Skip to content

Andrea Bargnani playing a lot of small forward? Bad. Idea. Jeans.

Oct 3, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Andrea Bargnani AP

Carmelo Anthony thrived last season on offense for the Knicks playing the four, the power forward spot — he could take bigger guys outside and beat them off the dribble, if teams went small against him he could post up.

But that creates some roster challenges for Mike Woodson this season because Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire. Kenyon Martin and C.J. Leslie play the four. Martin will mostly play backup center behind Tyson Chandler, but there are not enough standard lineup power forward minutes to go around.

Chris Herring proposed an answer at the Wall Street Journal — Bargnani at the three.

Here’s where the Knicks’ newest big man, Andrea Bargnani, comes in: Sliding the 7-footer over to small forward on defense could alleviate the problem and get Anthony more of the minutes he needs….

Beyond unclogging the team’s logjam at power forward, sliding Bargnani to the wing would better utilize his best defensive skill: defending jump shots, which he’s done at an elite level over the past two seasons, according to advanced metrics.

To quote one of the best Saturday Night Live fake commercials ever: Bad. Idea. Jeans.

There are a couple issues here. First, most small forwards don’t just shoot jump shots in the NBA — they can put the rock on the floor and drive the lane. You’re going to have Bargnani guard the likes of Paul Pierce, Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala, Chandler Parsons, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Rudy Gay?

The Washington Post story has former Raptors coach Sam Mitchell putting it this way:

“[Playing small forward on defense] takes a commitment to running, and he’s not gonna do that,” Mitchell said, adding that he briefly, and unsuccessfully, played Bargnani there during a 2008 playoff series against Orlando.

The Post story uses some of the Sports VU data — the high-tech cameras going into every NBA arena this year — and they found when Bargnani contested a shot he did it well. The problem was he was only within five feet of his man when the shot went up 21.9 percent of the time.

The Knicks are going to score points — for all the concerts about bad shots that Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith take, the Knicks had the sixth best offense in the NBA last season. Where they need to improve is defense — they need more out of Iman Shumpert, they added Metta World Peace, and Tyson Chandler still patrols the paint.

More Bargnani doesn’t help their defensive issues, we’ll see if he’s found his shot and can help on the other side of the court.

Latest Posts
  1. Lone voter who omitted James Harden from MVP ballot entirely says it was an error

    May 4, 2015, 11:58 AM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwrkmjhhntuyotzjn2ewmjvjogmzn2jmmwu4nje4mdiz AP

    Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com casts unintended vote for Russell Westbrook, places Anthony Davis higher than planned

  2. Tim Duncan drags seemingly drunk teammate to Spurs bus night of Game 7 loss (video)

    May 4, 2015, 9:53 AM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Seven

    San Antonio players went out in Los Angeles after losing to Clippers

  3. PBT Second Round Playoff Preview: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Houston Rockets

    May 4, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT

    James Harden, Chris Paul AP

    It all starts with the answer to this question: How healthy is Chris Paul?

  4. Chris Paul’s MRI negative, is game time decision for Game 1

    May 4, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

    The drop off from Chris Paul to Austin Rivers should scare Clippers fans.

  5. Watch John Wall attack as Wizards take Game 1 in Atlanta (VIDEO)

    May 4, 2015, 12:10 AM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game One Getty Images

    Wall looked like one of the best point guards and leaders in the game Monday.

  6. Ginobili, Duncan, Popovich dance around questions about Spurs’ future

    May 3, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz vs San Antonio Spurs Getty Images

    Nobody wanted to talk about the future in the wake of an emotional loss.

  7. Watch Stephen Curry play like MVP, spark Warriors to Game 1 win (VIDEO)

    May 3, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry, Jeff Green AP

    The Grizzlies have some work to do defensively to slow Curry.

  8. Reports: Stephen Curry to be named MVP Monday

    May 3, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry AP

    Harden comes in second in the voting.

  9. Warriors cruise to Game 1 win over Grizzlies

    May 3, 2015, 6:17 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry Stephen Curry

    Memphis, minus Mike Conley, looks completely overmatched (as expected)

  10. Hawks start hot, finish cold, Wizards take Game 1 on road 104-98.

    May 3, 2015, 4:09 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game One Getty Images

    It was a tale of two halves, and the Wizards took the key one.

  11. Doc Rivers on whether Chris Paul will play in Game 1 vs. Rockets: ‘If I had to guess, I would say no’

    May 3, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

    Paul battled through a hamstring injury during his incredible Game 7 performance.

  12. PBT Second-Round Playoff Preview: Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks

    May 3, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    Wizards could make things difficult on the top-seeded Hawks.

  13. Adjusting for playoff rotations round two: Watch out for the Wizards

    May 3, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Kent Bazemore, John Wall, Paul Pierce AP

    Cavaliers could be OK against the Bulls (even without Kevin Love), Warriors remain favorites and more lessons from the first round

Featured video

Thunder take risk with Donovan, but calculated one
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. M. Conley (5230)
  2. K. Love (4858)
  3. R. Rondo (4057)
  4. C. Parsons (3482)
  5. K. Durant (3467)
  1. J. Smith (3311)
  2. K. Bryant (3302)
  3. P. Beverley (3087)
  4. A. Varejao (2937)
  5. P. George (2876)