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The Toronto Raptors tried to out-size the Miami Heat with assorted mismatches and the result was inconsistent. Follow Yahoo Sports Canada for all your Raptors coverage.
AMIT MANN: They did a lot of mismatch hunting, like a lot, like that's why Precious Achiuwa was getting post-ups, and Scottie Barnes first game back after missing a few he shot 6 of 18 and all of them were like in the paint against like Strauss, or Harrow, or Robinson, and he didn't perform that well. And I think with the Raptors, as they go forward you know, they're going to need those to be complete possession, they're going to need those to be buckets, because they got like great shots, but they just weren't going down necessarily. And like the mismatching, they did that a little bit down the stretch of games and again with OG, again we talked about it with Oren, is that, that shot that he had like, I think it was two minutes left, and he air balled a turnaround jumper which was four feet away. You don't need to be taking a turnaround jumper from four feet away, like that should be maybe a turnaround hook shot and he needs to add that element to his game. He's obviously so strong, once he creates that space between him and his defender, like go up, hook shot, make that your bread and butter because he's going to need something to be successful down the post.
Then, Jesus, the decision making. Yeah, Scottie Barnes had a 2 on with Pascal and nothing came from it. Pascal was just like, bro what the hell, because they were down by 3 points at that point. And that would have made it a one possession game. Next possession afterwards, you got an open 3. He missed it that's OK, that happens. But it's little things like this that really do cost you. And it kind of shows where, how the Raptors are going to get to that next level, is that they need to be able to execute down the stretch of games. Because against these great teams the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, they got this down like clockwork and he didn't even have frickin' Kyle Lowry.
So they're going to get better at this stuff too and the Raptors, yeah there's some strides to make but that's OK. I mean, this is part of the process and that's why myself and many others have said that this is your year to do that. Hopefully they get a top six spot but next season is where you really want to think about how can we become a championship team, and these are the times to get the kinks out. And hopefully Scottie Barnes kind of figure that stuff out, he becomes a bit more consistent and mismatches and OG. Man, turn on hook shot, just make that happen for yourself, please. Because it's going to make your life so much easier. It doesn't need to be a fadeaway jumper all the time. Any other thoughts on the Heat game, Katie?
KATIE HEINDL: Yeah, I think you touched on Scottie Barnes a little bit and I've seen a few stories going around today, just criticisms I think on Barnes, you know? He did have a couple of bad reads that led to some bad decisions. You mentioned the most notable, I think which was that one of the last possessions running the ball up the floor, you know? He and Pascal didn't get that, didn't get that-- They're a little bit too light to execute the fast break properly, and the Heat brought the lead up to 6. So you knew it was a bit downhill then. One, I think he's probably tired as we said, like he's been relying heavily, heavily all season so far. Especially during this last stretch with the lack of bench and it's not going to let up. So part of that is just an adjustment, it's his first year in the NBA. These are the most serious game reps he's ever had in his career thus far and the way that he's bounced back in his decision making.
And I think his recovery leads me to believe that he will do that again, he will just get better. And you know two, he's a rookie. I think the good thing about bad reads in this case, especially the really bad reads, is your own bad decisions, think about the worst last decision you made and maybe how embarrassed it made you, you're not going to want to do it again. And likewise Scottie is not going to want to do those bad, like he's not going to want to have any part of the bad reads that he-- he had some like at the last minutes in that Heat game again. So again, like these are just more silver lining takeaways, but I think with a rookie like Barnes, you got to take the good with the bad because if you're not getting the bad, you are limiting his development.
AMIT MANN: I mean with all that said, he shot 6 of 18, that's unfortunate but 8 rebounds, 6 assists, they had a lot of great, great passes. And that's been the constant for Scottie Barnes throughout this season. I love seeing him as a backup point guard. I mean, it sucks for Delano and Malachi, because those are 2 point guards you do need time to get some reps in, but Scottie Barnes, that is where you want him. 3 years down the road, what Scottie Barnes going to be, like you want him to be that true point forward. Someone who is just an absolute monster on every side of the floor who's absolutely everywhere, who you really can't stop, all you can do is contain. That's where you want him to be. And him becoming, getting those reps as a backup point guard and also just getting some of those spots up 3 point shots, he shot 2 of 5 yesterday. He had a late one which was really, really good.
Those are-- It's really important that he does that, because if you don't give him those chances, like you're saying, you are limiting his ceiling. And his ceiling is to infinity and beyond, and the Raptors have to go all in on that. Because he could be your franchise cornerstone for years to come. You talk like culture, like Kyle, or Scottie Barnes really does embody the Kyle Lowry culture. He works hard, great attitude, wants to see his teammates be successful. This is why Masai and Bobby were like we need to get this guy, because of all these things. So, no concerns about him necessarily. I just wonder how he's going to improve for the rest of this year because it would be great to see them get that top six. It's right there for the taking with the way things have gone down for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the 76ers, you know, they're still figuring things out themselves. So the top six spot is definitely in the taking if they could just get there. But if not I mean plans cool too and you just kind of see where the cards fall I guess.