Brooklyn Nets: Andrea Bargnani the Magician


17 points. 7 rebounds. “Il Mago” himself?  Have the Brooklyn Nets found their unsung hero? After recently signing a $1.363 million deal, Andrea Bargnani joined the Brooklyn Nets in Mid-July. Bargnani, coming off a nauseating season with the Knicks, did not have high expectations from Nets fans coming into this season.

Infamously known for his failed 3 point attempts, Bargnani has been known for clowning around behind the ark, often costing his team(s) during precious, clutch minutes of games. He was on track to become the next JaVale McGee during his tenure with the Knicks, his failures publicized by appearances on Shaqtin’ a Fool.

The former No.1 pick saw his first minutes of action with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center. Against the Bulls, the team with perhaps the best front-court in the NBA, it was unlikely that the Nets were going to make much of a difference on either the offensive or the defensive end.

Oct 28, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Andrea Bargnani (9) at the net during the first quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

However, Bargnani, the improbable candidate for the Nets, proved otherwise. On opening night, he put up impressive numbers — over 17 points and 7 rebounds, totals that we would have never expected from him as a Net. Going against the Chicago Bulls, Bargnani seemingly had no chance of proving his worth in Brooklyn, but he quickly turned heads with his unfathomable performance on both the offensive and defensive end.

Was his poor performance with the Knicks inherently his fault, or was he lost in the paradoxical triangle offense of the first year coach, Derek Fisher? A skilled power forward, Andrea Bargnani was not performing at his highest level with the Knicks, as he is primarily a pick and roll oriented big man — similar to Brook Lopez. Bargnani was destined to fail with the Knicks, but that would only serve as the impetus for his comeback with the Nets.

Knowing that Bargnani has signed a veteran’s minimum, we can say that he isn’t looking for money. He’s looking for minutes. He’s looking for a chance to prove himself with the Nets. And most important of all, he’s looking for an NBA championship, which he believes he can bring to Brooklyn.

During Bargnani’s last 60+ game season, he averaged a career-high of 21.4 ppg. We need Il Mago to continue thriving on the offensive end and to dispel dangers on the defensive end — because the Nets need all they magic they can get. If he can remain healthy and continue his stellar performance with the Nets, Bargnani will be able to not only become a threat at the four but also serve as a facilitator for both Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. The Bulls were just the beginning of a tough road ahead for the Nets, and by looking at the positives of his game, Andrea Bargnani indefinitely will make that road easier.

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