Scottie Barnes is entering his second season with the Raptors with high expectations. Even he admits that there are two things he can do to get better if he wants to play to his full potential in the second season with the Raptors.
The current Rookie of the Year discussed his hopes for building on his strong debut season in the NBA in an interview with SLAM. In a subsequent interview with Sports Illustrated, his trainer fuelled the fire by claiming that Barnes will be “way better” this coming season.
Without a doubt, Barnes has the talent to be a unique player. But what can the just-turned 21-year-old reasonably expect going forward? Could he become only the second player in franchise history to make the All-Star team in his second season, following Vince Carter?
Let’s look more closely at the two adjustments Barnes needs to make this summer to reach his full potential as a Year 2 All-Star.
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Where Scottie Barnes can most improve following a fantastic debut season
Below are two ways Scottie Barnes can most improve to reach his full potential, and become a 2023 NBA All-Star.
Improve his accuracy when shooting
Last season, Barnes’ midrange performance was better than anticipated. The area where he truly battled was the perimeter. He attempted 2.6 3-pointers per game and made 30.1% of them.
For comparison, Barnes was one of 224 players in the 2021–22 season who attempted at least 150 3-pointers. There is little doubt that Barnes and the Raptors would benefit greatly from Barnes becoming a more proficient 3-point shooter.
Barnes was one of the least effective spot-up threats in the league as a rookie, so this would not only improve the team’s spacing but also allow him to participate in more pick-and-pops.
“I’m just working on being able to get to the basket, being unstoppable on the floor,” Barnes told Smith. “Scoring, being in the midrange area and just being a consistent shooter. Being able to knock down shots consistently, being able to carry myself in that way as being one of those top people in the league.”
But Barnes most likely won’t develop into a knockdown shooter overnight. It would be a good idea for him to follow Pascal Siakam’s progression from the 3-point range.
Siakam had a cumulative 21.6% 3-point shooting percentage in his first two seasons, which was exceedingly low. In his third season, he then shot a career-high 36.9%, but he was still primarily restricted to the corners and not a particularly high-volume shooter. He didn’t start to feel more at ease shooting above the break and off the dribble until his fourth season.
Siakam is a much better and more versatile 3-point shooter than he was when he first entered the league, even though his 3-point attempts have decreased each of the last two seasons.
Improve his one-on-one scoring abilities.
According to what Barnes’ trainer said, this summer Barnes has focused on creating more go-to moves. Why? “To become significantly more effective in the halfcourt.”
Barnes was among the NBA’s top scorers in transition even as a rookie. He was a prolific scorer both on cuts and off-putbacks. He demonstrated the capacity to design his shot, though we didn’t see much of it.
Last season, Barnes made 238 unassisted baskets compared to 221 assists, but a sizable portion (59) of those unassisted baskets were putbacks.
Barnes is already a very malleable player thanks to his willingness to run the floor in open court, play off-ball, and attack the glass — as he repeatedly demonstrated, he doesn’t need plays called for him to wreak havoc — but the more he develops as a playmaker, the more offence the Raptors will be able to run through him.
Barnes once more demonstrated enough last season for people to think that he could improve as a creator, especially outside of the post. His stature made him a difficult cover for smaller defenders on the low block, and it appears that he has put on 10 more pounds.
Additionally, his trainer gave the impression that we may anticipate even more polish from him after the position. Brian Macon told Rose, “He’s going to make a lot of those mid-post turnarounds both ways.” “Like, those will be like his signature shots. Particularly when he pulls pranks on smaller guys.
“As a result, I believe he will be able to descend much more easily than before, even though he gained about 10 pounds. So, he’s about 235. (pounds). He weighs about 235 and has 6% body fat. He is hence perfect and appears to be a created player.
I don’t know what else will get you pumped to see what Barnes has in store for Year 2 if that doesn’t.
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