Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes not hitting rookie wall
Scottie Barnes continues to remind Toronto Raptors fans why the team went with him in the NBA Draft as he continues to dominate.
The Toronto Raptors needed to find a way to bounce back after they hit a wall in their return from the NBA All-Star break, thankfully Scottie Barnes was up to the task.
In a back-to-back against the Brooklyn Nets, the Raptors rookie put up consecutive double-doubles. He had 28 points and 16 rebounds in Brooklyn then followed it up with 18 points and 10 rebounds in Toronto. Tough to not find that impressive.
The Raptors went into this game without Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby, so coming away with the win was not going to be an easy task. With the team needing a fourth-quarter comeback, it was Barnes who led the charge and provided the team with a boost.
With Pascal Siakam not exactly hitting his stride since the team returned to play from the All-Star Break, it’s crucial to see someone able to step up and provide some support. Some were also concerned that Barnes would eventually hit a rookie wall considering how much he’s been asked to play and we haven’t seen that happen yet.
Malachi Flynn finally emerging when the Toronto Raptors have needed him the most
Barnes isn’t the only young player making the most of the opportunity injuries have created. Malachi Flynn might be showing that he is ready to take on a role that many have been waiting for him to grab.
Seeing his playing time go from 19 to 34 minutes in the first game against the Nets, Flynn had 18 points, five assists and four rebounds. Then on the second night of the back-to-back, he had 15 points, eights assists and six rebounds in 43(!) minutes.
Considering he was averaging 3.4 points, 1.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds and10 minutes per game so far this season, you have to appreciate how Flynn hasn’t flinched at the opportunity.
With VanVleet clearly dealing with some sort of ailment, this is definitely something the team has needed considering how limited their options are at point guard. If he can give VanVleet some relief either with a night off or much-needed time on the bench instead of playing him 40-plus minutes consistently.
Toronto still has some work to do to because once Brooklyn gets a lineup with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Joe Harris and Andre Drummond back, it’s not going to be an easy task.
For now, it’s nice to see the young players step up at a time when they desperately needed to shake off some rough performances.