Raptors need to leverage Scottie Barnes more vs. Wizards
Amit Mann and Esfandiar Baraheni discuss how the Raptors can get more out of Scottie Barnes and put him in positions to be successful against the Wizards. Listen to the full episode on the Wizards games, rotation tweaks and Jeff Dowtin Jr. on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.
AMIT MANN: Scottie Barnes at point guard, I think they have to utilize that more. And I hear what you're saying about you want stability. And Fred and Pascal offer that, although they didn't play too well last night. Well, Pascal had a good first half. Second half was not good at all. But if you're able to-- I mentioned Gafford and Scottie, Jakob Poeltl. A pick-and-roll between them two, I think, is really intriguing, especially if you're able to collapse a defense just like that.
And Jordan Goodwin is not a tall player. If you're able to get Scottie in that matchup-- Delon Wright, Bradley Beal, they had some success with that in the first quarter of using Scottie against those guys, and then they went away from it in the second and third. I'm not sure why, especially when they were struggling on offense. But they decided to, and I don't think that can be the case when you are already struggling and you have a post-up threat right there like Pascal.
I mean, I'm saying he had a not so good second half, but there was no space for him either. And he had to-- he was depending on his 3-point shot to get some points up on the board, and it wasn't there for him. He's been good in 2023, along with Fred. They've been good from the 3-point line. But you need to utilize Scottie more just to generate some more offense, and he's a person who can bend defenses.
And I love the idea of, if we're talking about high pick-and-rolls, you have Scottie Barnes going downhill. Even if it's Daniel Gafford playing drop, that is appealing to me. And then you have shooters like Gary and Will Barton on the corners. You got something going there, and that is something that should work. But Scottie has to be a threat.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Yeah, and Scottie has shown in the past that he can take advantage of a guy that's bigger than him--
AMIT MANN: True.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: --that he can bully him a little bit and. And he's shown that he can kind of out-strength and still find a way to kind of finish over the top of the defender. He had that-- he got blocked by Porzingis on one of his attempts, from what I remember, last night in the fourth, which was a tough, tough look.
But those are the types of opportunities that you should be looking for. And I think him being able to adjust and figure out-- look, I get the whole fourth quarter Scottie thing. I think for him, it's really a feeling out factor. For the first two or three quarters of the game, he's really just trying to feel out where he fits in the game, how he's needed, where he's needed.
And then in the fourth quarter, he's like, OK, well, let's try to be a little bit more aggressive. Let's look for our own. And then that way, maybe that helps others. I think with Scottie, the goal is to probably get that fourth quarter becoming a more consistent, habitual thing where--
AMIT MANN: Sure.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: --he doesn't have to feel out the thing for three quarters or two quarters and then turn it up in the second half. Whereas in the first quarter, he's feeling it out, Second, third, fourth quarter, now he's in attack mode. And when Scottie is in attack mode, good things happen. That's just clear as day.
AMIT MANN: 100%.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: When he is aggressive--
AMIT MANN: 100%.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: --when he is looking for his own shot, good things happen. So I agree with you. Getting him more involved, getting him more going downhill is the way to go.
AMIT MANN: And probably also that is getting Bradley Beal more actions. Because Bradley Beal is not a great defender.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: No.
AMIT MANN: He doesn't give two you know whats about defense, unless he really has to. And there was a few occasions last night when the Raptors were running their flex coverages, and Fred was screened on Bradley Beal, and OG got a couple of layups out of it. And I think you have to keep on attacking that.