Scottie Barnes’ confidence is unwavering

Scottie Barnes had an exceptional fourth quarter last night and I break it down here.

Confidence is the key to many things in life, without confidence in yourself or your abilities you will surely fail. There are many critiques about Scottie Barnes’ game and rightfully so, but the one thing nobody can deny about Barnes is that he has the utmost confidence in himself and that never changes no matter how bad he is performing.

Last night’s game was shaping up to be a very rough game for Scottie. He was tasked with primary defensive duties on Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic and it went as bad as it possibly could’ve. Not only was he having a rough go at it on defense but offensively he was also struggling, so much in fact that he was scoreless until late in the third quarter.

After making his first field goal late in the third after Pascal Siakam was ruled out for the rest of the game Scottie Barnes went into the 4th ready to take over. You could tell early on that he was anxious to make something happen when he was frantically clapping for the ball during every inbound. Scottie not only impacted the game scoring wise but he also left his mark passing the basketball which is something he’s been improved at this season.

To get things started he ran a handoff with Gary Trent Jr which freed up the space for him to get a mid range jumper to go down. Scottie has a great understanding of how to position his body on these plays and his little pause freezes Maxi Kleber enough so there’s an opening for his teammate, great stuff.

His next pass was very exciting stuff, he set up shot in the post on the left side of the court and he sees Christian Wood not paying attention off the ball to his man Otto Porter Jr so he whips a one handed skip court pass right in the shooters pocket for Otto before Wood even knew what was happening. It is this fast processing that you want to see from Scottie, not just the processing but the creativity. He has just a split second where Wood is out of position so instead of making it a traditional two hand pass he uses the one hand pass which can come out quicker. Furthermore Scottie turned down the wide open Precious Achiuwa who was one pass away as a result of his post up drawing help from Kleber, he turned this down because he knew it was the pass Dallas wanted him to make and this level of decision making is just special.

This next pass should make Raptors fans extremely excited for the future. Scottie brings the ball up and notices Precious Achiuwa has the smaller Tim Hardaway Jr. on him and rather than just forcing a telegraphed pass down low Scottie shows great patience and poise and waits for Precious to get better positioning before he fires the ball high where only Precious can grab it and put up the layup for an easy two. This pass really shows Scottie’s poise because it’s easy to get overzealous to get the ball to the mismatch and in turn give up the advantage but Scottie waited until the proper positioning was had and the ball placement on this was just perfect, this is the stuff you want to see from a guy running the offense and he’s only in year 2 folks.

The next pass once again showed Scotties’ quick processing. OG Anunoby drove and the drive was a fail due to the packed paint so Barnes slid over so OG could have an easier passing angle to him and as soon as he touched the ball he once again noticed someone out of position. Scotties’ processing on this stuff is very special because it keeps advantages alive. He notices Dwight Powell out of position due to him helping on the initial drive and he fires a quick touch pass to Precious in the corner and it’s another three points to cut the lead to three.

Now let’s get to his late game scoring. Despite the rough shooting start Scottie still attacked the basket relentlessly starting off with a running hook shot for his first field goal of the first. He drew Spencer Dinwiddie out and got a running start in order to get the room for this layup to go down. For his next field goal it showed his effort level, after firing a pass to Chris Boucher in the corner he was under the basket for the missed mid range attempt and battled multiple Mavericks for positioning in order to get the put back layup. For his final field goal it encapsulates just how confident he really is. It would’ve been easy for Scottie to lose his aggression scoring wise after shooting so poorly from the field earlier in the game but late in a tight ball game Scottie pulled out a turnaround jumper and shot it with conviction for another two points.

Although the Raptors fell short against the Mavericks we can ascertain a lot of positive things about Scottie Barnes based on this 4th quarter. With no Pascal he had no problem becoming the focal point of the offense dropping 6 assists and 8 points in the 4th quarter and just being poised leader Toronto needed to stage this comeback. Scottie Barnes’ confidence alone will take him very far.

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