In the wake of the Toronto-Miami game that took place on February 16th (the Raptors lost 103-95), I immediately - and predictably - received comments about what a great game Andrea Bargnani had. After all, Bargnani scored 38 points on 15-26 shooting!
Well, yes, Bargnani ended up with an efficient shooting night. But when I look at his shooting and scoring by quarter, I don't feel so good about how his night went:
- 1st: 4-9 FGA, 1-2 FTA for 10 points
- 2nd: 2-5 FGA for 4 points
- 3rd: 3-4 FGA for 7 points
- 4th: 6-8 FGA, 2-2 FTA for 17 points
- overall: 15-26 FGA, 3-4 FTA for 38 points
I found it pretty funny when Jack Armstrong, one of the Raptors commentators, said something to this effect during the break between the third and fourth quarters: "[Bargnani] has been outstanding tonight from an offensive perspective". At the end of the third quarter Bargnani was 9-18 for 21 points, and it was shaping up to be vintage Bargnani (as Arturo joked, maybe Armstrong meant "he has been outstandingly offensive tonight" instead).
But all that changed in the fourth quarter; Bargnani went crazy and actually shot really well, particularly from three. His incredibly efficient fourth made everyone forget about the earlier parts of the game when he wasn't shooting so well, and ended up making his final shooting numbers look impressive.
So what is my response to his performance during this game? Yes, for the game as a whole, Bargnani had a good shooting night and he helped his team with his shooting. But I can also go a little further and say that it was almost entirely his fourth quarter shooting performance that made him so efficient that night.
And remember, this is only shooting and scoring we're talking about here. How did he do with regards to the other aspects of the game?
- 4 Rebounds: 1 DReb in the 3rd, 3 DRebs in the 4th
- 0 Assists
- 0 Steals
- 0 Blocks
- 3 TOs: 1 TO in each of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th quarters
- 4PFs: 1 PF in the 1st, 3 PFs in the 4th
So Bargnani - the Raptors' 7 foot starting centre - picked up his first rebound with 4:26 left in the third quarter. By that time, he had already played 27:42. Over the next 11:41 he managed to quadruple his rebounding output and finished with an amazing four rebounds. He also filled up the rest of the box score with 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, and added 3 turnovers and 4 fouls.
Let's not even talk about defense.
And that's Bargnani's biggest problem: even if he shoots efficiently one night, there will be (many) nights when his shot doesn't fall. And when that happens, he has to find other ways of being productive. He hasn't managed to figure out how to do so at this point in his career, and given his age and the amount of playing time he's had in his career, it's very unlikely he'll figure it out in the future.