Knicks create softest power forward tandem in the league by adding Bargnani

Knicks create softest PF tandem in NBA with Bargnani trade now official

7/10/13 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

April 8, 2012; Oklahoma City  OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) gets the slam dunk against Toronto Raptors center Andrea Bargnani (7) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-USA TODAY SportsAs a Knicks fan, I obviously have not seen quite as much of newly acquired Andrea Bargnani, but I'm familiar enough to know that he won't be making the Knicks' frontcourt any tougher. The guy is soft - like "blow the hair off his head and it'll grow dandelions" soft.

If the Knicks wanted to improve on their rebounding from the power forward spot, Bargnani is the absolute last person they should have gone after. At a towering seven feet tall, the former first overall draft pick averaged a pathetic 3.7 rebounds per game last season (4.6 per 36 minutes). That is almost unthinkable. You would think that - at that height - more rebounds would bounce off the rim to Bargnani by chance.

As far as defense, there's not much of it from the big Italian. Over the past three seasons, Bargnani has averaged 0.6 steals and 0.6 blocks. He's not much of a shot alterer either, as he lacks athleticism, and as you could probably tell from his rebounding numbers, he does not like to get physical down low.

That being said, Bargnani is adept at scoring the basketball. He has averaged 18.6 points per game over the past three seasons, and boasts a unique offensive skill set for a player his size.

But what is the best case scenario with the addition of Bargnani and potential resurgence of Stoudemire? You have two power forwards that can score pretty well, but are complete liabilities on the boards and on defense. You really can't play them at the same time - other teams would feast on the Knicks down low (even more so than they already do). The best case scenario looks to be that the Knicks will have two one-dimensional power forwards making a combined $32.3 million dollars who should never be on the court together.

The Knicks' hope may be that Stoudemire and Bargnani will rarely have to play together (though both players are said to be coming off the bench, which would make that difficult), giving them a full 48 minutes of solid offense from the power forward spot. However, that would be an excruciatingly hefty investment in two 24 minute per game players. In addition, even if the two never have to play together, the Knicks being limited to finesse power forwards could cause some serious matchup problems with teams that are big and physical down low.
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