Comparing Bargnani to Roy is baseless

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Brandon Roy made his annual visit to Toronto and the second-guessing soon ensued.

It was inevitable as it was unavoidable.

What if the Raptors had taken Roy with the first overall pick in 2006, instead of Andrea Bargnani?

The game of what ifs and what could have beens will follow Bargnani each time the Portland Trail Blazers hook up with the Raptors, whether it's this year or next.

It's unfortunate and unfair, but that's the burden one has to bear when one is picked first overall, whether Bargnani likes it or not and clearly he has no interest in rewriting history, let alone revisiting it.

Hindsight being what it is, it's understandable why Raptors fans would want Roy bringing the ball upcourt, dropping jump shots and winning games in crunch time.

He's a guy who can flat-out score and create, has poured in 50 points in a game and twice been selected as an all-star.

Roy is a franchise player and as long as Chris Bosh remains a Raptor, Bargnani will be a complementary piece.

But Bargnani is by no means a bust, even though he began Wednesday's tip by heaving a quick perimeter jumper that found nothing but air.

He showed impatience on his second touch when he took LaMarcus Aldridge off the dribble, only to step on the baseline, one of many turnovers that would plague the Raptors in the opening quarter.

At a time when Bosh's future clearly has been put on the backburner, the burning question centres on the Raptors' ability to acquire or develop a creator on the wing to complement Bosh.

Roy's ability to beat his man off the bounce spreads the floor and provides his teammates open looks.

Bargnani's impact is similar, only he uses his outside shooting to draw his defender away from the basket.

When he's making shots, an opposing big vacates the paint, which gives Bosh more room to establish positioning deep in the post.

Bargnani's selection four years ago raised eyebrows, followed by serious concerns about his long-term potential when he regressed in his second season.

It's virtually impossible for Bargnani to completely silence the critics and justify GM Bryan Colangelo's faith.

Bargnani is getting better and his true potential can't be possibly achieved unless he returns to his natural position at power forward.

As long as Bosh is the face of the Raptors, that's not going to happen anytime soon.

Bargnani has bulked up and will continue to get stronger in the upper body as he develops.

He's defending the post better and he's not as vulnerable when he's getting backed into the paint.

Bargnani is more than serviceable at the centre spot and his ability to create space for Bosh cannot be understated.

Will Bargnani ever go off for 50 points in a game? Will he ever play in an all-star game? Will fans ever cease in comparing him to Roy?

Fans must, and quickly, because the two have two completely different games and play at completely different positions.

Bargnani can be as effortless and efficient as Roy, but only when he's not settling for jump shots and is attacking the rim.

Bargnani's ability to handle the ball is underrated and he's a nightmare of a matchup in pick-and-roll sequences at the top of the circle.

Hindsight is a wonderful tool and many lose sight of the mystery that surrounded Roy's knee when he left college.

Given the Euro-centric nature of the Raptors, Bargnani was the obvious choice.

His unique skill set for his size also made Bargnani an attractive proposition, one that was too tempting to overlook.

He's evolving and only now is beginning to realize his potential.

He's stepping up and was even demanding the ball against Portland when a mismatch was created.

Comparing Bargnani to Roy is baseless.

It surfaces when the two share the same floor because of their place in history.

Roy has accomplished more, but there's more that awaits Bargnani because he has nowhere to go but up.

Fans have to keep that in mind next time they engage in the game of what ifs.


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