Amit Mann and Asad Alvi look at how Scottie Barnes has performed at PG over the last few games and the strides he's made as a decision-maker. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.
AMIT MANN: More point guard. We saw what happened in that last game. He was with that other lineup.
It was Christian-- oh, not Christian-- It was Chris Bucha, Gary Trent Jr., [INAUDIBLE], and Juancho, right? And they almost went the whole fourth quarter. And he was playing port card.
He was running the offense. And let's see if this is a way in which the Raptors can, like, finally get reliable rest for some of their starters. I'm going to get to this in a second, but obviously, in crunch time, they have not been good.
They've been one of the worst teams in the NBA. And I mean, I don't want to simplify too much, but sometimes, it could just be because guys are tired, right? And that affects you physically, mentally, and if this is something that can work, if he's among, you know, checking out first-- you know, five minutes left in the first quarter, he comes out, and then he comes back in early second quarter, and he's running the table with a few other guys that are as athletic as he is.
They're running more pick and roll, which I think has really helped him. Just, like, make offense happen. Nick Nurse has talked about he was making complicated plays.
But now, they're easier. I'm like, well, yes. It's probably easier because you're running pick and roll, and we wanted that to happen for a long time.
Not saying I know more than Nick Nurse. Never saying that. But that is helping him at least have, like, a method to create offense.
And then he can pass out of it, attack mismatches, pull up jumpers. He's hitting those pull up 2's, which is really nice. So I want to see what he does there.
ASAD ALVI: I don't know if it's just about playing pick and roll. I think one of the biggest things that Scottie has done is he's been more aggressive with his dribble. He's been more willing to actually attack off the dribble. Before, earlier in the season, he was playing a lot more tentatively, and he was, like, standing with the ball and thinking of where to attack. And he was doing a lot of side to side dribbling instead of, You know--
AMIT MANN: North south.
ASAD ALVI: North south. And he's changed that specifically. He gets the ball, he's either going to the next action quickly, getting something set up, or he's getting-- finding a way to hit the paint.
And the more consistently he can hit the paint, that unlocks all the playmaking opportunities for him. So that's, I think, one of the biggest mentality changes that's happened for him. Also, playing with [INAUDIBLE], Chris Bucha, unlocks the other thing for Scottie, which is just being able to play in the open floor more.
Now he's playing with a lot more energetic players. They're running up and down. And it just gives him more room to kind of take the ball, rip, and go.
They're playing a lot faster in the open court, which is where most of his playmaking skills are. In the half court, still, you know, it takes them a bit to get stuff initiated because he has trouble creating advantages on his main defender. But in the open court, he's amazing. So, getting to see him in the open court a little bit more in those bench units has been very intriguing to watch.
AMIT MANN: Uh-huh. I did a video last week on the philosophy change the Raptors have introduced over the past, like, 10 games or so and how it's helped Scottie Barnes unlock his ability to just be more of an on-ball playmaker. And whether it is through the role, whether it is just, like, being at the top of the key, and just making things happen, I think this is just, you're getting a better version of Scottie Barnes.