Scottie Barnes relishing new role with Raptors

On the latest episode of "Strictly Hoops," C.J. Miles and Amit Mann discuss how Scottie Barnes' playstyle is being used better in his new offensive role with Raptors. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast or watch on YouTube.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: And one person that I think has probably made the biggest change in terms of their production, is Scottie Barnes. I think the Raptors are using him pretty differently. And I asked him about this a few-- last week or the week before.

And I asked him about his process because we were coming off the Bucks game where he had that, like, huge burst of scoring. He had, like, 15 in, like, eight minutes. But before that, he wasn't even remotely looking to score the ball. And there were cases where they're playing a really deep drop on him, and he's not shooting the ball.

And I asked him about that. I'm like, how do you decide what your process is, and when you're going to [? playmake ?] versus when you're going to score? And I think this was the early stages of what we're seeing now, is that the Raptors were looking for him to become something of a Marc Gasol, with what he was with the Toronto Raptors. [? That's ?] [? a ?] next action big, set screens, and just keep the ball moving. And it's been profitable for the Raptors so far.

CJ MILES: I mean, with the guys that are around him--

AMIT MANN: Yeah.

CJ MILES: --he's most effective that way now, anyway. I know there's things you want to add to his game, and things he has added to his game, and things he can do. But as a unit and you, we are more productive with you playing this way.

AMIT MANN: Yeah.

CJ MILES: Ball movement-- even your scoring is going up because of the opportunities you're getting because the ball is just in your hands, faster, quicker decisions, and there's no standing around. I think it's just about understanding that and being able to just pick your spots.

Because it can get to a point where he's averaging 18 to 20 quiet, just because-- we run three or four actions throughout the game. We just run them so well that we just pick them apart. You don't have to have these set plays all the time.

And then we can get you moving with that pace, where the ball is moving, not sticking, and you're changing sides, and you're doing different things. You're going to create so many opportunities for yourself just from being at the pace, just because guys don't want to guard it.

Because we know-- and we're playing in a don't foul league. Like, don't foul. Like, just get it out, and let's go, you know what I mean? That's how it goes.

AMIT MANN: He's a really good screener, right?

CJ MILES: Mm-hmm. And--

AMIT MANN: Really good screener.

CJ MILES: --big space, with the spacing [? playing ?] [? with ?] now because of his playmaking skills, him setting really high pick and rolls, and the guards can't turn the corner. They throw it back to him, and now, he's got the whole middle of the floor to play with.

AMIT MANN: Yeah.

CJ MILES: He can go attack his guy, change sides. Help comes, he got two shooters, maybe one shooter on the other side, depending on the setup. But I think it creates such a dynamic for him that-- it also takes that iso feeling out of the play.

AMIT MANN: Sure.

CJ MILES: Like, oh, everybody's looking at me. And I got to overthink my move. Like, now, I just catch and move. I only see one defender, and I just go make a play.

AMIT MANN: Yeah. What are the advantages of having a playmaking big like him? I'm calling him a big. I mean, he's playing center, so let's call him a playmaking big. What are the advantages of having someone like him, Sabonis, Jokic being that kind of facilitator versus a point guard?

CJ MILES: I think-- we keep talking about pace. But I think at some point, it speeds up the pace the other guys can play with. Because now, you got your biggest guy out of the equation.

AMIT MANN: Mm, interesting.

CJ MILES: You know what I mean? So now, how fast we can change sides, or get that guy to the other side, [? and ?] set a different screen, and different things we can do. And everybody wants to switch.

So you know, they're kind of almost zoned up. So even the guy guarding the ball is backed off, which is an advantage, too, because now, I see the floor.

AMIT MANN: Mm-hmm.

CJ MILES: Now, you want to go crowd Jokic. Like, these guys are crafty enough to get by guys their own size and do different things.

AMIT MANN: Yeah.

CJ MILES: I know if he's playing point guard, I can't put a point guard on him because then, I'm going to have to go guard him in the post. It creates all these different dynamics that allow you to almost play anybody on the floor.