Scottie Barnes' struggles are part of his maturation

Imman Adan and Asad Alvi look at the ways Scottie Barnes is struggling and explain why fans shouldn't be too concerned. Listen to the full episode on our 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast or watch on our YouTube.

Video Transcript

ASAD ALVI: Hey, look.

IMMAN ADAN: I will not stand for this slander, but let's pivot to talking about Scott.

ASAD ALVI: I would never-- I would never slander Scottie Barnes. Unfortunately, he's been missing in action. Instead, we have Dunker Spot Scott in his place.

IMMAN ADAN: First of all that was a beautiful-- that was a beautiful find. You want-- you want Scottie's role to not be limited to just standing in the dunker spot waiting for a great pass. But that was a beautiful find. Was that Dalano? I feel that goes to Delano got it to him there.


IMMAN ADAN: Yeah. Beautiful pass.

ASAD ALVI: Delano hits him in the dunker spot. He'll be hitting him in the dunker spot. That's where you can really, really find yourself when you can't find the rest of your game. And like-- and hey. Imman, let's hear your thoughts on why you think Scottie-- Scott-- Scottie, whoever you want to call him, is going through this extended slump. We can call it a slump at this point. It's been however many games, and the numbers do not look good.

IMMAN ADAN: They don't. They don't. And I still say, just to throw some positivity in, he had the passes tonight. He had, like, two passes that I could think of where I was like, let's rewind that instead of watching the next possession over. He still his moments of brilliance. I do think that-- I'm going to use the injury excuse at all times, OK.

I think that he is hobbled. I'm watching him walk up the court and run up the court. And it kind of feels a little jagged. It kind of feels a little wimpy. You kind of see him look over his ankles at times.

But in all honesty, like, what is Scottie's issue right now? Defense. When we're talking about it, he doesn't seem-- and that might be an ankle issue as well, right. I think in terms of, like, the offense, we could talk about OG's offense, right. I think that that's kind of been a little shaky in terms of him, one, not turning the ball over, but two, in terms of the shot making.

That's something that we haven't seen from OG. Now he, credit to him, gets inside, gets down low. He's not turning it over. It's great, and I love the showing your work from OG Anunoby offensively. And we haven't necessarily gotten that from Scottie, but there is no effort on the defensive end either. And I think that that's a major, major, major issue when you are not doing what you can offensively.

I mean, I said it a couple of minutes ago. This team is not talented enough as of right now, especially considering how many injuries they have, to give lackadaisical efforts on the other end, right. And we know that Scottie has the ability to be a good defender. He gets lost quite often. And ball watchers-- I think you had a possession where you said it was the-- in the last game, I think you called it the DeAndre Jordan, a defensive play, which is just, for those of you guys who missed it, there was this clip going around of DeAndre Jordan's defense, which was eventually turned around from where the ball was. I mean, they were like three offensive rebounds on him in the span of like 10 seconds that he could have gotten each and every single one of.

And Scottie had that moment where it was like, I don't know that you can even call it ball watching. His back is turned to everything in those moments. And yeah, I don't know.

ASAD ALVI: It's been weird. I think one part of it is it feels like a bit of an unmasking where it's like, you go from playing with some really, really good offensive and defensive players where you have good spacing, you have-- the floor is balanced. You're not taking on the best defenders of the other team. You're not-- you don't have as much pressure on you, so offensively things are easier. The reads are a little bit easier. You're attacking tilted defenses already. And then defensively, hey, you're more of a point of attack defender, right.

When you think of the Raptors healthy, where is Scottie Barnes usually? He's outside on the perimeter or he's out in the corner, right. So in those situations, it's kind of like, hey, send of the guy as wide as possible. You're going to get blown by, sure. But the Raptors have so many other good backline defenders in Pascal Siakam, in OG Anunoby--

IMMAN ADAN: He doesn't get blown by that much.

ASAD ALVI: --of Fred VanVleet, who pitches in. But then suddenly know a lot of those guys are not there. OG Anunoby very much extended. Thad Young is now the person helping on the backline. Which, as great as Thad Young is, not a rim protector. He does not have the vertical spacing yet.

IMMAN ADAN: We saw Juancho Hernangomez in the back line a bit after, speaking of.

ASAD ALVI: Yeah. So it's not that like Scottie's playing poor defense because he's playing with poor defenders. It's also just that his mistakes are even more obvious to see because there's not as many people covering up. That also being said, there are like seven possessions a game where Scottie is just kind of standing in the dunker spot on defense between the man in the corner and also not helping on the man driving, which is kind of wild.

And then the ball will go up in the air, and he won't find a body to box it out, and suddenly the guy from the corner has run in and grabbed the rebound for an offensive rebound. So those are things that are easily correctable. It's more focused. It's more him just getting kind of lost in things, whether or not he has an ankle injury.

IMMAN ADAN: That's what I'm claiming.

ASAD ALVI: It's reasonable. I think he's just kind of overwhelmed.

IMMAN ADAN: I think he's hobbled.

ASAD ALVI: I think he's a little overwhelmed. I think he's a little lost in it, and he just kind of needs to find his groove back.

IMMAN ADAN: Hobbled.

ASAD ALVI: That being said, until then I'm going to call him Dunker Spot Scott.

IMMAN ADAN: That's awful. Awful.