Barnes, Schroder crucial pieces to Raptors success next season

Amit Mann and Katie Heindl break down why a leap from Scottie Barnes and Dennis Schroder shining in his new opportunity are significant factors in Toronto finishing top-6 in the Eastern Conference.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: --Raptors. He averaged 15, seven, and five last season, which was similar to his numbers in his rookie year. Shooting percentages went down by 4% or so. He's gonna have the ball more. I think we know that already, especially in this system that we think we're gonna see from the Raptors, so--

But with his skill set, because it is so versatile, and he's able to do so many things, like, what does a leap look like? I think it's more efficiency. I think it's better playmaking. It's a quality assist-to-turnover ratio. It's attention to details on defense. I like the idea of him being a roaming defender. I think you engage him more. Nick used him a lot as a point-of-attack defender, I don't think that's his skill set.

But I do like the idea of Scottie-- This is an example. Like, if you put him on the weakest player, so to speak, right, so the player that you're willing to give up a corner 3 to, him being able to roam, that does have legs, and that's how you're able to tap into his special defending and his versatility.

And, like, think of the game against Chicago, not the play-in game, but the other one, where he led a fourth-quarter comeback, and he was guarding DeMar DeRozan, he was guarding Nikola Vucevic, he was guarding the perimeter, he was offering, like, weak-side help. That is the best version of Scottie Barnes. And probably a lot of his development and a leap starts on the defensive end.

But then, going to a Dennis Schroder, you know, he said that his Germany role is going to be what he thinks is going to be similar to his Toronto role, and that makes you think that, OK, so he's gonna be managing the games, he's hopefully gonna be a paint-touch king, but him being a capable backup point guard, starting point guard, and just rekindling what he used to be in Atlanta, to a degree, and what he was in OKC, because I think that's gonna be on the table for him.

From everything we've heard from Dennis, it's that he's excited, and this is, like, his quote, is that he's excited to have more ball-handling responsibilities. To me, that means that, obviously, he's gonna have the ball in his hands more, but, also, he's gonna be able to make decisions. And, yeah, if he kind of finds that groove again, things go pretty good for the Raptors.

KATIE HEINDL: I think the only thing I'll add, because you nailed it on Scottie, was just, like, as you were going through everything you want to see from him and what you think a leap looks like, to me, the underlying thing in all of those is confidence, which is where we saw him kind of fall away, shrink in moments, especially, like, in his decision making last season.

So I think that's, like, what I'm looking for. To me, that's what a leap looks like, because everything is going to come from that. Is he confident with the ball? Is he confident as a-- You know, I do like the idea of him being, like, a roaming defender, putting him on, maybe, one of the weaker players, but does he have the confidence to, then, like, pivot and move around, to roam?

So, when we actually see him begin to execute those things, which I think a coach like Darko will be able to really instill in him, because it's, like, a fresh relationship, fresh start, I think Darko can really bring out the best in him, as long as Scottie is ready to kind of buy in, and to also see what the absence of somebody like Fred kind of directing him-- He doesn't have that anymore, but can he step up and out of that, and how is he going to play with Schroder, you know? The confidence, to me, that's, like, what I'm gonna be looking for.

AMIT MANN: Yeah. And just a little bit more on Dennis here is that his point-of-attack defense, obviously, is one of his hallmarks, one of the his best attributes. And the Raptors struggled with that last season. We don't know what kind of defensive system we're gonna see from Darko this upcoming season, but you can probably bet that that's going to be utilized.

And I just like that he's able to play off ball, play on ball. He's a very experienced point guard. He is a natural leader, and he's mentioned that too. And, also, at the same time that, if you're in a crunch, and there's six seconds left on the clock, he's gonna touch the paint, and if there's no one under the basket, which, I mean, rules are different in the NBA. You can't just sit down there, although Rudy Gobert would say otherwise. He's gonna beat people. In three seconds, he can be at the rim and get you a layup. So that kind of speed is--