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Bargnani on decision to shoot with Knicks up two and 11 seconds left: ‘It was aggressive’

Dec 19, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT

Andrea Bargnani AP

Andrea Bargnani made a play near the end of the first overtime session on Wednesday in Milwaukee that was as boneheaded as they come, and could’ve easily cost his desperate Knicks team a much-needed win.

After a missed shot by Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler tipped out the offensive rebound, which landed in Bargnani’s hands. The Knicks didn’t need to do anything at that point except wait to be intentionally fouled by the Bucks, and then head to the free throw line to try seal the victory.

Without hesitation, however, Bargnani immediately launched a three which rimmed out and was rebounded by the Bucks, who ended up tying the game on the ensuing possession to force a second overtime.

Afterward, the Knicks had various reactions to Bargnani’s incomprehensible shot.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“It was aggressive and it definitely was a mistake,’’ Bargnani said. “It’s a good thing we won the game and stayed together.’’ …

Carmelo Anthony was so stunned by Bargnani’s shot, he said, “I thought I shot an airball. That’s why I thought he shot it quick. The game should’ve been over with. We got to get better at that.’’ …

“I told him don’t worry about it,’’ Tyson Chandler said. “That’s what you got teammates for. We’ll cover for you. Will get this win and all will be forgotten. It will be a good learning experience.’’

The Knicks ended up winning, but that’s not really the point. For the second straight contest, the team made a curious decision in the waning moments that was questioned by every sane basketball fan who was watching.

  1. timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    More evidence that Woodson has no control over his players and that this is a horribly coached team. Also why the hell was Tyson Chandler on the court 38 minutes coming back from a broken leg? Even after he started cramping up, Woodson left him in. He needs to go.

    • borderline1988 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      This wasn’t Woodson’s fault; if you need a coach to tell you not to shoot in that situation, you don’t belong in the NBA.

      Bargnani made a mental error at a key moment; he’s never been the most aware guy on the court. That’s what happened, end of story. They’re lucky it didn’t cost them the game. There’s no point in harping on this.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        Bargnani and esp Woodson always have this blank stare of confusion that’s hilarious. Bargnani is not the lethal shooter he once was and if he’s not shooting, he’s not very useful on the court, let alone when he’s making boneheaded plays.

        To barely beat a Bucks team without Mayo, Sanders, Butler is pathetic. Epitome of an ugly win.

      • nokoolaidcowboy - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        You DO need a coach to remind you not to shoot. These are athletes not rocket scientist.

      • borderline1988 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:34 PM


        It’s basic logic. When you have the ball with the lead and the shot-clock is turned off, you hold the ball or play keepaway (unless you have a wide open layup, i.e. pretty much a guaranteed play). This isn’t even about basketball fundamentals; anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the game should know that, let alone an experienced, professional NBA player…

        It was a brain fart on Bargnani’s part. Nothing to do with Woodson.

        If I were Woodson, in the future I’d think twice about leaving him in during end-of-game situations, especially when the Knicks have a lead. These moments are too critical to risk leaving in someone who has a knack for making these sort of mental errors.

    • redbaronx - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      @timberwolvesbrisin – This wasn’t Woodson’s fault, and Woodson is a good coach. The personnel is the problem with the Knicks. Every NBA player should know to hold on to the ball in that situation or pass out. That’s just Bargnani being Bargnani. And if you want to point a finger at someone, point it at Bargnani and the former GM who decided to make that lame trade with Toronto!

  2. bucrightoff - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    It was moronic, but thanks for playing Andrea. The only reason you aren’t the biggest goat of the year is that the Knicks won. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a dumb decision.

    • redbaronx - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      @bucrightoff – Trust me…there have been worse player decisions in end of game scenarios in NBA history. Even worse, by superstar players!

      How about Isaiah Thomas for the Pistons (in the 1987 playoffs no less…) vs. the Celtics? Inbounding the ball from the sideline with 5 seconds left and instead of passing up the court, making a pass underneath his own basket. Bird steals the ball, passes to DJ Johnson and scores. Celtics win.

      If I think about it I could probably come up with a dozen or so worse blunders. Jordan passing out of bounds vs the Magic in 95 comes to mind…Magic win that series. More recently? Maybe the Wizards putting weak D Antawn Jamison on LeBron and their failure to collapse on defense vs LeBron and the Cavs in 2005(?) in the final seconds allowing the Cavs to win their series vs. the Wizards.

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Since when is bombing a horrible, unnecessary 24-foot shot considered aggressive? I call it irrationally selfish.

    • redbaronx - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      @ProBasketballPundit – Agreed. It wasn’t even aggressive. Passing the ball back into the lane would have been aggressive for two shots instead of a 1 + 1. So many other options! Passing out and rotating. Holding on to the ball and letting them foul….

      I think you hit the nail on the head. He was just being selfish!

    • bougin89 - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:54 AM


  4. vi3tguy415 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM


    • theworkhorsebackdotcom - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      Jahvale McGee looks at that shot last night and said “Damn, how do I top that”

  5. antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Well what’s lost in all of this is the shot before that. Melo forced up a long jumper while doubled with 6 seconds on the shot clock, completely ignoring an open teammate to his left. If Melo makes that pass and the open shot falls, the game may have been over right there.

    Undisciplined play by both Melo and Bargnani in that sequence.

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