Bargnani, Johnson play through pain
By MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency
TORONTO - The results may be meaningless to the Raptors, but playing the games obviously still has meaning.
Amir Johnson and Andrea Bargnani proved that last night.
Both could have easily had Wednesday night’s game off had they so chosen, as both are dealing with ailments that have cost them both games and practices in the past week.
Instead, they refused to take the easy out and played on.
Bargnani was sidelined on Saturday with a sore right ankle that also had him watching Monday’s practice.
Johnson sat out Friday with a sore left ankle and missed practice on Monday when it flared up again.
Both made it clear prior to Wednesday’s game that they preferred to play rather than sit and watch.
“Amir’s in pain and so is Andrea,” Raptors head coach Jay Triano said. “Both are ankle injuries but both want to play and see how they do.
“There have been nights where we have had to shut him down because we have judged that he just can’t do it anymore,” Triano said speaking specifically of Bargnani. “It’s very rare when he pulls himself out of a basketball game.”
For Triano, though, he could have been speaking about any player on his roster this season with those words, not just Bargnani.
“For the most part they just love to play the game,” Triano said. “I can’t find a guy who is looking for an excuse to get out of the lineup and I think that says a lot about who they are.”