1. Scottie Barnes at point guard works perfectly.
Barnes was one of the best players on the floor last night, as he combined his pair of steals and blocked shot with eight points, five rebounds, and three assists. Toronto managed to tinker with Barnes as their second unit point guard, and he confirmed the notion that he’s well equipped to handle that role in the regular season.
Barnes looked relaxed and confident on the perimeter, displaying the burst needed to get to the rim and flexing the passing skill that made him such a unique prospect. Malachi Flynn and Dalano Banton both had their moments in this game, but Barnes looks like the team’s best backup point guard option.
Scottie Barnes may take over for the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors and Fred VanVleet are both in agreement that last season’s minutes workload was far too taxing on him, making the need for a viable deputy ball-handler even more important this year. Barnes is showing that he is already capable of handling that role in a limited capacity.
Part of the reason that Toronto took Barnes as high as they did was the belief that he could be the lynchpin for this utterly unique style of basketball. So far, the early returns from last year and what little we’ve seen from him in the offseason suggest he’s well on his way to assuming that role.