For Raptors, Scott Barnes can do little

For Raptors, Scott Barnes can do little

When the Toronto Raptors picked forward Scott Barnes as their fourth pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, some basketball players raised their eyebrows. Jellen Sags, who was considered one of the runners you can not miss, was still on board.

After one regular season, the Raptors look prudent. Barnes, 20, is the nominee for the Newcomer of the Year award. He compared Vince Carter and Damon Studamayr, two Raptors who were named Newcomers of the Year.

“I’ve never really been to Toronto,” Barnes told The New York Times recently. I never thought about being in Toronto. It just never crossed my mind. It’s not as different as I thought. The only thing that is different is just the weather because I am from Florida.

At best, the 6-foot-9 Barnes is a versatile dynamo, similar to the game but much less sophisticated than the game of Jan Milwaukee Antetocumpo. This season, Barnes started all 74 games in which he played, averaging 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game with 49.2 percent shooting. In one flick, he can accelerate the ball on the field as a quasi-point guard. In the second he attacks the ring for thunder dunes. The Raptors coach, Nick Nurs, often had Barnes to defend the best players, including Kevin Durant and Luka Doncic.

Now he is the key to the Toronto champion’s hopes of winning. He fits into the form of the players who helped the Raptors win their first franchise title in 2019, said general manager Bobby Webster.

“These really kind of versatile, long forwards that can do a lot are hard to come by,” he said. “And if they hit, they could be really valuable and productive players.”

The question mark for Barnes is shooting at his long distance. He hit just 30.1 percent of his 3 points in the regular season, and even that was an improvement on his lonely year at Florida State University, where he hit 3 to 27.5 percent.

Barnes, who grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, helped the Raptors reach their fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and play in the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. In Saturday’s first game, Barnes was instructed to restrain James Harden, but he left the game due to an ankle injury and came out in Game 2 on Monday. Toronto missed Barnes’s defense and energy and lost by 112-97 blows and fell 0-2 in the series. The 3rd game is on Wednesday and it is unknown whether Barnes will be able to play.

In an interview with The Times before the start of the playoffs, Barnes discussed a strong start to his career, his level of self-confidence and his campaign for the Rookie of the Year award.

This interview is compressed and edited for clarity.

It was quite surprising at the time that the Raptors had been selected No. 4 in the draft. What went through your head when your name was announced?

Even during the whole pre-drafting process, I really got in without any expectations. Really, it makes no sense. I was not really worried about something I could not control. So I really went there and wherever I went I was. So when they said my name, I was just excited, very happy. I really did not know what was going to happen, so I did not really expect it. So I was just a huge blast of excitement.

What do you remember about your previous conversations with Raptors President Masai Ujiri?

He is a great man for victory. Just victory, victory, victory. So I too am a great person in victory. So, really, it was, we both really had a mutual understanding.

What has been the hardest jump in the NBA so far?

Either you travel as much, or you just get used to it like referees and how they actually call the game.

When you have free time, what do you like to do?

Just relax by the bed and play video games.

What are you playing now?

Play NBA 2K. ძCollection of duty. Fortnite.

When you play 2K, do you play the role of a Raptor?

I do not really play as a team. I usually play in Cre-a-player mode.

What was your favorite moment of the regular season?

So one of our favorite games we played this year was probably at the Brooklyn Nets. კდ [Kevin Durant] And James [Harden]. I think they were at home, but we lost. But it was an interesting game. A lot of junk talk was involved. It made it so much more fun. There was talk of garbage, we were even talking about garbage, and it was awesome. It went up the wire, back and forth, back and forth. But I would say it was a wonderful game.

Are you talking about rubbish on the floor?

sometime. Not so much, but I will do it only occasionally. But I will not say so much here.

LeBron James said he was watching you Seventh grade game. Did you know that until you said it a while ago?

I do not remember saying that. Sounds great, but I know he was watching me in 10th or 9th grade when I was playing Zaire – Diane Wade’s son. He and Dwayne Wade watched our games on the court. I knocked out the winner of the game and applauded him and D-Wade. I was agitated and stepped aside and shook hands with D-Wade and Bron after the game because the Zummer-Beater just struck me. But seeing these guys just say that about me shows that people see in me the potential for what I can do.

Were you in one of the most popular schools? How were you?

I have always been an outstanding child. I was not saying I was so popular, but, you know, I had this core, this little failure. I was a very talkative, very energetic child. So I would say I had a lot of friends. I have always been such a fun kid in class.

There are many comparisons between your influence as a novice, the influence of Vince Carter and Damon Studamar. Have you ever talked to Vince Carter?

I actually did. I saw him at one of our games this year and I went with him. I said, “What’s going on?” We could not really talk so much. I actually saw Damon Studamir at the Boston Mall and we talked for a while. Went to him. Knew her. And I just started talking to him.

What kind of influence do you hope for in the league?

In this league, I would say I want to certainly win the rookie of the year this year. Be on the defensive team, a few times. Be the MVP to Become a Final MVP Become a NBA Champion Final Several times. Of course, be a multiple All-Star. Really, just leave that legacy. That I was just a great all-rounder.

Is there anything that will make the newcomer of the year compared to other candidates?

He just does so many different things and he was a versatile player who just has a huge impact on our team winning real basketball games.

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