1. Scottie Barnes taking control
The untouchable Barnes has been designated as the franchise player the next half-decade of Raptors basketball will be built around, but that optimism would border on hopelessly misguided if he continued to flatline. Based on the first few games, the Raptors won’t have too much to worry about.
Between the increased aggression, 36% 3-point percentage on increased volume, and quality playmaking, it’s not that surprising to see Barnes thrive while some of his teammates get their feet under him. Barnes averaged 21.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game while blocking nine shots in three contests.
Scottie Barnes keeps getting better for the Toronto Raptors.
Barnes already has a five-block game, a triple-double, and two straight games in which he made over 64% of his shots from the field. This is exactly what Toronto thought they were getting when they decided to give Barnes the keys to the franchise with the No. 4 pick.
Pascal Siakam hasn’t played like he usually does, and Gary Trent Jr. might need a few more games to adjust to his new role. The Raptors are learning around him, but Barnes’ play gives fans a ton of hope when projecting his long-term outlook under Rajakovic.