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The Raptors 2nd Unit & The Case For Bargnani As A 6th Man

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  • The Raptors 2nd Unit & The Case For Bargnani As A 6th Man

    In the past I have defended Andrea Bargnani and hoped that he would reach the lofty expectations that we set for him when we drafted him 1st overall. However over the years, the disappointment and frustration starts to set in when we consider Andrea and his inconsistency. Even I would be satisfied with trading Bargnani if it makes the team better. The recent run that the raptors had while Andrea was injured makes a case for the "addition by subtraction" argument, where people believe that just getting rid of him will improve our team. But I am not among those that believe he is a useless player, I think that we finally have a coach that is willing to hold him accountable, and BC has finally realized that we cannot ask Andrea to do too much. Trading him would be an option worth considering if we can do it by significantly improving our team. I would like to present the argument that Andrea can be a tremendously effective player as a 6th man in this league.

    I will start by comparing his number's to players that are considered elite 6th men in todays NBA. I know the numbers argument does not meet the "eye test", however numbers do not lie, and when making an objective comparison it is good to base things on fact rather than opinion. We are not shy about expressing our opinions, and we express them often enough on these forums.

    We will compare Bargnani's career numbers with Jason Terry, J. R Smith, and Jamal Crawford. I think we can all agree that these players have made a living being 6th men, and have been invaluable to their respective teams over the years. None of these players is known for their defense, which plays well into Andrea's style of play because it is no secret that defense is not one of his forte's, however the role of the 6th man is to fill the basket which is something that these players do exceptionally well. No one can deny that Andrea Bargnani can score the basketball. For this reason I will focus on offensive statistics.

    Player Pts Field Goal% 3pt% Min.

    Jason Terry 15.9 44.7 37.9 33.4
    J.R Smith 12.8 42.5 36.8 24.8
    Jamal Crawford 15.3 40.9 34.8 31.7
    A. Bargnani 15.5 43.8 36.2 30.6

    As you can see, the only player who is an elite 6th man who is more efficient than Andrea Bargnani overall is Jason Terry. Andrea, however, has averaged about the same amount of points as Terry in almost 3 less minutes per game. Once again we are comparing him to the BEST 6th men in the league right now. This leads me to believe that he can flourish in this role.

    It is not true that the raptors have never played well with Bargnani in the lineup there have been stretches in the past where we played exceptionally well. The mistake in my opinion is asking Bargnani to do too much, trying to make him a leader or franchise player on this team is not realistic. As a role player though Bargnani can be very valuable, he is incredibly skilled for his size, and is a unique offensive player in this league. He causes mismatches, he stretches the floor, and can give other teams fits.

    Now many will say that this is not a fair comparison because bargnani is putting up career low's in offensive numbers this year, perhaps he has forgotten how to score the basketball? Let's take a look at his numbers this year:

    16pts a game shooting 39.8% FG and and 31.9% 3PT%.

    These numbers in terms of efficiency look very similiar to a player that members of this forum would love to trade for by the name of Rudy Gay who averages:

    17.9pts a game shooting 41.3% and 30.8% from 3PT.

    The good thing about Bargnani is that we don't have to trade anyone to get these numbers, he is already on our team! We just need him to get healthy.

    For those that believe that our current run while he was injured is the only proof that we need to declare that our team will be better without Andrea Bargnani, I would like to remind everyone that a few years ago the raptors came together as a team and played great basketball for a long stretch while Chris Bosh was injured, this did not mean that our team was better without Bosh as we later found out after we traded him.

    To be clear, I am not against trading Bargnani, if we can get something valuable that legitimately helps the team, then I am all for it. However, trading him for the sake of trading him does not make sense, until we can at least see how he would respond to a role as 6th man.

    That being said, I am very excited about the raptors 2nd unit once we get healthy:

    PG: K. Lowry (or Calderon)
    SG: Terrence Ross
    SF: Alan Anderson
    PF: Andrea Bargnani
    C: Amir Johnson

    I think this 2nd unit will outplay 90% of the 2nd units in the league. Lowry/Calderon is an elite 2nd unit PG. Bargnani can cause problems, Ross is oozing with potential, Johnson is a great 2 way player who is consistent, and Alan Anderson continues to impress. I for one cannot wait until Bargnani and JV get healthy so we can see how this plays out. If the team doesn't respond well to Bargnani at the 6th man, then trade him before the deadline, but not until a great deal presents itself, we have waited this long, lets see how this plays itself out.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited by SuperRaptor; Sat Jan 12th, 2013, 10:40 AM.
    "Defense wins championships."

  • #2
    Must admit that I would like to see this tried. Not enough that I would want the Raps to turn down any trade offer that could move AB for a reasonable return, but it would be an intriguing experiment. I don't know how well AB would accept the change. Maybe very well.

    Comment


    • #3
      Puffer wrote: View Post
      Must admit that I would like to see this tried. Not enough that I would want the Raps to turn down any trade offer that could move AB for a reasonable return, but it would be an intriguing experiment. I don't know how well AB would accept the change. Maybe very well.
      I think that at this stage in his career, watching what has happened to the team while he was injured has been a humbling experience for him. Bargnani has not been known to have a huge "ego" and if someone who is considered to have an "ego" like Kyle Lowry is willing to accept a role off of the bench, I do not think Bargnani will object. It remains to be seen how effective the team will be though.
      "Defense wins championships."

      Comment


      • #4
        Bargnani off the bench is really the only choice for when he comes back. Lowry's been coming off the bench, so it's not like it'a a big deal.

        I get the feeling that Andrea would be relieved to lose the expectation of being a 1st pick, and just find his niche in the NBA.

        My only concern about AB being 6th man, he seems to need a few touches to get his rhythm (if he gets it); he tends to come in cold. The 6th man usually has to be an injection off the bench.

        Comment


        • #5
          what u forgot to mention is bargs grabs as many rebounds as Jason terry & his low post defence is no better than Jamal Crawford LOL

          Comment


          • #6
            I also think that if a good deal for Andrea comes along you take. I think that he's been treated unfairly by the organisation, and it's probably best for everyone for a fresh start.

            That said, I'm not sure what market value Andrea has right now, and whether a deal is likely to happen. The reality may be that he is a part of this team until at least the end of the season.

            I think that it is possible that Andrea will be more effective coming off the bench, and hopefully that is how he'll be used. That said I don't know how strong the argument in the first post is. For me to be convinced that there is a strong likely-hood that Bargs will be a great to elite bench player I'd like to see some advanced stats as well. There is also the question of value, and it would be interesting to compare what Bargnani makes versus the 6th man on all other playoff bound teams. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do the analysis, but if someone else did I'd be curious about the results.
            "They're going to have to rename the whole conference after us: Toronto Raptors 2014-2015 Northern Conference Champions" ~ ezzbee Dec. 2014

            "I guess I got a little carried away there" ~ ezzbee Apr. 2015

            "We only have one rule on this team. What is that rule? E.L.E. That's right's, E.L.E, and what does E.L.E. stand for? EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. Right there up on the wall, because this isn't just a basketball team, this is a lifestyle. ~ Jackie Moon

            Comment


            • #7
              ezz_bee wrote: View Post
              I also think that if a good deal for Andrea comes along you take. I think that he's been treated unfairly by the organisation, and it's probably best for everyone for a fresh start.

              That said, I'm not sure what market value Andrea has right now, and whether a deal is likely to happen. The reality may be that he is a part of this team until at least the end of the season.

              I think that it is possible that Andrea will be more effective coming off the bench, and hopefully that is how he'll be used. That said I don't know how strong the argument in the first post is. For me to be convinced that there is a strong likely-hood that Bargs will be a great to elite bench player I'd like to see some advanced stats as well. There is also the question of value, and it would be interesting to compare what Bargnani makes versus the 6th man on all other playoff bound teams. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do the analysis, but if someone else did I'd be curious about the results.
              I would also like to see some advanced stats on the subject, but the best way to find out if it works is to just try it, which is what I think will happen.

              As for the question of value, value is a relative term, in comparison to the 6th men that are mentioned bargnani probably isn't as good of a value as those players are, since they make on average around 5 million a year and Andrea makes 10. However, if we compare his production vs. his salary relative to someone like Rudy Gay then he is not that bad of a value whether we consider his numbers for his career or for the year. The only reason why he is not a stud is because he plays for a team that loses, where as someone like Gay plays for a winning team.

              One can make the argument that we are a losing team because of Bargnani, that is oversimplifying the matter though, he deserves his fair share of the blame, but our problems will not disappear as a result of trading one player. I think its unfair to put the blame of winning or losing on one person. Bargnani is not a franchise player, but the reason why we lost 19 of our first 23 games is not just because he is on our team. A few months ago people believed that Jose Calderon was the worst defensive player in the world, and that the only reason why our defense stinks is because we have him on our team (I was one of those people). If you look at the way the team is playing now, he does not look like he is that bad defensively, in fact there is not that much of a let down defensively when he takes over from Lowry (who is considered one of the best defensive PGs in the league). This is, and will always be a TEAM sport, I think that with the team playing so well, Bargnani will also play well off the bench.
              "Defense wins championships."

              Comment


              • #8
                SuperRaptor wrote: View Post
                I would also like to see some advanced stats on the subject, but the best way to find out if it works is to just try it, which is what I think will happen.

                As for the question of value, value is a relative term, in comparison to the 6th men that are mentioned bargnani probably isn't as good of a value as those players are, since they make on average around 5 million a year and Andrea makes 10. However, if we compare his production vs. his salary relative to someone like Rudy Gay then he is not that bad of a value whether we consider his numbers for his career or for the year. The only reason why he is not a stud is because he plays for a team that loses, where as someone like Gay plays for a winning team.

                One can make the argument that we are a losing team because of Bargnani, that is oversimplifying the matter though, he deserves his fair share of the blame, but our problems will not disappear as a result of trading one player. I think its unfair to put the blame of winning or losing on one person. Bargnani is not a franchise player, but the reason why we lost 19 of our first 23 games is not just because he is on our team. A few months ago people believed that Jose Calderon was the worst defensive player in the world, and that the only reason why our defense stinks is because we have him on our team (I was one of those people). If you look at the way the team is playing now, he does not look like he is that bad defensively, in fact there is not that much of a let down defensively when he takes over from Lowry (who is considered one of the best defensive PGs in the league). This is, and will always be a TEAM sport, I think that with the team playing so well, Bargnani will also play well off the bench.
                I think the real issue is playing BARGS and a rookie Centre in JV in the starting line-up. That lineup has to be our worst defensive lineup.

                We see the difference when Jose starts with Amir and ED - Jose doesn't appear to be as bad because of the help defence Ed and Amir play.

                Bargnani should play a Kevin martin type of role. He is NOT a legit starter or closer because of the defence and rebounding for a PF.

                I would be tempted to play some zone and play Andrea at SF for very small stretches with Jose, Demar, Ed and Amir (with the front court length it would be awesome to see how it works out)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I also think that if a good deal for Andrea comes along you take. I think that he's been treated unfairly by the organisation, and it's probably best for everyone for a fresh start.
                  He's been treated unfairly? He has led the most privileged career of any Toronto Raptor that has ever worn the uniform. Always given the benifit of the doubt, payed before he produced, placed into an unearned starting/high usage/franchise player role, coachs removed to suit him, allowed to underperform without consequence or accountability, and player after player sought after to fit with him

                  Maybe bargnani finds a better role off the bench, maybe he doesn't and becomes even less effective. But there are a few reasons this team must trade him.

                  First his style of play no longer fits what this team is doing. Thats just simple. I don't care where Bargnani plays or what his role is, his defense is and rebounding will constantly handcuff this team.

                  Secondly, no matter what he is doing, he is getting paid 10+ mil a year. To cut down his usage or minutes simply makes that payment more difficult to deal with.

                  Finaly he'll eat into minutes that are needed, deserved and earned for Val, Ed and Amir.

                  Bargnani becoming the hero 6th man like Jason Terry or Jamal Crawford is nothing but another hope based theory based on his 'potential'. This team needs to get past this idea that he is something other than he is, a situational role player. Now if there are no other options (ie. no trades) other than to use Bargnani off the bench then I understand. But even then he should just be sitting on the end of the bench, maybe playing between 0-10 minutes a game (only as necessary ala Gray) until they amnesty him in July.

                  Anything other than removing him from this team is nothing more than lesser repetition of the past and a continual waste of resources.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Craiger wrote: View Post
                    Bargnani becoming the hero 6th man like Jason Terry or Jamal Crawford is nothing but another hope based theory based on his 'potential'. This team needs to get past this idea that he is something other than he is, a situational role player. Now if there are no other options (ie. no trades) other than to use Bargnani off the bench then I understand. But even then he should just be sitting on the end of the bench, maybe playing between 0-10 minutes a game (only as necessary ala Gray) until they amnesty him in July.

                    Anything other than removing him from this team is nothing more than lesser repetition of the past and a continual waste of resources.
                    If your assessment of his value is correct, then we should not hold any hope for trading him, because no one is going to take a guy and pay him 10 million a year if he is as useful as Aaron Gray and playing 0-10 min. a game. So if you really think that is what his worth is, get used to the idea of keeping him until his contract expires, or amnestying him.

                    Being a 6th man, is being a role player, and the idea of him being successful in that capacity, is not based on "potential" but his body of work in terms of his scoring efficiency.

                    I do agree that he cuts into somebodies minutes, however there are 96 minutes available per game at the C and PF position, if we have 4 bigs (Davis, Johnson, JV, and Bargnani) that means each big is getting approximately 24 minutes a game, which is enough to develop players and give everyone minutes (lowry and calderon seem to be fine with a split like this). In the last victory against the bobcats almost 26 minutes were given to Acy and Gray, I think an argument can be made that Bargnani could be more effective for us than Acy or Gray given those minutes.
                    "Defense wins championships."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm sick of hearing about the stretches that Andrea had in the past. Forget about his numbers, they mean nothing at all, if you suck the life out of your team. The bottom line is that, although he can make some tough shots, and look like a great player on a good day, every minute he is out there, he takes away from the team, and the energy level is non existent.

                      Before he went down I would cringe watching him play, and when Eddie D came in for him, it felt like a weight lifted of the shoulders.

                      Quincy Acy fits this team far better than Andrea, look at what he did last night. He played with heart, blocked shots, made shots, and rebounded in limited minutes. Just the energy that he brought was tremendous, and he needs more minutes trust me, he will be an excellent player on this team by the end of the year.

                      When he does come off the bench, it would be very interesting to see what happens. Even if he plays well, then its time to prove he's healthy and make a move.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm done with Andrea Bargnani. DONE.
                        For still frame photograph of me reading the DeRozan thread please refer to my avatar

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          great job comparing the worst interior defender of all time to 6th man wing players. careful your italian is showing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            akashsingh wrote: View Post
                            great job comparing the worst interior defender of all time to 6th man wing players. careful your italian is showing.
                            You say that as if being a bad interior defender is worse than being a bad wing defender. There is a reason why most "defensive stoppers" are wing's because most top scorers in the league are from the wing position. Look at the NBA scoring leaders from 1. Kobe to 5. Lebron they are ALL wing players.

                            None of the 6th men being mentioned are good defenders. That is not their "role".
                            Last edited by SuperRaptor; Sat Jan 12th, 2013, 01:13 PM.
                            "Defense wins championships."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ezz_bee wrote: View Post
                              I also think that if a good deal for Andrea comes along you take. I think that he's been treated unfairly by the organisation, and it's probably best for everyone for a fresh start.

                              That said, I'm not sure what market value Andrea has right now, and whether a deal is likely to happen. The reality may be that he is a part of this team until at least the end of the season.

                              I think that it is possible that Andrea will be more effective coming off the bench, and hopefully that is how he'll be used. That said I don't know how strong the argument in the first post is. For me to be convinced that there is a strong likely-hood that Bargs will be a great to elite bench player I'd like to see some advanced stats as well. There is also the question of value, and it would be interesting to compare what Bargnani makes versus the 6th man on all other playoff bound teams. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do the analysis, but if someone else did I'd be curious about the results.
                              I generally agree with everything you said, except the unfair treatment part. Toronto with BC managing has gone out of its way to try and accommodate Andrea to make him succeed and hopefully win with him. Nothing about that is unfair for Andrea. Maybe expectations were not realistic, or at least, were not re-adjusted in a realistic way after his first 2-3 seasons, but that is still not unfair.

                              It is not unfair to treat a player like a franchise player. To give him the keys to the offense, and to fire 2 coaches before you try trading him away.
                              It is not unfair to see a guy with his physical talents and bball skills, and expect him to be a great PF. Andrea has the talent and body to be a top 5 PF in this league, hands down. It is not unfair to expect someone to fulfill their talent.

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