BOSTON -- It's extremely premature to declare Andrea Bargnani all the way back from his sophomore slump, but for one night the Raps got a taste of what they can be when their sophomore centre is meeting expectations.
Bargnani's 20 points, not to mention a career high seven assists and a healthy seven rebounds easily made for his best game in two months and played a pivotal role in the Raps 114-112 win over the Boston Celtics.
Bargnani chose to give the credit to point guard Jose Calderon who forced the Celtics to pick their poison with his daring drives into the paint.
"With him playing hard and attacking the basket so hard they had to do something. They were forced to have a big help on Jose so that left me or (Chris Bosh) open," Bargnani said.
After repeated attempts to get Bargnani to assess his own situation, the second-year Raptor finally relented saying "I played better but I have to be more aggressive in the beginning of the game and try to get more rebounds and get more in the game doing some of the other stuff (rebounding, passing, defending)"
Raps head coach Sam Mitchell, who has been pleading with the media, the public and anyone else who has been critical of his sophomore centre to be patient, said he felt the difference in Bargnani's game last night was the early taste of success he had.
"Andrea hit some shots early which puts some pressure on those guys who are going to be guarding you .... Young players if they have some success offensively it helps them.
"But that's the thing he has got to learn. That's the thing I always talk to him about. If you don't make shots there are other things you can do.We were happy to see he had seven rebounds at half-time but he's got to get more. He didn't have any in the second half."