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Raptors duo of Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani would kick ass in today’s NBA, David West claims

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Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani led the Toronto Raptors to the NBA playoffs twice (2007, 2008) during their four overlapping seasons north of the border.

Toronto had drafted Bargnani no. 1 overall in 2006 (three years after selecting Bosh at no. 4), with the intention of building an unstoppable and versatile front-court duo. That vision never quite came to fruition, peaking with two first-round losses.

Bargnani averaged 13.7 points per game on 37.6 percent three-point shooting playing alongside Bosh. Bosh put up 22.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in his four seasons next to Bargnani, though was unable to lead his team to playoff success. Overall, Chris Bosh and Bargnani played 271 games together and finished with a 130-141 record. They won three of 11 playoff games.

Two-time NBA champion David West believes those Toronto squads — especially Bargnani — were mired by a more physical era of basketball.

“When Bargnani and Bosh were in Toronto, the reason why that s— didn’t work is ’cause the NBA let us beat them up,” West told BasketballNews.com. “We beat up Bargnani, they let us body Bosh.”

West said Bosh and Bargnani — both of whom could put it on the floor and shoot from the outside — were simply ahead of their time.

“Like, Bosh and Bargnani right now, they would blow this NBA out of the water,” he opined. “They were damn near impossible to guard. I’m serious. … The only reason Bargnani didn’t have a (successful) career was ’cause the referees let people like me beat him up!”

West argued that the way referees tend to favor three-point shooters today would particularly benefit Bargnani, who is now considered amongst the biggest busts in NBA history.

“In today’s game, (Bargnani) would be killin’ because he would be protected,” West continued. “He would try that sweep at the three-point line; they wasn’t giving him that rip-through. We could grab both arms. … They were tough, man. But it was a different NBA then.”