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Sunday Skills

Over the past few days we've been talking about Andrea Bargnani on the site.  He's obviously a big key to the Raptors' success this year especially if he can become a factor on the defensive end of the court.

In particular, his ability to rebound the ball and protect the paint has come into question and is an area fans are certainly hoping he's made strides in over the summer.  Last year on many an occasion we saw Bargs in position to get a rebound, but simply be unable to corral it, or tip it to teammates.  Ironically, Toronto has since brought in two players who excel at just these two finer points of rebounding; wanting the ball more than anyone else (Evans) and tapping to oneself or teammates (Nesterovic).

Beyond picking up some of these rebounding attributes by going against them each day in practice this coming season, we hope Andrea has spent time on specific rebounding drills this off-season and to that end, we launch the first of our "Sunday Skills" posts; a quick example of a drill or drills that the HQ team hopes a certain player has included in his off-season regimen.

For Andrea, it's this classic drill known as the "McHale." 


The drill teaches coordination, focus, and rebounding fundamentals all the while strengthening legs and core.  As a variation, adding in another player in practice which the participating player has to fend off, would really take the drill up another notch.

My goal for Bargs this season in terms of rebounding?

I'm hoping to see him up his average from last year's 5.3 to a respectable 6.8 to 7.2.  Those are no Dwight Howard numbers, but they'd put him in the range of the Nick Collisons and Anderson Varejao's; solid if unspectacular.