Andrea Bargnani “starving to win” with Knicks
The Knicks recently made some type of a splash by landing stretch-forward, Andrea Bargnani, from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson (via a sign-and-trade), a first-round pick in 2016 and second-round selections in 2014 and 2017. A trade that has caught much heat from all corners of the NBA’s fan sector.
But, unlike most of them, some of us actually see the silver lining. Bargnani does one thing extremely well, and that is shoot the basketball, and he works exceptionally better in a spread offense, which is what the Knicks run almost exclusively. If healthy, which he claims he is, Andrea Bargnani should be a vital cog in the Knicks offensive approach.
“I’m 100 percent healthy,” Bargnani said. “I’m going to play with the national team this summer and get back in shape so when I get back here, I’m going to be ready to go . . . It’s all about winning here. I want to do as much as possible, and what the coach asks me, to just to win games, because I’m really starving to win.”
Sounds like a player who is all-in with an organization that is, frankly, far ahead of the one he had been stuck with for the past seven seasons. Over the course of his stay in Toronto, as a Raptor, Bargnani put up averages of 15.2 ppg, and 4.8 rpg, while shooting .361 from deep. He’s also battled injuries, only appearing in 66 games over the past two seasons, combined.
This is a league that is all about “what have you done for me lately”. Fans completely give up on players who haven’t produced in the here and now, even if said player has battled through injuries. Bargnani averaged over 21 ppg just three seasons ago, and playing with a star like Carmelo Anthony is going to free him up to knock down the open shot. Something Andrea does at a pretty high percentage, as I just eluded to above.
The Knicks will need to bring in some defensive staples if they hope to advance past the 2nd round of the 2014 NBA playoffs, but their offensive ceiling should really go without question at this point.