Andrea Bargnani played his best game as a Net Wednesday night. In 17 minutes, he recorded eight points on 3-of-7 shooting, two rebounds, a block and (wait for it), his first assist of the season after more than 100 minutes of playing time. He finished second in +/- with a +16, behind only Shane Larkin's +24.
It's not what we had hoped for. Bargnani has been healthy all season, but his shot selection and poor defense has not instilled a lot of confidence in Lionel Hollins. It's all gotten him his share of derision. He's playing a career-low 14 minutes per game. Was last night the turnaround? Can he be valuable to the Nets? He thinks so.
"I’m really looking forward to this situation," Bargnani told the Wall Street Journal this week. "I’m 30, so definitely a year of prime for athletes."
He attributes his fall-off in production in recent years to injuries.
"Looking at your teammates from the bench, you cannot practice, you cannot play, it’s as frustrating as it gets," Bargnani said.
The seven-footer was supposed to complement Brook Lopez, particularly with two other bigs, Willie Reed and Chris McCullough, still recovering. If he can continue what he started vs. Houston, it would Lionel Hollins' --and fans' -- lives a lot easier.
Nets’ Bargnani Says He Is Entering His NBA Prime - Zolan Kanno-Youngs - Wall Street Journal