If Bargnani struggles, Felton plans to keep feeding him the ball

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Andrea Bargnani struggled in his Knicks regular-season debut, but point guard Raymond Felton says he will keep feeding the Italian Stallion the ball. Asked what he planned to do after Bargnani went 3-for-9, including 0-for-3 from the arc, en route to just 6 points in 17 minutes in Wednesday’s win over Milwaukee, Felton didn’t hesitate.

USATSI_7512058_110579513_lowres“Tell him to keep shooting, that’s the only thing he can do,” Felton said.

“He’s still gotta take those shots and it’s my job to make sure he keeps taking them. Everybody goes through a slump and he’s on a new team trying to get familiar with the offense. So he’s going to struggle at first but we still need him to take those shots and I’m going to demand him taking those shots.”

The fact that his teammates think Bargnani is in a “slump” after just one game can’t be considered a good sign. But the former No. 1 pick shot just 38 percent in the preseason and was demoted from the starting lineup when coach Mike Woodson opted to start two point guards — Felton and Pablo Prigioni — in a small lineup along with Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.

“He is trying to give effort and I have to help him,” Woodson said of Bargnani. “It is the first game, he will be fine. I have to play him more. He only played 17, 18 minutes tonight based on his lineup being small. He will get his minutes and he will be back to the way he is used to playing. I have to push him there.”

Bargnani heard boos from the Garden crowd in his first game in New York, but insists he’s not worried about his offensive “slump.”

“Not concerned about the offense. Never been a problem. It’s a transition. If it’s an open shot I’m going to take it,” Bargnani told reporters. “I’m still out of rhythm right now. First half I was out of rhythm.”

Harris Decker

It’s definitely what you want to hear out of Felton, but it is concerning that this “slump” is being called out after just one game.

I think Bargnani is a key to this team taking things to the next level, but if he struggles shooting the ball, it’s going to be a major problem. He makes almost no impact on the defensive side of the ball (although he’s been better than advertised by Toronto), and his ability to perform comes from shooting outside and getting to the basket.

If he can’t do those things with greater efficiency, there could be a big problem for the Knicks this year.





16 comments
doc942
doc942

Just an observation.  Minnesota Wild in a free fall.  23rd out of 30 NHL teams.  Spent 100 million each on two players.  Vanek has not helped (I liked Vanek on the Islanders).  Nino stuck on 14 goals and -15.  Not making an argument... just an observation.  I like the way the Islanders have built this team.

shlo
shlo

Off subject; Flyers - Capitals, not an easy game. Flyers will give us hard time regardless of  their record. They are playing tough.

islesfan77
islesfan77

Agreed about the Flyers always being tough, but I am trying to take this season one game at a time and the Isles have two tough opponents before the matinee with the Flyers on Monday.

John Falcone
John Falcone

@islesfan77 Mason is out, Ray Emery or that Zepp guy will be in goal.  Also, Coburn, one of their veteran D men is out as well.  We can't let up, we got to bury them.  

islesfan77
islesfan77

@John Falcone @islesfan77 I still think it will be a tough game. Flyers play physical. Also, it will be the third game in four nights. Islanders need to be ready.

shlo
shlo

@John Falcone @islesfan77 I saw Zepp play. He is good. They play tough in front of him. I still think it will be a one goal game. Boychuck and Leddy will handle Giroux and Voracek, I don't think it will be a burial party.

islesfan77
islesfan77

I know this may not be a popular sentiment around here, but I think some credit should go to Wang and Snow this season. I have not agreed with everything they have done, but so far this season it has  been great. I have said for years that the Islanders needed to get an income stream in order to compete in today's NHL, but I did not expect this result one year before moving to Brooklyn. They were able get some talented players making good money and mix them in with young players the team drafted. I mean the fact that the last time the Islanders shut out the Rangers at MSG was 1975 says something. 


Let's keep it going!

elephant
elephant

@islesfan77 You have a point.  I still think Wang could have invested more money over the past few years and built a real hockey organization, front office, etc.  Maybe the whole "plan" was to tank for a few seasons though.

As for Snow, I have always tried to stay positive on him.  I never really understood why everyone thought he's such a bad GM.  Yes, he was a backup goalie, hahaha... very funny, but I thought he has performed decently as a GM.  My only major complaint about him was the Vanek/Moulson trade last year, but other than that, I think he's drafted well and gotten some great waiver pickups.  I think I've always been understanding with Snow for two main reasons... 1) It has never been his money to spend and who knows if he ever had the "go-ahead" from Wang to make a splash and 2) Free agents have been very tough to get for many reasons, NOT because Snow couldn't get the job done.  Those are my opinions though...

John Falcone
John Falcone

@elephant @islesfan77 I agree with you on the Vanek/Moulson debactle, but in the long run, and luckily for Snow, it turned out for the better - Moulson and Vanek both have only 7 goals not to mention they are both a minus 15.  

Kulemin, who does so much more than Moulson and Vanek, has 8 goals.  Grabbo is a solid guy that manages the puck well, and while he's not tearing up the scoring sheet, he keeps the opposition from doing anything. 

And then factor in that Dan Boyle saved us by going to the rangers, we would have not landed both Boychuk and Leddy. 

If we keep this play up, we won't be talking about just making the playoffs or going deep, but our focus will inevitably be on that silver trophy you get at the end that comes with a cup on top.    

elephant
elephant

@John Falcone  I wonder... do you think Snow may have still gone after Boychuk and Leddy if Dan Boyle did indeed sign?  Imagine if we had Boyle too!

erika
erika

@islesfan77 Wang was putting all his money on real estate wanna-be projects instead and had the Isles on bare bones min budget. 

I always thought Garth had some talent but his hands were tied. He has a pretty good drafting record, however, and I give him a TON of credit for getting Halak, Boychuck, and Leddy....who are proving to be the difference between a bottom tier team and a top team. Well, that and the maturation of Garth's draft picks. So yes, kudos, especially to Garth!

isles23
isles23

JT on the Michael Kay show, the start of th 5 o'clock hour. Their biggest spot of the day

doc942
doc942

@isles23 Didn't get a chance to listen, but maybe I can find a pod cast or website version of the interview.  Do you know if that exists?

isles23
isles23

Doc, the ESPN radio app has it, search the Michael Kay show and you'll find it