Bradley Beal praises Scottie Barnes after impressive Raptors win

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors snapped a short losing streak against Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards on Friday night, as they were able to catch fire in the second and third quarter and hold off a furious comeback from the Wiz to secure a hard-fought victory.

Even though Barnes didn’t take a ton of shots in the fourth quarter, the Raptors saw exactly how dominant Scottie can be on the offensive end when he fully develops. Barnes recorded a career-high 27 points on 12-19 shooting, which was a welcome sight after an iffy stretch at the beginning of the year.

A 6-8 forward with tremendous interior finishing and the ability to handle the ball is the textbook definition of a matchup nightmare. Even a player who has been around the block as many times as Beal was in awe of Barnes’ talent. He is of the mindset that Barnes will have a fantastic career.

After Barnes torched the improved Washington defense, Beal referred to the Raptors rookie as “special” before claiming that he is going to be “a star” in this league. Getting testimonials like that from an experienced, respected player has to feel good for Barnes and Toronto.

Bradley Beal had high praise for Toronto Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes.

Barnes is averaging 14.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game in his first year, putting him firmly alongside Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, and Franz Wagner in the Rookie of the Year race. If Barnes wants to take home this award, he needs to lean on the skills that made him such a coveted prospect.

While Toronto is trying to help Barnes become a better shooter, his bread and butter at the moment are using his quickness and feathery touch inside to get to the basket. Barnes made his first eight shots inside of nine feet in the Washington win.

The fact that Barnes can already go for close to 30 points in a given night despite all of the talent around him shows that the concerns about his offensive game weren’t necessarily justified. If the jumper comes along, he’ll morph into the star that Beal envisions he will eventually become.

Still, the Raptors have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Scottie is already an above-average post scorer, as Daniel Gafford and fellow rookie Corey Kispert were overwhelmed by his presence. This may not be the last time that Barnes takes over a game like this in 2022.

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