After laying an egg against the Wizards in their home opener, Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors rebounded with a dominant victory against the rival Boston Celtics. Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. were the two top offensive performers in what was one of the worst home losses in years for Boston.
While Trent scored 20 points and recorded four steals, Barnes was the unquestioned star of the night, as he scored 25 points and hauled in 13 rebounds during just his second career game. On a night where Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby didn’t really have it, Barnes stepped up and guided this team to a win.
Barnes has quickly asserted himself as one of the emotional leaders of this team, as his intense defense, ability to glide to the rim on offense, and tremendous passing skills have been genuinely astonishing. Trent is well aware of the type of talent he’s witnessing, and he took the chance to hype up Toronto’s 20-year-old sensation.
Per Josh Lewenberg of TSN, when Barnes was starting to get hot, Trent pulled him aside and told the No. 4 overall pick that the Celtics “can’t stop you” and that Barnes is a “problem.” With as much energy as anyone on this team and some very promising results in his first couple of games, Barnes hasn’t taken long to prove he belongs in this league.
Gary Trent Jr. knows the Toronto Raptors should lean on Scottie Barnes.
Most draft pundits knew that Barnes could come into the league as an advanced on-ball defender and interior finisher. While he’s checked those boxes with aplomb, what has really helped transform Toronto into the Scottie Barnes show on offense has been his willingness to create for himself and others.
Barne shit his first career NBA 3-pointer, which was a point of emphasis for him in the pre-draft process. Making accurate passes and having a good feel for the game can be something that young players take years to master, but Barnes already looks like an elite distributor for his position after just a handful of games.
When paired with some clutch shooting and a willingness to silence the Boston crowd, it’s no wonder why Toronto is thrilled to have Barnes in town.
While Trent might be eager to score as much as possible to justify his new contract, he’s wise enough to see that Barnes is capable of leading this team on the offensive end, so feeding the beats by pumping him up might be the best way to keep this positive momentum rolling over to the next few games.
Barnes has already done a solid job of proving his quality in the pros, and if he keeps this up, he could force the whole league to take notice.