (1)

Here is Jose Calderon. Notice something? The relationship between Jose's minutes and the teams defense isn't nearly as strong. Now we can definetely look at that and say there is a general trend of more minutes means worse team defense, but it is alot less predictable. The teams worst defensive year was one of Jose's lowest minute minutes played (2nd lowest) the teams best defensive year was also one of Jose's more played years (3rd highest as a % of minutes), Jose's highest minute total was the team's 3rd best defensive year.

Net On/Off pts again is similar. Generally more minutes means a bigger differential, but then we actually throw in a postive year (conviently enough when he moved to the bench for half the year) which was the teams 2nd best defensive year, and his worst year on/off was still the teams best defenisve year, his 2nd worst was the teams 3rd best defensive year.

Quick Conclusion

Andrea Bargnani's inability or unwillingness to defend is having a huge impact on this team's defense. Last years amazingly improved defense could be directly related to Andrea Bargnani missing time, just like this teams progressively worse defense over the years was a result of him playing more minutes. One of most likely ways for this team to make defensive progress would be simply removing (or reducing) Andrea Bargnani from the equation. Even less minutes for Jose, a notoriously bad defender, is not as likely to have the overall impact Andrea does.

Now I do want to say, and I haven't look at it yet, that the teams offense is likely to be the opposite. That with more minutes the teams offense will get better. I'm also willing to bet though the correlation won't be nearly as strong as the impact on defense.

Regardless, the question is, what does this team want to do? Start to hang their hat on D? Make it the strength of the organization? Or is it going to remain offense focused?

Giving Andrea Bargnani minutes will make all the difference in that decision.