Center is Bargnani’s best position in the NBA

Since Andrea Bargnani [7-0, 250] was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the No. 1 [overall] Pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, he has been an enigma. 

While some might want [or choose] to believe that he has the personal attributes [i.e. physical, mental and emotional] and the specific skill-set required to play effectively at more than one position in the NBA [e.g. Center, Power Forward and Small Forward], the fact is … this perception of him is far from accurate.

If you take the time to complete a Basketball Player Evaluation Chart like the one you see below:

BASKETBALL PLAYER

PHASE SPECIFIC SKILL-SET EVALUATION, BY POSITION

No.

OFFENSIVE

 

DEFENSIVE

 

REBOUNDING

 

01

Fills transition lane quickly

 

Gets back in transition

 

Boxes out check

 

02

Transition drives, R

 

Denies check ball

 

Goes to get ball

 

03

Transition drives, L

 

Defends vs cutter

 

Reads ball coming off rim

 

04

Half-court drives, R

 

Defends vs ball w/out a pick

 

Energy & will to retrieve misses

 

05

Half-court drives, L

 

Hedges vs Pick

 

Consistent awareness and effort

 

06

Perimeter catch & shoots

 

Switches vs Pick

 

SUB-TOTAL

 

07

Perimeter shot fake & drives, R

 

Traps vs Pick

 

 

 

08

Perimeter shot fake & drives L

 

Vs post-ups

 

 

 

09

Mid-range catch & shoots

 

Rotates to help

 

 

 

10

Mid-range shot fake & drives, R

 

Rotates to help-the-helper

 

 

 

11

Mid-range shot fake & drives, L

 

Rotates to block a shot

 

 

 

12

Pull-up jump-shot, right

 

Rotates to draw a charge

 

 

 

13

Pull-up jump-shot, left

 

Blocks shots from off ball

 

 

 

14

Consistent finish at the rim

 

Blocks shot, on ball

 

 

 

15

Draws fouls

 

Vs ball in switch mismatches

 

 

 

16

Free throw scorer

 

Deflections

 

 

 

17

Post-up scorer

 

Steals

 

 

 

18

Perimeter passer

 

Recovers loose balls

 

 

 

19

Interior passer

 

Checks 1.5 positions off ball

 

 

 

20

Lay-off passer

 

Physically tough

 

 

 

21

Drive and kick passer

 

Mentally tough

 

 

 

22

Passer out of post

 

Emotionally tough

 

 

 

23

Creates shot for teammate

 

SUB-TOTAL

 

 

 

24

Drives off pick, right

 

 

 

 

 

25

Drives off pick, left

 

 

 

 

 

26

Screener

 

 

 

 

 

27

Picker

 

 

 

 

 

28

Cutter

 

 

 

 

 

29

Uses screen[s] to get open

 

 

 

 

 

30

Gets open without screen[s]

 

 

 

 

 

SUB-TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

OFFENSIVE SUB-TOTAL

 

Out of 150

 

X .33

 

DEFENSIVE SUB-TOTAL

 

Out of 110

 

X .33

 

REBOUNDING SUB-TOTAL

 

Out of 25

 

X .33

 

TOTAL

 

—————-

for Andrea Bargnani, pertaining to each of the Center, Power Forward and Small Forward positions [i.e. by giving him a rating from 0 to 5, with 0 being "very poor" and 5 being "very good"], what you will find is that:

1. His Offensive Rating decreases slightly as he shifts down from C to PF to SF;

2. His Defensive Rating decreases substantially as he shifts down from C to PF to SF;

3. His Rebounding Rating decreases slightly as he shifts down from C to PF to SF;

4. His Overall Rating decreases significantly as he shifts down from C to PF to SF, due primarily to the increased difficulties he has Defending and Rebounding within these latter two roles.

When the following description of Bargnani’s specific strengths and weaknesses was provided to SI.com, in October, by their infamous “NBA Secret Scout”:

Andrea Bargnani has to become more “NBA-ized.” By that I mean he still has a lot of that European stuff to his game. He doesn’t get back fast enough defensively, he doesn’t get physical enough and he settles too much for the jump shot as a 7-footer. He should be more of an asset inside, especially as a rebounder, though I did see signs of him trying to do that last year. He hasn’t shown that he’s a real tough, hard-nosed guy. He’s very skilled and he knows how to play, but he needs to be more in tune with what it takes to be successful in the NBA.

Right now, Bargnani can’t defend any position other than the 5, so he has to get stronger and do his work early defensively rather than wait for his man to take position in the post and then try to guard him, because by then it’s too late. He doesn’t move his feet well defensively, and that needs to be addressed in order for him to take it to the next level and be a starting center for a playoff team. As a 4 man, he can’t guard the position at all. I guess he needs to model his game after Mehmet Okur, a perimeter-shooting center who can handle himself physically inside. I trust Bargnani as a shooter. If it’s not a highly contested shot, I feel like it’s going to go in. He has a great release, form and arc with great range and pretty good quickness to get the shot off.

———————————–

what he did is correctly identify the ONLY position at which Andrea Bargnani can play effectively, at this time, in the NBA … i.e. Center … due to his overall INABILITY TO DEFEND adequately at the Power Forward position, never mind going further down and out to the perimeter as a Small Forward.

Those who would like to see the Raptors use Bargnani at a different position, other than Center, simply do not understand the role that adequate Defense plays in the NBA, the specific skill-sets required within this particular phase of the game, by position, and the general order in which these skills are prioritized for the high end teams. 

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.