BASKETBALL — 20 December 2012

It is clear that everyone else on the Toronto Raptors took offense to Andrea Bargnani’s comments about the team to Italian Reporters. Plain and simple Andrea Bargnani didn’t speak very highly of the team and it didn’t appear like he took any of the blame for the teams struggles. Sitting out now due to injury, Bargnani can only watch from the sidelines as the Toronto Raptors are on a 4 game winning streak. The Toronto Raptors are playing as a team and it’s no thanks to him. It appears almost as if the other players took Bargnani’s comments like he didn’t feel the players on the team are good enough to win.

With contributions all around and some outstanding play from rookie Jonas Valanciunas at Center, the Toronto Raptors are slowly pulling their way out of the basement of the Eastern Conference. Doubling their win total with this recent 4 game win steak, the Toronto Raptors sit at 8 – 19. This is a far cry from the 4 – 19 record just over a week ago. The reality is the team has a lot of talented pieces, we are starting to see that with Ed Davis starting to show us what Bryan Colangelo saw in him when drafting him 13th overall in 2010. Rookie Terrence Ross has also just started to find a rhythm in the lineup with some explosive dunks and his three point shooting. Then you have the outstanding effort from DeMar DeRozan on a night in and night out basis. This kid has been willing to put the work in since day one and he clearly has his focus on becoming a better basketball player and more importantly helping this team. With a much improved jump shot and 3 pointer this season DeMar DeRozan is the piece the team should be building around and not Andrea Bargnani.

Andrea Bargnani takes up too many shots and doesn’t put the same effort on the defensive end. He is a talented basketball player but his time in Toronto needs to be done with. He needs to move onto another team and learn to play defense. We have way too much talent on this team that will grow as a team by absorbing the minutes and shots that Andrea Bargnani consumes. Clearly they can win with him on the bench so why not get a draft pick or another piece that will help this team grow. If the Raptors continue to be successful we will ultimately be loosing this years draft pick  that was sent to Houston (Houston traded rights to Oklahoma City in James Harden Trade) in the trade that brought Toronto Kyle Lowry.

I will give credit to Jose Calderon who has been a consistent point guard for the Toronto Raptors in his tenure, but the Jose Calderon we are seeing as of late is the same Jose we once saw make 141 of his 144 free throw attempts in 2008-2009. Jose Calderon leads the NBA in Triple Doubles with 2 this season and he could have had his third last night if he wasn’t so busy getting 17 assists!! Jose Calderon is playing like the player Toronto Raptors fans have believed he could be EVERY NIGHT. Now it’s only been a few games but we just want to see a consistent effort every night from Calderon.

I don’t believe the Toronto Raptors are the same team when Andrea Bargnani is in the lineup and for that reason I think they should look at moving him when he comes back healthy.

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