Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors never got out of neutral in the first half against the Miami Heat on the second night of a back-to-back. Following a nice win against Cleveland and a close loss against Brooklyn, Nick Nurse and Toronto had no answers for the Heat early on.
As if one of the best defensive teams allowing 38 points in the first quarter wasn’t concerning enough, this banged-up rotation lost a key starter. With the team’s bench studs in Chris Boucher and Otto Porter Jr. already injured, this is not what this team needed.
Barnes, who had 11 points, two rebounds, and two assists in 13 minutes on the floor, had to go to the locker room in the second quarter after coming down awkwardly while converting a shot near the basket. This is a true nightmare scenario for Raptors fans.
Barnes, who also picked up a left shoulder contusion prior to this injury, left the game early with a right ankle sprain. Considering how long these injuries usually take to heal, there is a chance that fans won’t get to see Barnes for a handful of games due to how early in the season it is.
Scottie Barnes injury update: Toronto Raptors star has an ankle sprain.
Barnes averaged 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in the first two games of the season. While his overall offensive results have been somewhat mixed, Barnes looks like a much more effective and confident isolation scorer than he did during his rookie season.
If Barnes has to miss some games, Precious Achiuwa will likely move into the starting lineup at center while Pascal Siakam shifts over to power forward. Offseason standout Juancho Hernangomez or the healthy Khem Birch could be added to a hypothetical nine-man rotation to cover Barnes’ absence.
Barnes’ ankles have been a somewhat reoccurring issue in his NBA career. On top of the fact he missed playoff games with an ankle ailment, he was sidelined for three weeks in the offseason due to a sprain. These aren’t necessarily his fault, however. This is just bad luck.
The Raptors are still going to be a team that can make some noise in the postseason despite a somewhat rocky start, but they are only going to achieve those goals if they get Barnes playing some inspired basketball as a point forward.
With another Miami date and two games against the 76ers coming up, the basketball deities picked a tough time to potentially sideline Scottie.