Warriors' Draymond Green: Scottie Barnes 'could be a lot better than me'
Scottie Barnes put the Golden State Warriors on notice with an impressive 24-point performance on Friday.
Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors may have lost to the Golden State Warriors on Friday, but the burgeoning star made quite the impression on the reigning champions.
Barnes scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists, while registering two blocks and shooting 2-for-3 from beyond the arc in the Raptors' 129-117 loss at Chase Center.
The 21-year-old's performance caught the eye of Warriors' star Draymond Green, who heaped praise on his opponent in his post-game media availability.
“I love his game because it’s not predicated on sheer skill or sheer will,” Green told The Athletic's Eric Koreen. “It’s a mixture of all of that. It’s a mixture of skill. It’s a mixture of will. It’s a mixture of smarts. It’s a mixture of length and athleticism.”
Barnes also sees parts of his identity in Green, but maintains that the two are still different types of players.
“Of course you can see some similarities in our games — how he plays defence, bringing that intensity,” said Barnes. “His vision on the floor I could see. I would say you could see some similarities, but we’re not the same.”
As Barnes refines his game and comes into his own as the next face of the franchise, some have compared his impact on the floor to Green's, a notion that resonates with the veteran forward.
“He could be a lot better than me,” Green said. “I saw a tweet the other day that said, ‘Scottie Barnes’ floor is Draymond Green.’ And that’s a damn good floor. And I believe that. He’s such a special talent.”
Steve Kerr, who has coached Green since 2014, notices some of the same unique skills and defensive impact in Barnes.
“Draymond is so unique that there are not many players to compare him to, but Barnes is a good one just with the versatility and the playmaking,” Kerr said. “The first thing you notice about Barnes is he’s elite defensively. The next thing you know is he’s sort of a point forward. I think it’s a very appropriate comparison.”
The pair shared a long embrace after the final buzzer, with the four-time NBA champion letting the second-year forward know how much he appreciates his game.
“I told him, ‘I say this every time I see you, but I’m so impressed with your game,'” Green admitted. “‘I’m a big fan of yours. I love to see you play. I love your growth. And I’ll probably say it again next time I see you.'”
Barnes and the Raptors will take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday for the third game of their seven-part road trip.
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