Toronto Raptors: Stock up, stock down after first 3 games

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 23: Precious Achiuwa #5 and Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 23: Precious Achiuwa #5 and Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 12: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the most volatile teams in the league to start the season, as the likes of Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa will lead the team to a dominant win one night while a depleted bench and unusually shooting-deficient roster will let them down in the next game.

Friday and Saturday were a perfect encapsulation of this concept. After going to Massachusetts and absolutely pummeling the Celtics by 32 points for one of Boston’s worst home losses in years, Toronto squandered a 16-2 start and lose by eight against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

The Raptors have seen some players make their mark on this team with some exemplary performances over their first few games. The problem, however, is that some players expected to step up and make a difference in the lineup have been disappointing in this very small sample size.

There are a few Toronto Raptors players that can walk away from their first few games with something to smile about, but there are some players that have seen their stock take a big nosedive over the last few days.

Stock Up, Stock Down for the Toronto Raptors after the first 3 games.

Stock Up: Scottie Barnes

Barnes has not only been the best player on the Raptors so far this season, but he’s also been the best by a wide margin. Barnes has averaged a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, all while leading the team in scoring and being the only player besides Isaac Bonga and his five total minutes that is shooting over 50% from the field.

Barnes looks much more comfortable on the offensive end than he did at Florida State, as he scored 25 points (more than he ever scored in a single game in college) in his first-ever NBA road game. With 13 boards, excellent defense, and insanely good passing on display against the Celtics, the 20-year-old Barnes looks like a veteran that is 10 years older.

Scottie Barnes has been very impressive for the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors probably did not expect to lean on Barnes to such a dramatic degree on the offensive end, but if it isn’t broke, they shouldn’t fix it. Barnes might not be Steph Curry from the 3-point line, but he clearly has an aptitude for making shots inside the arc, and Toronto must use that to their advantage.

While some top rookies are struggling to make shots at an efficient clip and adjust to the speed of the NBA, Barnes is already making passes and shots that someone who just came into the pros should not be making in such an easy manner. If there is any reason to watch the Pascal Siakam-less Raptors, it’s Barnes.