Brooklyn Nets: Bargnani finally finding his rhythm


After the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Boston Celtics last night 111-101, a lot of questions were answered. However, one main thing became clear: Andrea Bargnani still has the scoring touch. After struggling for the entire season, Bargnani finally had his second breakout game (the other one was the season opener), scoring 12 points on 6-9 from the field. If Bargnani can continue this, the Net will win more games.

Over the years, Bargnani has made his living knocking down mid range and long range shots. He stands at 7 feet, but his jumper is quick, smooth, and accurate. As soon as he catches the ball, he can put it right up in a fluid motion. Because of this, he is an ideal high pick and pop target for whatever team he is on. He did this in Toronto with Kyle Lowry, and he did it in New York and Brooklyn with Shane Larkin.

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Nov 11, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Andrea Bargnani (9) shoots the ball during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. The Nets defeated the Rockets 106-98. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last night against the Celtics, the Nets went to the high pick and roll with Larkin and Bargnani for almost every single offensive possession while those two were in. Bargnani would set a pick at around the 3 point line, Larkin would use his speed to draw both defenders inside, and then he bounced the ball to Bargnani, who drained most of the shots. Bargnani is the kind of player that a team doesn’t really need to design creative plays for. They can just get him in pick and pop situations and let him take shot after shot. Because he is so tall and his release is so quick, his shots are nearly impossible to block.

The main issue with Bargnani this season, however, has been his lack of defensive presence. Throughout his career, he has struggled with defense and rebounding. It never seemed to matter too much, because his offensive was so potent. However, because Bargnani comes in the game now for the Nets’ best defensive player (Brook Lopez), he is forced to at least offer some sort of defense. Bargnani’s offensive prowess is undeniable, but he struggles mightily in post defense.

Also, throughout the season, Bargnani has struggled to get his rhythm going from mid range. He has gotten a lot of opportunities when he has played, but he has not been able to capitalize on them. He is a vital part to the Nets second unit, so when he struggles to make shots, they struggle as well.

Overall, it is good to see Bargnani finally find his rhythm. After having a breakout game in the opener, he had fallen off the radar and had seemed to become irrelevant. If he can have more performances like he did against the Celtics, the Nets’ bench will no longer be a liability.