Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant complimented the basketball IQ of Toronto Raptors rookie forward Scottie Barnes relative to his young age.
The Brooklyn Nets may have won their Nov. 7 game against the Toronto Raptors, but the Raptors came away with a different kind of win: high praise from one of the best forwards in the league.
After the 116-103 game wrapped up at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, Nets forward Kevin Durant commented on the outstanding performance of Raptors rookie forward Scottie Barnes.
“How old is he?” Durant asked media. “19? 20? Sheesh.”
Durant continued, saying that Barnes’ basketball IQ and enthusiasm is “rare” to see in a rookie.
And to top it all off, Durant said that this was only the beginning for the 20-year-old Barnes: he is destined to become even greater in the years to come.
Kevin Durant complimented Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes on his game
Even though Durant and teammate James Harden came away with the win, it was a hard-wrought one because of the impressive defense put up by Barnes.
One Twitter user even drew the comparison between Durant and Barnes, saying that Barnes was Durant “reincarnated.”
After his impressive performance at home, Barnes stands as the rookie leader in points per game at 16.6. He also ranks first in rebounds per game (8.7) and field goal percentage (52.4 percent).
Barnes also ranks first in PER, or “Player Efficiency Rating.” PER was created by ESPN columnist John Hollinger, who describes it in the following way:
“The PER sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance.”
That means per minute, Barnes is the most efficient player on the court, considering the rebounds he lands, the field goals he makes and the overall points he scores. He is leading in all of these categories, which means that minute by minute, he is currently the most valuable player to have on the court in the NBA.
But the stats tell the story that Durant anticipates for his future: Barnes isn’t like any other rookie. Barnes sees the game differently, combining an elite basketball IQ, instinct, and analysis to capture rebounds and make shots like no other.
The future is bright for Scottie Barnes — and Kevin Durant was here to predict it in 2021.