Brian Macon, Scottie Barnes trainer, discusses the sophomore's desire to win games and what he plans to develop in Barnes' game during the offseason. Listen to the full episode discussing Barnes' season, next steps and more on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed or watch below on YouTube.
- Siakam the slam!
- CJ, the 3, good!
BRIAN MACON: If he's aggressive, it's going to be successful. Somebody's going to get a wide open shot, whether it be him or whether it be one of his teammates. So there really wasn't much conversation.
I mean, when he was at that spot, he was like, yo, we can run offense. We can run the offense through me at the elbow like Jokic. He made that comment. So he's OK, man, with being whatever it is. He just wants to be out there and he just mainly just wants to win.
AMIT MANN: His current role is kind of a de facto backup point guard, but his ball handling, his jump shot has to get to a certain level so that way he becomes a different level of threat, right? He's already a huge downhill threat. He's going to collapse defenses nonstop.
But teams are going to snuff that out. And they're going to collapse their defense, like they're doing with Pascal. Pascal has always got five people guarding him, right? So when that happens to Scottie, he's going to have those counters. So from your standpoint, what has been the few things that you've seen this season from his point guard play where you're like, those are a few things that we're probably going to be able to play with during the off-season.
BRIAN MACON: I think that mid-range is important for him. I think, because he gets downhill so much and so easily, the defense is on their heels a lot. So if he can make that 20- to 15-footer and he can kind of live there, I think it's going to be-- that's when you'll see him jump from like 15 to maybe like in like the low 20s.
And I think another thing that we stress is just him playing off two feet more and getting to the line. Because he goes to the basket play off one foot a lot and he gets in the air, you know. And a lot of that is to make plays, but he needs to start-- I just encourage him to just play off two feet and just go through people's chest. Just go through their chest so you can get to the line.
Because if he gets to the line-- our goal is to get at least six free throws a game. That's just all of us just kind of-- that's just us, like me and him, just kind of developing what it's going to look like. Can you hit two 3's a game? Can you get six free throws a game? Can you get like 8 to 10 points in isolation? Can get a couple of offensive rebounds?
So it can-- we can kind of shape him to be like that All-NBA guy and what his usage is going to be and where, different areas, he can affect the game and just make the biggest impact offensively once he starts to continue to grow and get that experience and things like that.
So I think we've really got to work on his two-foot finishes, little shots in the paint. I mean, he's got great touch, but little, like little fades. I think he made one against Memphis to tie the game where he went left two dribbles, jumped off two, little pump fake, little fade. Like all those shots.
AMIT MANN: That was tough. That was a tough little shot.
BRIAN MACON: Yeah, like all of those shots are going to be important for him if we want to get him to where he wants to be. And I think the mid-range for alpha scorers in the NBA, like they all take mid-range jump shots and they all hit them at a pretty high rate. I think right now he might be like top-five worst mid-range shooters in the game. But I'm just encouraged that he's shooting them.
I think he's benefiting more from, instead of taking what the defense gives you, like just look for that initially. Don't let you shooting the ball be a second thought. So just those things, like working on everything that we've done. But definitely like playing off two feet, different shots in the paint, and always shooting it and that mid-range jump shot.
CJ MILES: I mean, it's got to feel good too to be able to look in your locker room and see somebody add exactly what we talking about into your game and it turned them into an all-star. Like this is exactly what Pascal added to his game, all the little fades, the little, short mid-range shots, tightening up his counters.
I mean, we talked about, was he moving faster? And it was just his handle was better. He was just reacting. He was smoother. It was less steps to get to moves. It was sharper. It was I need two dribbles instead of four now. I need three instead of seven. You reach. Between the legs, boom, right into whatever it is. It was just a rhythm.
And all those little shots-- the spin backs, the pump fakes, the spin, the pivot-- that Pascal added to his game is what took him up another level. It brings you into a position to get 10 more points in a game now, if you really look at it, just based off stuff that you pass out of that you've got other stuff you can go to that mess around and get you an 8-foot bank shot just because you've got your pivot working.
BRIAN MACON: Yep. Yeah, and I think Pascal has such a good feel for it. It's almost like he's playing chess out there. He's really allowing you to overplay up some way so he can get to spin back or so he can get to-- I love when he gets to the middle of the paint at like at like 12 feet and just shoot the easiest stepback jumper. Like nobody takes that shot, you know what I mean?
And then you see him take it with like three guys around him, but it's really just like-- somebody might be digging it. It's just an open shot. So yeah, I think-- and I have, we have discussion. Like Scottie is not even thinking that. He just thinks you get to the front of the rim and I'm going left shoulder or right shoulder every single time. So like it hasn't even-- it hasn't even slowed up for him, but.
CJ MILES: He's just going to what got the highest success rate right now.
BRIAN MACON: Yeah, for sure.
AMIT MANN: Yeah. You mentioned that, CJ, too, with Pascal. That you find it so crazy that he operates from that part of the court.
CJ MILES: Yeah. We were talking about like ISO right there and everybody keeps digging and helping. But he knows where he wants to get to already. He knows what shots that's in his wheelhouse. So it don't matter what he sees around, he just needs to know where he get.
He got his release higher in those shots, so now the arc on the ball is higher. It don't have to be this big, jumping shot. He gets to his shot pocket faster because the release is higher. And he just gets it over people. He gets that little bump on his defender, the little half stepback. And the rest of the help don't really matter.
BRIAN MACON: Yeah.
CJ MILES: You overcommit, I've got two guys on the wings. I've got Fred and Gary standing to the right and left of me.
BRIAN MACON: Yep.
AMIT MANN: Yep. I get a little giddy when I see him just take over a game using his mid-range and only his mid-range. Like he hits like five or six shots and then the team's just like on their heels. They're like, oh shit.
BRIAN MACON: Yeah.
AMIT MANN: Uh-oh, he's hitting this now.
CJ MILES: You know when you're in that space. Like I'm one dribble from the rim, so they don't want to crowd me. You don't want to send a double. It's like they used to put Dirk there in the middle of the floor.
BRIAN MACON: Yep.
CJ MILES: Right smack dab in the middle of the floor. Now you bring somebody. I don't have to be-- I don't even have to be a great passer to make the play from here. Just got to get it out of the double-team.