|Andrea Bargnani is thinking what you're thinking. (Getty Images)|
Going into Friday night's game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Toronto Raptors were residing in a very bad place. After having murmurs of being a breakout team this season under Dwane Casey, the Raptors have started out just 5-19 while battling injuries and late- game collapses. Andrea Bargnani, often drawing the ire of frustrated Raptors fans, has been less than spectacular on the court.
He recognizes how poorly everything has gone for himself and his team this season and he may have told an Italian newspaper that his Raptors are one of the worst teams in the league, if not the worst. Via NBA.com:
Toronto forward-center Andrea Bargnani offered a blunt assessment of the struggling Raptors, telling an Italian newspaper that the club is "pretty much the worst team in the NBA."
Bargnani told Italy's La Gazzetta Dello Sport that Toronto's start was "tragic" and "a desperate situation."
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said Friday he intended to speak to Bargnani about his remarks, but said he would be "surprised" if the comments had not been "lost in translation."
Considering only the Washington Wizards had a worse record in the NBA heading into the weekend, Bargnani's assessment wouldn't really be that far off base. Even if part of the quote was lost in translation, a variation of the critique of his own team seems pretty valid.
Any way you break the Raptors' losses down and try to compartmentalize them, the team just looks bad right now. They can't win close games (1-4 in games decided by three points or less), they can't end up on the right side of a blowout victory (2-8 in games decided by 10 points or more), and they're getting destroyed by teams without a losing record (2-13).
The Raptors have the 24th best offense in the NBA. What's surprising is this team is supposed to be built around a defensive scheme by Dwane Casey and they're just 27th in the league in defensive rating. Bargnani has been a big culprit in this with poor defensive rotations, but it's really a team-wide problem, overall.
Toronto has already played in 15 road games this season, compiling a 1-14 record. Maybe as they get healthier and find a home-heavy schedule soon, they can turn things around.