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The next steps for Raptors' Scottie Barnes

Brian Macon, Scottie Barnes' trainer, reveals what he will be focusing on during his offseason work with Scottie Barnes. Watch the full episode on YouTube or listen on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.

Video Transcript

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 like a different level of threat, right? He's already a huge downhill threat. He's gonna to collapse defenses nonstop. But teams are gonna 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, all right?

BRIAN MACON: Yep.

AMIT MANN: So when that happens to Scottie, he's gotta 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 the mid-range is important for him. I think because he gets downhill so much and so easily, the defense is on the heels of-- 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 gonna to be-- you know, 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 stressed, like, is just him playing off 2 feet more, 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, you know what I mean? Just go through their chest so he can get to the line.

Because if he gets to the line, our goal is to get at least six free-throws a game. You know, that's just all of us just kind of-- that's just us, like me and him, just kind of developing what it's gonna look like, you know? 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 you get a couple of offensive rebounds?

So we can kind of shake him, 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, like, and get those, that experience, and things like that. So I think we've really going 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 fake. Like all those shots, like, those shots are--

AMIT MANN: Yeah, that was tough. That was a tough shot.

BRIAN MACON: Yeah, like all of those shots are gonna be important for him. If we wanna 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 him at, you know, a pretty high rate.

I'm thinking 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. And I think he'll-- he's benefiting more from, instead of taking what the defense gives you, like get-- like just look for that like 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 2 feet, different shots in the paint, and always shooting it in 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 ad exactly what we talking about, adding to your game, and then turn 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.

And then, 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-- less 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, run right into whatever it is. It was just a rhythm. And all those little shots-- the spin backs, the pump fakes, the spin, the pivoting 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 the game, now, if you really look at it.

BRIAN MACON: Yeah.

CJ MILES: Just based off stuff that you pass out of that you got other stuff you can go to that mess around and get you an 8-foot bank shot just because you got your [INAUDIBLE] working.

BRIAN MACON: Yeah. Yeah, and I think Pascal has such a good feel for, like-- like it's almost like he's playing chess out there, you know what I mean? He's really allowing you to overplay up some way so he can get to his spin back, or so he can get to-- I love when he gets to the middle of the paint at like 12 feet and just shoot the easiest step-back 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.

CJ MILES: Yeah.

BRIAN MACON: Yeah, I think-- and we have discussion, like Scotty's not even thinking that. He just thinking he get to the front of the rim, and I'm going, left shoulder, right shoulder, every single time. Like-- [LAUGHS] So like it has to be-- it has to be slowed up for, but--

CJ MILES: Yeah, he's just going to what got the high success rate right now, like.

BRIAN MACON: Yeah, for sure.

AMIT MANN: Yeah, he mentioned that, CJ, too, with Pascal, that he found it so crazy that he operates from that part of the court.

CJ MILES: Yeah.

AMIT MANN: Yeah.

CJ MILES: We were talking about like he'll ice all right there, and everybody could be digging and helping, but he know where he want to get to already. He knows what shots that's in his wheelhouse. So it don't matter what he see around. He just need to know where he get.

It got his-- he got his release higher in those shots. So now, the arc on the ball is higher and 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-step back, and the rest of the help don't really matter.

BRIAN MACON: Yeah.

CJ MILES: You over-commit, I got two guys on the wings. I got Fred and Gary standing to the right and left him.

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 has like five or six shots, and then the team's just like on their heels and they're like, oh, shit.

CJ MILES: Yeah.

AMIT MANN: Uh-oh, he's hitting this now.

CJ MILES: You know, when you're in that space, like I'm [INAUDIBLE] on the rim, see they don't want to crowd me.

AMIT MANN: Yeah.

CJ MILES: You don't want to send a double. It's like they used to put Dirk there in the middle of the floor.

AMIT MANN: 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.

AMIT MANN: Yep.

CJ MILES: Just got to get it out of the double team.