WATCH: Raptors Rookie Scottie Barnes Gives Hell to James Harden and Kevin Durant and Locks Them Up

Published 11/07/2021, 10:37 PM EST
Nov 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) moves the ball against Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) during the first half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports


Scottie Barnes is catching every NBA fan’s attention with his exceptional start to this season. The #4 pick has started strongly and is currently the fan-favorite to win the Rookie of the Year. However, it’s just the third week and Barnes will have to do something special consistently. But there’s no better way to show the sparks of his potential than locking down arguably the highest tier of offensive threats: James Harden and Kevin Durant.

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In the game against the Brooklyn Nets, Barnes displayed his tremendous defensive skills while guarding them both. His steals and guarding definitely made the night tough for the All-Star Duo from Brooklyn. This is how he put the Nets duo on the clamps while defending them.

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Scottie Barnes put James Harden and Kevin Durant on test

The Brooklyn Nets surely defeated the Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon, but they had to overcome youngster Scottie Barnes’ outstanding defensive plays. Barnes became the first rookie since Anthony Edwards to record five steals in a single game in Sunday’s contest. Other than Edwards and Barnes, just five rookies have accomplished this feat since 2012.

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And as one can see in the video, some of the impressive steals came against Kevin Durant. So even though the Nets triumphed, Barnes’ defense left Durant impressed.

Nov 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) celebrates after scoring against the Toronto Raptors during the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors selected Scottie Barnes fourth overall in the 2021 draft and he is off to a fantastic start. The 20-YO is averaging 17.6 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game while shooting 52.1 percent from the field and displaying possibly the strongest defensive abilities from this year’s draft class.

How did Durant respond to this performance?

Kevin Durant, who is currently the most experts’ pick for the MVP award, was impressed by what he saw of Barnes. After the game, he and his teammate Blake Griffin rained praises on Scottie Barnes. In his post-game interview, Durant said this about Barnes.

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So now that the MVP favorite has Scottie Barnes in his books of impressive rookies, has Barnes found a possible off-season mentor? Looking at how impressed Durant was, Barnes must obviously be on cloud nine.

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A legend of the game being impressed of you as a rookie would make anyone feel the satisfaction of making their mark on the NBA. So the future prospects are bright for Scottie Barnes.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

374 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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