On Monday, Scotty Barnes came off the bench for the first time of the regular season in the Toronto Raptors’ 100-88 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The feeling for the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year was different.
“It was definitely a little different. It was good,” Barnes said of how he felt coming off the bench after the win. “I don’t know. I guess it was nothing.
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Scotty Barnes came off the bench for the Cavs
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The second-year Raptors star noticed some differences. “I don’t know,” Barnes continued. “I’m used to being there to start the game. But I guess it was a bit of an adjustment. i guess. I do not know. It was different, I guess.”
Of course, the move comes as little surprise to Barnes. “No. I knew it was happening,” the Florida State product replied. “It was just different.”
In 27 minutes, Barnes finished Monday night off the bench with 11 points, four rebounds, five assists, one steal and three blocks. He finished 5-of-12 (41.7%) shooting from the floor.
Raptors forward Scotty Barnes said coming off the bench for the first time in the regular season was a little different.
Asked if he was okay with a different starting lineup, Barnes replied, “Yeah, whatever the method was, the game plan. It was fun.” At least Barnes seemed good about it.
In 17 games this season, the Raptors wing is averaging 14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. He is shooting 43.7% from the field and 34.8% from behind the arc.
Barnes’ Player Efficiency Rating (15.5) and True Shooting Percentage (50.4%) stats are lower than his rookie-season numbers. However, the Raptors are using Barnes in 21% of their front-court games, a career-high usage percentage.
Nick Nurse says he knows Gary Trent Jr. (and Scotty Barnes) will be coming off the bench #Raptors Shooting past their matches.
“I’m just trying to get the team to play as well as possible… (Gary) doesn’t seem to be bothered a bit. pic.twitter.com/U1bGnfcgRt
— Adam Laskaris (@adam_la2karis) November 29, 2022
Also, Toronto coach Nick Nurse isn’t the first to change the starting five this season. Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue decided to bench former Raptors star Kawhi Leonard.
And Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers now leads the team’s secondary. Lakers coach Darwin Hamm thought it was a necessary change. Despite his inconsistency, Westbrook has thrived in the sixth man role during his 15-year career.
Through 18 games, Westbrook is averaging 15.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He is also shooting 40.6% from the field and 31.6% from three-point range. He also recorded six double-doubles.
After one game it is difficult to say whether this was the right decision by the nurse or not. In the year On November 19, in the Raptors’ 124-122 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Scotty Barnes scored a game-high 28 points in 46 minutes.
The wing has notched two 20-point games this season, though. This time last season as a rookie, Barnes scored 20-plus points in four contests.
Barnes came off the bench in Game 4 of the Raptors’ 110-102 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. He finished that game with six points, 11 rebounds and two steals in 26 minutes.