This season, the Toronto Raptors are just 3-4, but they have won two of their last three games, including a 130-111 thrashing of the reloaded Milwaukee Bucks last week.
The man leading them in scoring to start the year is third-year forward Scottie Barnes, who is averaging 22.6 points to go along with 9.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.1 blocked shots, and 1.1 steals per game.
Barnes is a budding star, and he may also have a bit of a killer instinct, as teammate Dennis Schroder said that during a recent game, a play was drawn up for Barnes to get into the paint, and he instead wanted to shoot a step-back 3-pointer, per Esfandiar Baraheni.
Scottie is a basketball sicko 😂
“In the timeout, Coach was drawing up a play and he (Scottie) just said ‘yeah but I could just step back 3 it’” pic.twitter.com/8DRYrJt8BE
— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) November 7, 2023
Barnes had a banner game on Sunday in an overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs with 30 points while hitting 5-of-10 from 3-point range, with 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and three blocks.
In his first two seasons, he was a poor 3-point shooter, but to start this year, he’s at a hot 42.1 percent from downtown, even though he’s attempting 5.4 treys a game compared to 2.9 a game last season.
Barnes, a 6-foot-9 forward, was the Rookie of the Year two seasons ago, and he is a major part of the Raptors’ future.
Schroder himself is playing well in the early going of the season, averaging 16.9 points and 8.9 assists a game while shooting well.
Toronto seems to be in flux, as the team may not be good enough to make the playoffs, yet it has some promising talent, including forward Pascal Siakam, who is in the final year of his contract.NEXT: Stats Show Scottie Barnes Has Finally Arrived