1. Scottie Barnes is ready to break out.
The Raptors will still be a Pascal Siakam-led team in Rajakovic’s debut season, but his responsibility may end up gradually shifting over to the off-limits Barnes once he starts to get his feet under him. If the preseason was anything to go off, Scottie’s third season could eventually end up with an All-Star nod.
Barnes averaged a team-best 18.5 points per game on a ridiculous 63% from the field. Was he hitting his 3-pointers? You bet! How does seven of his 14 3-point attempts in four games sound? The combination of better shooting mechanics, improved physicality, and newfound aggression is working like a charm.
Scottie Barnes keeps getting better for the Toronto Raptors.
With five steals and seven blocks through four games, Barnes’ defense is looking improved. While he appeared to be heading down the “jack of all trades, master of none” path last year, Rajakovic seems to have given him the consistency and structure he needed.
If these changes stick in the regular season, and Barnes is given the requisite volume he is expected to pick up, Toronto might have their third different All-Star player in as many seasons. This would be the first of what could be several for the former Florid\a State star and franchise player in training.