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Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes has allowed fans to get a glimpse of what his tweaked jumper looks like. Amit Mann analyzes what's changed while also looking back at the changes to his shot along the way since entering the NBA. Subscribe to Yahoo Sports Canada on YouTube for more Raptors content.
- Oh! From the heavens!
- Scottie Barnes throwing it down.
- Make sure you don't jump. Don't do it.
- Barnes, my goodness.
AMIT MANN: There I was, scrolling IG last week when I saw Scottie Barnes posted some workout clips. So naturally, I took a look.
And what did I see? Some different mechanics in his jumper. It looked a little bit more fluid.
His legs are more engaged. And so I posted on Twitter asking people, do you guys see the same thing that I do? Because it was a weekend.
I'm in off-season mode. I'll get all this next week. But what I did learn and almost forgot, I guess, is that the Scottie Barnes propaganda machine is 24/7/365.
And so Raptor fans got a hold of it. And they're saying, look at our rookie doing this. Look at our rookie doing that. Look how much better it looks.
Even CJ Miles-- yes, bench mob CJ Miles, sharpshooter CJ Miles-- weighed in saying his pull up jumper looks a lot smoother. I mean, at this point, it requires a deep dive. So let's look at what has changed in Scottie Barnes' jumper since the off-season began and also look back at where he started at the combine in June 20, 2021 because the transformation in his shot in less than a year is really impressive.
Should acknowledge that Scottie is still growing into his massive frame. He's got long legs, long arms, had the third biggest hands in his draft class, and he's still growing. All those combined present some mechanical challenges.
So Barnes was a bit of a shooting project. OK, so here's his jumper as of June 2021 at the combine. You see his off hand is kind of in no man's land.
You want your fingertips pointed towards the basket so you maintain square to the rim. All your energy should be going towards the basket. And he's shooting from the middle of his forehead instead of to the right of his forehead. That can cause inconsistencies in your shot placement.
Sometimes you'll miss left. Other times, you're going to miss right. There's too much room for error, especially with the size of his hands. He has to minimize that. And finally, you want to shoot off the middle part of your hand, and his jumper involved a bit too much thumb-- again, a big hands problem.
Now the Raptors helped him stabilize his off hand by getting it pointed towards the rim, and his set point now begins around the edge of his shorts. This is where the long arms come into play. Since he's straining his arms a bit more in his jump shot lead up, he now has room to shoot from the right side of his face instead of the middle of his forehead.
And also, he's got that 90 degree angle between his shoulder and elbow-- very important for a good jump shot. And his index slash middle finger are the last points of contact on the ball. That's the way it should be.
These subtle changes, improved his shot dramatically even to the point where in the month of February, he shot 38% from 3. Now on the season as a whole, he shot 30%, and I think some people would look at that as a woeful number. I look at as more of a building block because you look back at where he was projected to be in the draft, and one of his knocks was that he didn't have a jump shot.
And he's still understanding his body. He's still growing. So this is all part of the process for Scottie Barnes.
Now the most recent changes, and these are really exciting. First, more legs than his jumper-- I found he was pushing the ball too much. He's insanely strong.
So he's not going to struggle getting to the ball to the rim. He needed to let his legs do the work so his upper body could maintain good posture. Speaking of the upper body, a lot less movement-- no more hitch. The more you move your upper body, the more room for mistakes there is.
Think Klay Thompson. His shot looks robotic because the energy transfer is nearly the exact same with every shot he takes. Klay uses a wide stance to generate lots of power from his legs and maintain balance so his arms are repeating the same motion over and over and over, and there's little movement in his torso.
- Finney-Smith on Curry. Klay is free to fire. Close Brunson. Got it it's a 3 from Klay.
AMIT MANN: Look at how much lower Scottie is on shots now versus during the combine. Also note his posture has improved. He's no longer pushing the ball.
He's using his legs to generate his set point faster. Elbow is tight to his body, and his extension is smooth. And because he's using his legs more, he's going to transition into pull ups easier, and his release point has found that sweet spot. I saw some point out that his shot is still slow, and to that, I say, can you give him a second, please?
We are in the month of June. Opening night is months away. When it comes to changing your jump shot, it really is a crawl before you walk.
It's like when you take your training wheels off your bike when you're a kid. You don't just find the steepest hill possible and bomb down it. You are going to break your neck.
He's got to get the fundamentals down, and that means taking it slow, finding the consistency in the use of his legs, set points, and release. And he's got to incorporate all of that into pull up, step back, shots off the catch, and so forth.
Once he does all that, the speed will come, but it already is faster. And you've got to be really encouraged by some of the fluidity of these step backs. It looks really, really smooth. And you might also be thinking that we're making a little bit too much of some grainy edited IG clips.
And that could very well be true. But the fact remains there is less movement in his torso, which is massive, and his legs are more engaged. Those alone are going to help him.
We are only in the month of June, and Scottie Barnes already has the Raptors fan base giddy about his progress. Just wait until, like, August. My names Amit Mann. Follow me on Twitter @amit_mann and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Raptors content, and we will talk to you later.