Saturday, August 13 2022

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse wants rookie Scottie Barnes to play aggressively each game, a point of emphasis made after the fourth pick was recently too passive.

Barnes took the advice, and it resulted in his fourth 20-point game.

He finished with a team-high 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes of work in a 104-88 loss to the Boston Celtics. He went 7-of-11 from the field, while he got to the free-throw line eight times, making seven of those attempts.

Nurse liked the aggression Barnes played with, despite the loss.

Early in the game, I said you’ve got some opportunities to drive to the basket. We ran a set play or two for him to catch it, rip it and go to the rim. He scored on those. He tried to work his way down inside. He got to the foul line some. (He went) 7-for-11 and 21 points, pretty efficient on 11 shots.

The conversation with Barnes came after the rookie scored a season-low eight points on just seven shot attempts on Sunday in a loss to the Brooklyn Nets. He converted four of those shots but the Nurse knows that for the Raptors to be successful, they need Barnes to stay aggressive.

I keep saying Scottie needs to be more aggressive. I didn’t like the last game when he only has seven cracks at it. I liked the game before when he had 19. I want this guy to take his chances and put the pressure on people and go to the basket more and shoot more.

Barnes has made a tremendous impact in a short time. He constantly validates the Raptors’ decision to take him with the fourth pick and has proven that the team can have success when he has productive games — they are 3-1 when he scores 20 or more points.

He has drawn high praise from several coaches and players around the league, and that should only escalate as he plays and develops more with the Raptors.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!


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