|When Bargnani was healthy and on the floor for the Raptors, he had no troubling scoring points. The other aspects of the game? Not as good|
Andrea Bargnani had extremely hefty expectations thrown onto him that were almost unfair for an international draftee after the Raptors made him the top overall pick in 2006. Picked ahead of future All-Stars like Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Rajon Rondo, Bargnani never really hit his stride in Toronto as he could never truly shake the "one-dimensional scorer" label that has followed him around for his whole NBA career justifiably.
After spending seven so-so seasons in Toronto with just two losing playoff series — and subpar playoff performances — on his resume, Il Mago ("The Magician" in Italian) was sent below the border to the New York Knicks in a big trade this summer, which saw Bargnani head to New York in exchange for a bunch of draft picks, Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and Quentin Richardson. The deal, which seemed to be a headshaker for the Knicks, represented a much-needed change in scenery for Bargnani who clearly stayed past his welcome in Toronto.
Now, with the Knicks, Bargnani is not the focus of the offense anymore — that is Carmelo Anthony's job — which should allow him to play with more freedom and less burdening responsibility that defined his Raptors career.
From the New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence: "Of course, New York is a different situation than Toronto," said Bargnani. "Sure it's a different set, and of course this is Melo's team and the pressure is on him, of course. But it's also on the team because there is a lot of expectation on the team."
Bargnani appears to be saying all the right things off the bat in his Knicks' career, and in a crazy media market like New York, that is always a good step for a newcomer. However, he will have to get used to his new digs pretty soon, because when that regular season begins, he has to be on his game or else those covering the team will be harsh on him.
A much different feel than north of the border in Canada.