Bargnani makes 'em proud

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

Even the mention of Andrea Bargnani's rapid improvement brings a smile to the face of Chris Bosh.

The Raptors' leading scorer has had a front row seat to the early development of the team's No. 1 pick and he has enjoyed every minute of it.

"He has that outside shot and he's real smooth with it," Bosh said recently. "But the thing I like about Andrea lately is he's taking the ball to the hole. He's being really aggressive getting to the rim."

Bosh can take some of the credit for that, having encouraged the young Italian to do just that.

"I encourage him to be aggressive all day because that will take a lot of eyes of me. I tell him to get him game off and just do what he does best."

Bargnani has also showed a flare for getting the ball to Bosh in tight situations.

"With him and T.J. I've learned to keep my hands ready," Bosh said, adding he rarely is surprised anymore by a Bargnani pass.

"It's hard to explain, but I just know when he's going to pass it and when he isn't," Bosh said.

For Raps head coach Sam Mitchell, the Bargnani question is a staple of his pre-game talk with the media and yesterday in Philadelphia was no exception.

"The thing we always liked about him is he's a hard worker and he makes a conscious effort not to make the same mistakes over and over again. He's very quiet. But he would get you, he understands."

COMMITMENT PROBLEMS

Count Samuel Dalembert out in terms of playing for Canada this summer, and probably any other summer.

The 76ers centre and native of Port-Au-Prince Haiti who spent his formative years in Montreal has made noises in the past about applying for Canadian citizenship and possibly playing for his adopted homeland, but that's no longer an option for him.

"That's a dead issue," Canadian National team coach and Raptors analyst Leo Rautins said following yesterday's game.

"I'm hearing he wants to play (for Canada) but at the same time I'm hearing from his agent that he's applying for his green card. You can't have it both ways.

"At some point you have to say yes or no."


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