2. Isolation scoring
Barnes was a more impressive overall scorer than many anticipated during his first season, but even his biggest fans will acknowledge how many of his points came from putbacks and transition opportunities. The next stage in his evolution as a player will come with the ball in his hands.
Barnes only took 11% of his shots last year in isolation situations and 10% of his shots in post-ups. This may have been wise from a planning point of view, as Barnes averaged fewer than a point per possession on these shots. That trend simply can’t continue next year.
Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes must improve as an overall scorer.
Barnes’ mid-range game was exemplary for a young player, as was his ability to handle the ball and create space for himself. The tools are there, and Barens certainly does not lack confidence in his ability. It’s incumbent on Nick Nurse to ensure Barnes is not frozen out of the gameplan.
Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam can make up for things offensively in the short-term, but Toronto will expect Barnes to be the leader on offense as age starts to befall both members of that dynamic duo gradually. Getting to that point will take time, but the first stepping stone in that path will come this season.