Harris DeckerLast night we witnessed what every Knicks fan hoped for when Glen Grunwald traded for Andrea Bargnani. We saw his versatile ability to score the basketball, hit 3′s and even block a few shots. The team will have to lean on Bargnani for the next 4 to 6 weeks as Tyson Chandler works his way back from his knee injury.
I hate to be the guy to do this, but the glass is clearly half empty. It should be noted that I’m almost always the glass half full guy. I’m the guy who thinks the season long slump has to be broken at some point and who will always give guys second and third chances. In this situation, I’m being realistic. Bargnani played well but did so against a weak team, with weak play up front.
With Al Jefferson out, Bargnani’s play just seemed like more of a mask than a true showing of his talent. In the coming weeks, Bargnani will have to face off against bigs like Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Roy Hibbert and Al Horford. What I can’t get out of my head is this. Although he looked spectacular against Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo and Brendan Haywood, against truly talented centers, he’s going to get beat up on both sides of the ball.
Call me the pessimist. Call me the Debbie downer. Either way, I’m being realistic for once in my sports life. I hope that the Bargnani and Kenyon Martin combo can keep these guys at bay but I’m already having nightmares about a 20 point, 20 rebound game from Howard in which Jeremy Lin throws several huge alley-oops. The first true test for Bargnani comes this Sunday when the Knicks take on the San Antonio Spurs in J.R. Smith’s return to action.