Raptors’ Scottie Barnes makes plays in Rising Stars Game

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 14: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 14: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors had plenty of representation at the Clorox Rising Stars Game during All-Star Weekend. In addition to Precious Achiuwa earning a spot for his rebounding and offensive potential, No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes was one of the headliners for Gary Payton’s team.

In the new format, Barnes and the rest of his teammates were to line up against a group featuring Evan Mobley, Cade Cunningham, and Alperen Sengun. While Achiuwa was able to make it to the final, there were more eyeballs on Barnes thanks to his featured role on the team.

While the new 50-point target score meant that Barnes and the rest of Payton’s team were eliminated before the final by a squad manned by Hall of Famer Rick Barry, Barnes did his best to strut his stuff. He couldn’t overcome iffy performances from LaMelo Ball and Bones Hyland.

Barnes recorded nine points, four rebounds, and an assist in this game. In a game that featured some heightened intensity thanks to the truncated format, Barnes’ gifts as a rebounder and defender were put on display for the world to see. He was clearly one of the best on Payton’s team.

Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes made plays in the Rising Stars Game.

Barnes was able to be interviewed early in the game after subbing out. Considering that he and Achiuwa came to Cleveland due to inclement weather and bad conditions, the fact that Barnes was even available to play in this game is a minor miracle.

Barnes wasn’t dominating the ball as some players do in these sorts of showcases. After taking a while to grab his first bucket, Barnes was able to make some jumpers and finish in close. While he only played one game, Barnes was able to make an impact on All-Star Weekend.

Barnes’ night wasn’t done after the game, as he and 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey participated in the “Clutch Challenge.” Barnes and Maxey infamously missed a handful of layups with no one around them, but that shouldn’t obscure the show both players put on tonight.

Barnes may have ended the night awkwardly, but the wider NBA audience got a small glimpse at the same skills that Raptors fans and fellow pro stars have watched him perfect all season long. The Rookie of the Year trophy is still within his grasp, and fans who saw Team Payton saw why.

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