OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes showed off All-Defensive potential against elite Suns offense

Durant and Booker weren't enough to stop them.

Phoenix Suns v Toronto Raptors
Phoenix Suns v Toronto Raptors / Andrew Lahodynskyj/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Because OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, and the Toronto Raptors make absolutely no sense this season, this team finished up an impressive win against Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns despite suffering a brutal loss to the rival Brooklyn Nets just 24 hours beforehand.

While Dennis Schroder's 12 assists and Jakob Poeltl's terrific interior finishing were worthy of praise, it was Toronto's defensive effort that helped them win the day here. Durant and Booker can win most games on their own for Phoenix, but not against Toronto's dynamic duo.

Durant may have finished the game with 30 points, but he did so on a paltry 11-30 shooting. While Booker did tweak his ankle, he still finished with just two made shots on the night and was struggling before the injury as well. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why he struggled.

While it hasn't always been the smoothest ride for the Raptors this season, Barnes has been excellent on both ends and Anunoby has continued his excellent play. It seems hard to envision a world in which these two are broken up, especially after nights like Wednesday.

Toronto Raptors' Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby show All-Defensive potential

Barnes is averaging 2.9 "stocks" per game, which combines his 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per contest. Barnes ranks eighth in the NBA in "stocks" per game, with Herb Jones and Thunder superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander the only players under 6-9 to rank above Barnes.

Anunoby has collected another scalp in his quest to shut down some of the best perimeter scorers in the league. Proven names like Donovan Mitchell and Anthony Edwards had some of their worst games of the season, if not the outright worst, against OG, and Booker's night was no different.

he's switching less, but that hasn't blunted his effectiveness.

This performance even managed to catch the eye of Durant, who has locked horns with Anunoby many times and sees the potential in Barnes. KD said the "sky's the limit" for Barnes, who has made major improvements to his defensive game while simultaneously becoming a deadeye 3-point shooter.

While some fans might be a bit frustrated with Ujiri and his unwillingness to commit to a proper rebuild by trading away talent, nights like this make it easy to see why Masai has so much confidence in this team. Even All-Stars like Booker and Durant can't crack through this impenetrable wall.

manual