Raptors’ Scottie Barnes puts up Jokic-like statline in pro-am

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors believe that Scottie Barnes can be one of the best players in the league if he realizes his full potential, but the former Rookie of the Year has doubts he needs to put to rest. Amid criticism that he didn’t expand his game, Barnes has set about dominating the amateur ranks.

In general, the pro-am circuit can be a bit misleading. Any series of games that end with Malachi Flynn scoring 73 points is probably not up to the level of any sort of professional league. However, it is a nice time to see your favorite players experiment with new facets of their game.

Barnes, who was recently seen in Miami for another pro-am bout, participated in a recent Power League scrimmage in which he was clearly the best player on the court. His stateline reads like something out of NBA 2K with all the sliders turned down.

Barnes finished the night with 30 points, a whopping 20 rebounds, and 10 assists. Putting up a stat line that would make Nikola Jokic blush is precisely what he needed to do to assert his dominance, and it should be a welcome sight for Raptors fans worried about his progress.

Toronto Raptors star Scottie Barnes dominates pro-am game.

Clips of Barnes struggling to shoot and getting defended well by Pistons big man Marvin Bagley III made the rounds on social media, and they sent the Raptors’ fanbase into a frenzy. Is the eventual franchise player unable to blow by one of the worst big man defenders in the league?

This game was a much different set of circumstances for Barnes. He looked aggressive, physical, and in control the entire time. Such is to be expected against (literal) amateurs, but it’s still nice to see Barnes back to his old habits on the floor.

The Raptors are asking a lot from Barnes this season. Not only has Darko Rajakovic talked up and down about his plan to feature Barnes heavily on the offensive side of the ball, but Scottie might end up as the primary point guard if Toronto wants Gary Trent Jr. in the starting lineup. That is quite a grave undertaking.

The Raptors are putting a lot of Barnes’ plate, but they wouldn’t do that unless they believed in his ability to get it done. While it was at a pro-am, Barnes looked like the triple-double threat Toronto always envisioned he would be when they drafted him in 2021.

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