TORONTO – It was the definition of development happening right before your very eyes. Scotty Barnes, whose two biggest offensive weaknesses last year were his blouse and handle, was dancing with Hawks attacker DeAndre Hunter, a very strong defender. Barnes showed Hunter some of his tricks but he never lost it. However, it did create enough space to catch a glimpse of the jump from behind the arch.

swish. something of beauty.

“I feel like they still dared to hit the ball,” Barnes said.

Given that, it can be tempting to go through this well so frequently. It takes discipline to try something else. In the third quarter, Barnes had essentially the same group. Since the previous time, he had stored three more rounds, and Hunter was on him again – this time, later in the shot clock. Barnes pinned it down, and with the possibility of shooting being on Hunter’s mind, the phenomenon of out-of-place Raptors got Hunter over it. Big hawk man Clint Capella turned around to intercept the shot, but Barnes was still able to run into the bucket.

Barnes clearly went into action after his junior campaign of the year, generally showing up early in his sophomore year. Barnes scored 21 points and made eight assists and seven rebounds on Monday in the Raptors’ comfortable 139-109 win over Atlanta, as his style of play compensated for the absence of Fred van Vliet, who missed the game with a stiff back. Barnes also had a big part of the defensive task against Atlanta’s Trae Young, who missed 10 of his 13 field goals and turned the ball more than 10 times.

On Friday against Philadelphia, Barnes made only seven goal-scoring attempts — which is baffling because the 76ers were playing without Joel Embiid to block the track. Barnes felt like an offensive afterthought, which things felt last year at some points as well. That’s why Raptors coach Nick Norse pushed Barnes to shoot as much as possible last year: Barnes is too skilled to be a background character for an offensively challenged Raptors.

“The most important thing for me with him … is that you have to go to the basket,” the nurse said before the game. “It wasn’t (there) enough this year. I don’t know what the numbers say…but my sense is he doesn’t take it there and uses his physical size and strength to punish people on the edge. His shot looks better. But we need that in the offense. We need him to be the offense. Sometimes, he’ll either score it or kick it.”

If you feel Barnes hasn’t put more pressure on the paint, chances are there was an expectation that he would make huge leaps this year. In fact, Monday’s game was Barnes’ most perimeter performance of the year, with 9 attempts out of 14 field goals coming from depth, and she continues with the top five goals of her career. That wasn’t really an indication of what he’s been doing this season.

In his five games leading up to the Falcons playing, he’d shoot more often, without significantly increasing his 3-point attempts. Nearly 33 percent of his fielding attempts have been on edge, up from 27.5 percent last year. He’s taken a lower percentage of his shots inside the paint but outside the restricted area than last year, but not enough to radically flip the shot chart. He’s been less successful at catching offensive rebounds than he was last year, resulting in fewer high-rebounds, but that’s a team-wide problem. His use increased a few percentage points, from below average to above him, even as Pascal Siakam’s hot start forced him to take a bigger piece of the pie as well. He is behind Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. Only in the team in the percentage of usage.

Barnes’ passing hunch off the charts. In the second quarter, without Siakam on the ground, he ignited the attack, finding Christian Koloko twice – once in a pick-and-roll, and again with a quick pass, clever cuts to set up a pair of free play. throws. Barnes also threw a two-handed pass at home, and while it wasn’t perfect, it was a good risk given Siakam was guarded by the much younger Justin Holiday.

Impressively, after a wave of 3 seconds Barnes was stabbed into the fairway. When the extra help came, he threw a pass to Siakam to throw the ball. This is what the nurse wants to see often. It’s very clear that Barnes needs less and less time to process what is being thrown at him.

“I thought he did different passes,” a nurse said. “He made some big hits which, just let it go quickly and the guys were ready. He hits the drum some for those guys to get some quick action. He had some riverside throws too. When you play screen and roll, (the question is) can you find the four guys?” You never know what presents itself. Having a vision to reach every part of the screen and roll is what you’re looking for perfectly.”

“I would say when the defense commits (I make my decision),” Barnes said. “If they help out or try to hedge, I feel like the list is open. If Christian makes great screen shots or someone does a great screen, I am able to get past the defense and able to hit (the cylinder) for an easy dunk. I feel that when the defense sticks, you You take what the defense gives you.”

Overall, this is a huge burden for Barnes, who has to find a way to play a bigger role for himself in a team with good teammates in attack. It’s not as if the keys are handed over to a team without expectations.

“He’s in a tough spot. He’s (defensive position) the last game and he’s the point guard tonight.” on the earth. You always have to remember, it’s a kind of extra and don’t forget the bread and butter.”

Sure, there will be nights when all three don’t fall, and Barnes still doesn’t get the mix right. He is 21 years old. It looks excellent. Its development is progressing by leaps and bounds.


• Put these OG Anunoby harassers directly against Hunter with the Raptors Wing’s most dominant defensive possessions ever. Do you think he saw the terms of Hunter’s four-year, $90 million extension? Anunoby had six heists. His brutal defensive start continues.

“It can definitely be a nightmare for other players,” Siakam said.

• Siakam didn’t have the best night of the shoot, but he didn’t stop pressing paint, and it paid off. Siakam hit 16 free throws, and even the extra step or two he took before giving some of his extra players a chance for his teammates to get a better bounce position. Sicam finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

• The nurse said he did not expect Van Vliet to waste any more time, if any, with his back injury. The nurse said Vanfleet initially felt pain on Friday night during his 0-11 performance against Atlanta and did not participate in training on Sunday. The Raptors play next Wednesday in San Antonio.

• The nurse said most of the time that the rookie is out of the squad, Koloko will start in his place. He added that he believes his main reserves have gotten used to coming off the bench. Koloko has trouble finishing the edge, but he’s been an important asset in defending the Raptors’ Edge. It’s a good change for the raptors.

• For the first time this year, Birch Ore was the first reserve Raptors to enter the game. Atlanta has two centers, Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, which means birds of prey need size on the ground. Precious Achiwa and Chris Boucher entered the match together a few moments later. Birch was solid, even tossing in 3 points. The Raptors won by nine minutes for Birch with seven points.

• This was the first NBA game in which Raptors assistant coach, Adrian Griffin, was on the bench opposite his son AJ, who was the 16th selection in the NBA draft in June. The nurse said he didn’t give the elder Griffin the job of spotting the hawks.

“We left him so he wouldn’t lose his sleep tonight,” said a nurse.

AJ Griffin scored two points in 14 minutes.

(Photo: John E. Sokolowski/USA Today)

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