Raptors: Scottie Barnes triple-double shows he’s best 2021 draftee

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 31: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 31: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images /

In the first three quarters of the Toronto Raptors’ loss against the Dallas Mavericks, it looked like Scottie Barnes was going to be in for his worst game at the professional level. Luckily, the Raptors were able to really turn things on in the fourth quarter, with Barnes at the center of it all.

After Pascal Siakam left the game with a groin injury that could sideline him for a bit, depending on the severity, it was Barnes who stepped up. He played a part in helping a Raptors team that was down by almost 20 points in the third quarter lose by just one point, thanks to a furious fourth-quarter rally.

Barnes finished the game with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, giving him the triple-double that has eluded him for so long. Barnes not only picked up his first triple-double, but the 21-year-old became the youngest player in franchise history to record a triple-double.

Even though Barnes may not have the gaudy scoring numbers that some of the other members of his draft class have, nights like last night remind Raptors fans of the potential that he has housed in that body.


Scottie Barnes recorded his first Toronto Raptors triple-double.

The top performers from the 2021 NBA Draft are putting together years that are almost identical to their rookie campaigns. Barnes and Evan Mobley are playing roles as tertiary scorers for contenders, Cade Cunningham has impressive stats on a tanking Pistons team, and Jalen Green’s solid scoring has been marred by inefficiency.

Barnes’ numbers belie the improvements he has made. Haters may look at the fact his scoring remains the same and his rebounding has dipped slightly without considering that his per-game numbers factor in a Heat game in which he left in the second quarter. Outside of that, Barnes is a much more complete, consistent player.

Barnes is hitting a ridiculous 42% of his 3-pointers with nearly four attempts per game, showing he has fixed his big flaw from last year. The point-forward’s 5.1 assists per game attest to the fact his half-court playmaking is much better. While he struggled against Doncic (who doesn’t), his defense has been respectable.

Barnes needs to be held to a much higher standard in his second season, and he’s largely done a solid job of that despite an ankle injury trying everything it can to limit him. If Siakam is not going to be at full strength for a while, Toronto needs to see nothing short of elite play from Barnes.

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