I swear to all that is holy, anyone who says either that one of the things that went wrong for the Knicks this year is that Andrea Bargnani got hurt, or that he didn’t play at a high level (Avery Johnson said that, which is like noting that Juan Pierre didn’t hit 40 home runs last year), or that he couldn’t adapt to Mike Woodson’s system (that system presumably being – “ability to play basketball competently”), or in some other way suggested or implied that Bargnani was ever going to be anything but terrible for the Knicks this year should be relieved of his duties as basketball analyst/commentator IMMEDIATELY. Bargnani is simply horrible, one of the very worst players in the league, by virtually any sane measure you can think of. That the Knicks were willing to trade a first round pick for him and take on the final two years and $23 million of his contract told you all you needed to know about how little they understood the sources of the team’s success in 2012-13. A panoply of experts insisted that the Knicks’ record this year was a puzzle, since they essentially had the same roster as a year ago when, in reality, they lost one of their best players from last year (Kidd) and added one of the handful of worst regulars in the NBA (Bargnani, by the way, was actually slightly less horrible in 2013-14 than he was the year before though, in fairness, he was uniquely atrocious in 12-13, even by his standards).
Bargnani is a poor shooting big man, an atrocious rebounder and an embarrassing defender. How do we get from there to a guy whose presence in the lineup was supposed to be a plus this year and whose absence was supposed to be one of the things that hurt the team?
When you acquire a terrible player and put him in your starting lineup, bad things will happen.
It’s not complicated.