Embrace the ups and downs of Scottie Barnes' journey

Imman Adan and Yasmin Duale discuss the ups and downs fans have seen with Scottie Barnes recently and why the Raptors should be encouraged by his attitude.

Video Transcript

IMMAN ADAN: One of the main reasons for that as someone who has been struggling, and we've talked about it a little bit on this pod-- Hasan's been saying some things that have been hurting my feelings, calling him-- what did he call him? Dunker spot Scott, that's what he was calling him on the last podcast.

YASMIN DUALE: Sorry, who was that?

IMMAN ADAN: Dunker spot Scott.

YASMIN DUALE: That is uncalled for.

IMMAN ADAN: Uncalled for, very rude. But he had a good game. He was--

YASMIN DUALE: No, you're right, yeah. He was great. I think that if we want him to become the type of player that we want him to, he's going to have a lot of these moments where he's going to be expected to produce in crunch time. A lot of the times, it does not pan out as you wish. It sometimes is really ugly.

And I think the mark of a good player is if they're willing to bear that burden because any NBA player is going to make at least 40-something-percent of their shots. But Scottie has like this crazy confidence that has given us a lot of great moments. And it's going to give us some moments where he's going to be on a blooper reel.

So yeah, you've got to take both sides. You've got to take the good with the bad. That's how it goes. A lot of it is because players are pushing themselves to kind of break out of that-- the rookie expectations, take on more usage, and kind of push themselves and to develop things in their skill set that might be underdeveloped.

So fans should get used to this. They should get used to this year. We're going to have more moments like this. We're going to have moments like this next season. And that's all within the journey of becoming a top 12 player or something. I think that's ultimately the goal for Scottie.

IMMAN ADAN: I think that's entirely correct. And I think where a lot of people were sort of faulting Scottie over it, where a lot of people were upset with Scottie's performance was the lack of aggression because you're right. In order to be a top 12 player, a top 10 player, in order to enter that, you have to be able to say, yeah, I'm going to miss some shots.

And he didn't have the most efficient night, but he took 29 shots. That's not something that we've seen from Scottie in the games where Pascal has been out. I actually have it right here. Scottie had been averaging just under 14 field goal attempts per game between the Atlanta game and the Dallas game where Pascal was out.

And you just need a more aggressive Scottie Barnes, with Gary Trent out, with Fred VanVleet still not entirely healthy, you're going-- Scottie needs to sort of be that guy. We're looking at Scottie, and we're looking at OG taking that next step. I think we've seen that from OG Anunoby. And tonight we saw it from Scottie.

I thought this was such a great performance because, yeah, you're not going to hit everything. But just the aggression. And his ankle-- last possession, which I think a lot of people are sort of harping on a little bit, that last possession, it kind of sucks.

You would like to see him-- the last possession in regulation I'm talking about. You would love to see him dunk it in that moment. But I think that maybe points to maybe Scottie not being entirely healthy there. But his aggression that he showed, him being the best player on the court, honestly, in the game, period, in my opinion, is exactly what you want.

And it was so great to have that because I think sometimes when we talk about these sophomore slumps, what happens is players get into their head. And then they lack the aggression. It becomes this cycle, right? I'm playing bad, so then I'm going to get in my head. And that's going to make me play even worse.

So to see Scottie kind of break that and just say, you know what, I am the most talented player on the court, I am the best player on the court, and actually show that in a game with his aggression and with the shot taking, the defense-- he looked like he was zoned in. It was such a great performance from Scottie Barnes.

I think for everyone who was kind of worrying a little bit about what this sophomore slump means and what it's going to look like, I think Scottie showed you. There's nothing to really fear. It was two weeks in his second year playing basketball. It's nothing to fear.

Scottie Barnes was absolutely phenomenal last night. And it sucks that I think the game was sort of capped by that last layup in--

YASMIN DUALE: I will say--

IMMAN ADAN: --regulation. Yeah?

YASMIN DUALE: I will say before we move on to the next topic-- but I will say that fans should keep an eye on how he performs next game. And I don't mean in terms of the stats but in terms of--

IMMAN ADAN: The aggression?

YASMIN DUALE: The aggression. Does he maintain it? Because that would be a really great sign that the whole final moments of that last game is just water off a duck's back, it's just-- that's also a really good attitude to have.

And I think that the Raptors, kind of their culture preaches, where it's, you don't get bogged down by past performances. You go into every game like it's its own entity. So hopefully Scottie takes that philosophy, and he does the exact same thing that he was just doing.

IMMAN ADAN: I think is a great point. No, I think that's a great point. And I feel like-- I wish I had the numbers here. But I feel like that's something that we saw from Scottie Barnes last season, right, where if he didn't have the best game, he would come out the next night. And it would just-- yesterday didn't happen. It's all about the moment on the court.