Trailing by 19 points at halftime, it looked grim for Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors during their matchup against Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs. However, despite the lead growing to 22 at one point, a late-game second wind for Barnes helped push Toronto toward a more than impressive comeback victory.
Barnes was an absolute machine on both ends of the floor, as he put up a stat line of 30 points with five made three-pointers, 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and three blocks.
Barnes was not without his fair share of help against San Antonio, as Dennis Schroder and OG Anunoby came through with big-time performances in their own right. Schroder had 24 points, six assists, three rebounds, and two steals, while Anunoby also had 24 points with a new career-high seven three-pointers made.
However, Barnes was the star of the show, as he took command during an off night from Pascal Siakam. If he can continue his superb play, an All-Star campaign is almost certain for the blossoming third-year Barnes.
Toronto Raptors star Scottie Barnes could make an All-Star team in 2023-24.
Barnes joins only one other player this season, that being Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, to average 20 or more points, five rebounds, five assists, and two or more blocks per game. It is becoming clear to see that Toronto has a new franchise star while Siakam stays stuck in neutral.
While Patrick Beverley questioned the Raptors’ vague “dog” quotient and others grew skeptical of Toronto’s ability to win with Barnes at the tip of the spear, it’s becoming clear that Barnes has the talent needed to paper over all these cracks.
While Toronto has found its new potential All-Star to lead the fray, another All-Star on the squad may be on the tail end of his Raptors tenure, that being Siakam. Siakam struggled heavily against the Spurs, coming off a rough showing against the 76ers.
Siakam is not playing up to his usual All-Star and All-NBA caliber self this season, as he finds himself thrust into a new role and new offense under new head coach Darko Rajakovic.
His time atop the Raptors’ totem pole no longer seems to be the case, and it might be a smart idea for Toronto to explore possible trades for the 29-year-old Siakam, which would leave the keys to a hopeful All-Star Barnes as the new leader of this Raptors core.
Barnes’ ability to stuff the stat sheet will certainly land him a spot in Indianapolis, provided he can put those numbers up within the context of winning games.