Scottie Barnes’ 3-point barrage shows Raptors sensation is improving
The Toronto Raptors haven’t had a ton to smile about over the last few weeks due to some painful losing streaks, but the play of rookie sensation Scottie Barnes has been a bright light amid some disappointment. Even with Pascal Siakam taking some shots away, Barnes has continued to be a threat on offense.
Barnes has averaged 15.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game this season, which is much better than most expected considering how raw he looked at Florida State. However, if there is one part of his offensive game that needs some improvement right now, it’s his shooting, specifically from 3-point range.
Barnes has his best shooting night in a loss against the Boston Celtics. Barnes recorded 21 points on 7-16 shooting, but he went 4-9 from 3-point range. Considering he made four 3-point shots in his last 13 games before his outburst against Boston, this performance came out of nowhere.
Barnes himself claims that he never shot that many 3-point attempts in his life before Sunday night. The concerns around his shot were the main reason that there were doubts about taking him at No. 4 overall. If he’s shown this much growth as a shooter after just 19 NBA games, he could end up reaching his full potential sooner than anyone anticipated.
Toronto Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes is gaining confidence.
The Boston explosion came just a few days after Nick Nurse challenged Barnes to be more aggressive as a shooter. Nurse claimed that he wanted Barnes shooting around three or four 3-pointers every game. Barnes is listening to his coaches’ overtures, as he has attempted at least three shots from deep in three of his last four games.
He’s made seven of his 15 attempts in that span, which could be a sign that he is well on his way to correcting his biggest pre-draft flaw.
Scottie Barnes seems to have a thing for playing against the Celtics. Barnes has five games of 20 or more points in the NBA, and three of them have come against Boston. Developing a more well-rounded offensive game is one thing, but doing against a deep Boston team this early in his career is extremely impressive.
The Raptors drafted Barnes with the expectation that he’d be a defensive standout and developing offensive talent during his rookie season. Just a few games in, Barnes appears to be much more polished than anyone could’ve imagined.
Barnes’ 3-point stroke is looking efficient, and he appears to be willing to ramp up the volume of shots he takes. Scottie becoming a threat from deep could be the X-factor that turns this team around.