'We want to keep him sharp': Brian Macon on visiting Scottie Barnes in-season

Brian Macon, Scottie Barnes' trainer, discusses why he has seen Barnes every few weeks during the 2022-23 season. Watch the full episode on YouTube or listen on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: I think it also, you said this before we started recording that you're coming up every one or two weeks or so just to-- I mean, what are you doing with Scottie when you do come up?

BRIAN MACON: Just want to keep him sharp. Keep everything feeling good. Our goal is for him to get better throughout the season. So we don't have to wait. We don't only work out in the summer. You know, in the summertime, you only get like two or three months. So we want to continue to just get them going in the right direction and improving throughout the year. Becoming a better shooter, become a ball handler. And then seeing different things throughout the year. How defenses are guarding him, what things we need to continue to work on. So he's growing throughout the season, not just in the summertime.

CJ MILES: Speaking of like the summertime, how do you go about putting together the program? Like when you're getting ready to come home like, are y'all in constant conversation about-- is that him behind you? Constant conversation.


CJ MILES: Are y'all need constant conversation throughout the season? Like I this summer, this really got to be a thing because I'm starting to see more of this. Or y'all just, like you said, throughout the season working. And by the time you get to the summer, and you feel like you're moving on to some other stuff.

BRIAN MACON: Yeah. Just so we can find the consistency, I think we just consistently work on the same things and just trying to get them more of a concept of how he's playing, how he's attacking the defense. But like throughout the year, we'll see like sometimes, that he needs to attack in different matchups, different ways.

And the biggest thing I think for him is to continue to skill work, but kind of flip his mentality from being so much of like playmake, playmake, playmake, to being you're really looking to scroll all the time, but you're just willing to make the right play if the defense helps. So I think that's a huge majority of our focus, just watching a lot of film and finding different spaces on where you could be more aggressive offensively. And he's such a team first guy. That's going to eventually help his playmaking when he's looking to score more.

AMIT MANN: What have you seen translate the best from your offseason work to what we've seen during the season? And I think it's also important that we point out that he's had like three separate roles within this season. I found like the Raptors started using more pick and roll. And then he became like Marc Gasol, next action big. But before that, they were running their weaves or horn sets, and he had a role, but also is very like ISO heavy, their offense as a whole. But now, it's becoming more and more fluid over time. But I mean, yeah. Question remains. Like what have you seen translate the best from the work that you've done with him?

BRIAN MACON: I think his ball handling. He's able to get downhill and make plays. And this reads. Because he handles the ball so well, he's been able to read defenses and kind of be ahead of the defense and making the right pass early. I think one of the like the craziest plays that he made, I think he was on the left block against the New York Knicks.

And I think he was doing pretty good at getting to the basket against them from like the mid post area. And they went to an early rotation. And he spotted it before they even moved to hit the guy in the corner. I think it was OG in the corner for a 3. And the ball literally like went right over the guy's head, the defender's head.

CJ MILES: Oh, I remember that one.

BRIAN MACON: I think that because he can handle the ball so well, it allows him to be more creative in playmaking and things like that. I think if you look at his shooting percentage, it's probably gone down like three 3%. But he's not getting as many dump downs or offensive rebounding. I think other teams are making it a point to keep him off of the board.

And a lot of times at the point guard position, his first responsibility is to get back. So he doesn't have as many easy shots. So the shooting percentage, like you say, had dipped, but he's taking a lot harder shots. He's taking a lot more mid-range jumpers. A lot more 3's. So although the 3-point percentage is kind of the same, I'm ecstatic about his willingness to continue to take it through. You know what I mean. Like him not shooting it well at points during the season. So that's telling me that it feels good.

And if it feels good, it's eventually-- I mean, CJ, you know, if you put in a work, it's eventually going to fall. So I'm happy about, like you can kind of see like his game forming to where it will be. At times, it's not as consistent. But like in the fourth quarter when it's time to win a game, like you've seen him like aggressively look for a shot and find spaces on where he'll score.

So I think it's starting to formulate a little bit more, starting to look like not just kind of like a garbage man getting like dump down, being in the dunker spot or offensive rebounds. Running the floor. Like in the halfcourt, he's starting to formulate like what his game is going to be. I mean, it's not as consistent because like you said, he's played three different roles, and he doesn't have the ball in his head all the time. But you can see flashes of the direction that it's going. So that's good to see.