Scottie Barnes ready for second half of the NBA season
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 17: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors participates in the 2024 Kia Skills Challenge during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 17, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Fresh off his first NBA All Star Game selection, the Toronto Raptors young leader Scottie Barnes is ready to carry his good momentum into the second half of the season. Although the Raptors have decided to press the 're-set' button following OG Anunoby's trade to New York and Pascal Siakam's trade to Indiana, Barnes has stayed ready for Darko Rajaković's team performing at the highest level.

The 22 year-old is having a career year, averaging 20 points through 56 games this season to go with six assists. Barnes is only in his third season in the NBA after being drafted by the Raptors in 2021 and earning Rookie of the year honors. 

Facilitator

A lot of things have changed this season for Toronto but Scottie's ability to make his teammates better is not of them. Immanuel Quickley, who recently arrived to the Raptors alongside RJ Barrett, told reporters that playing with Barnes makes it ''easier for him.''

“I think it just makes the game easier for me. I don’t have to go against full-court pressure the whole game,” Quickley said of playing with Barnes.

“I can tell Scottie to go get it and I can play off the ball and be aggressive in that way. Just trying to use everybody’s strengths together to help each other.”

Areas of improvement

While Barnes has demonstrated his ability to impact the game, he still has plenty of room for improvement if he aims to become the leader of the Raptors team in the years ahead.

The Florida State product exhibits proficiency in driving past defenders and attacking the rim, yet one of his primary areas for growth lies in his shooting from beyond the arc. Although his 3-point percentage has improved compared to his first two seasons, he still needs to achieve greater consistency in his shooting from long range.

Overall, the Raptors should be excited for the future and if Barnes keeps trusting his development in the organization, the team could become a problem in years to come. 

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