Andrea Bargnani was always labeled a “bust” in his seven troubled years as a Raptor. Bargnani had his best season as a Raptor in 2010-11 when he peaked, averaging 21.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, and 1.8 apg over the course of 66 regular season games.
Prior to that Bargnani’s numbers had been nothing special as he had averaged 13.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, and 1.0 apg in the four seasons prior to 2010-2011. After his best season in the NBA, Bargnani did not build on it, rather he regressed putting up a lowly 12.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 1.1 apg prior to being traded to the Knicks that offseason.
In this young season, it seems as though consistency has been one thing that has not evaded Bargnani during his short stint in New York as he has picked up his game on both ends of the floor averaging 14.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, and a career high, 1.5 bpg. Bargnani, 28, has seemed to be motivated under the bright lights of New York, having seemed demotivated when playing up north for the Toronto Raptors.
Bargnani has elevated his game shooting 45% from the field, and 33% from behind the arc. The former being his second best over the course of his career. He has proven that he his capable of being an efficient posting the second best PER of his career as it currently stands at 17.65. Bargnani has elevated his game, and though his statistics may not be the highlight when reading the box score, they are a solid representation of the team he is on.
When you have players such as Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Raymond Felton who tend to take over an offense due to the fact that they’re used to the Knicks offensive sets, and also due to the fact that he is not the main offensive option because of his previous years in Toronto.
Being the first option in Toronto from the get go, contributed heavily to the slow start to his career, but when he was surrounded by seven players who could score in double figures (DeMar DeRozan, Leandro Barbosa, Linas Kleiza, Jarrett Jack, Peja Stojakovac, Jerryd Bayless, and Jose Calderon) he flourished in the first year as he could truly demonstrate his ability without the pressure to succeed as the primary option, but due to the mediocracy that surrounded Toronto in the coming years, and the injuries suffered by Bargnani, his career was partially derailed prior to the move to New York.
Down to the fact that this team is Carmelo Anthony’s when it comes to offense, it seems as though Bargnani is finding his niche again, and with Chandler being relied on so heavily, it is vital that Bargnani does develop into the dual threat player who has had a coming out party in the first months of being a New York Knick.