Scottie Barnes is the best player on a court that has Victor Wembanyama
Scottie Barnes: Has he truly arrived? On a Sunday afternoon, as fans worldwide anticipated witnessing the Chosen One, they were in for a surprise. It wasn't who they expected; it was Scottie Barnes who stole the show, even with Victor Wembanyama on the court.
Over the last seven NBA games, Barnes has been consistently impressive, averaging 22.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists while shooting at an impressive 51% from the field. If we round those numbers to one decimal point, it's clear that Barnes, in his third year, is maintaining a double-double performance.
The Raptors' decision to pick Scottie Barnes at #4 was a surprise to many, as the entire league had their sights set on Jalen Suggs. In his rookie year, Barnes emerged as the Rookie of the Year, a moment he cherished, thanks to the Toronto icon, Vince Carter. During that season, he averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. However, his second year didn't show much improvement, with him still averaging 15.3 points.
Critics questioned a potential sophomore slump and his work ethic. It seemed unfair to blame a 21-year-old player in his second year, especially after winning the Rookie of the Year award. The team dynamics were complicated, with many core players focused on their contracts, tensions with the coaching staff, and accusations of selfishness. The Raptors recognized the need for change, let some players go, and entrusted Scottie Barnes with a key role.
Barnes responded to the challenge by putting in the hard work to improve himself and benefit the team. He not only leads the team in points, rebounds, and blocks but has also significantly enhanced his three-point shooting. Last year, he averaged 28% from beyond the arc, while the year before that, it was 30%. Today, his three-point percentage stands at an impressive 42%. This improvement reflects his growing confidence and willingness to take shots from deep.
It's essential to remember that it's just seven games into the season, and there's a long journey ahead. The question remains: Has Scottie Barnes truly arrived? Well, when you find yourself trailing by 22 points to a talent often likened to the second coming of LeBron James, in his own domain, but still manage to put the team on your back and score 17 points in the fourth quarter, it's hard to deny that Scottie Barnes is well on his way to greatness. While we can't definitively say that he has fully arrived, it's evident that he's making a substantial impact on the court.