The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon, but they had to overcome an impressive defensive performance from the rookie Scottie Barnes. In Sunday's matchup, Barnes became the first rookie since Anthony Edwards to record five steals in a single game. Aside from Barnes and Edwards, the feat had only been accomplished by five rookies since 2012.
Matt Brooks of NetsDaily reported that when asked postgame about the play of Scottie Barnes, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant said, "How old is he? 19? 20? Sheesh." Durant was clearly impressed by the play of Toronto's rookie, and his teammate Blake Griffin shared similar thoughts. On Barnes, Blake said postgame that "Body-wise, he's NBA ready. Confident. Can score in a variety of ways. I do love that he sets hard screens, rolls, rebounds... He's going to be good for a long time."
Scottie Barnes was drafted 4th overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2021 NBA draft, and is off to a great start to his NBA career. The 20-year-old is currently averaging 17.6 PPG and 8.9 RPG on 52.1% from the field while flashing arguably the best defensive ability in the draft.
While the Raptors were unable to pull out a win over the Nets, the play of their young rookie was enough to warrant some high praise from two of the NBA's most notable stars of the last decade.