June 14, 2024

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Scottie Barnes Earns Nuggets Coach’s Respect: “Hell of a Player” Malone Declares

2 min read
Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone heaps praise on Toronto Raptors' Scottie Barnes, calling him a "hell of a player" and comparing his versatility to reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. Read about Barnes' impact on the Raptors and his potential as a future star.


Forget Nikola Jokic’s fancy dimes off the backboard, there’s a new name echoing through the halls of Ball Arena: Scottie Barnes. Following the Nuggets’ hard-fought 113-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors, Denver’s head coach Michael Malone couldn’t contain his admiration for the young Raptors forward.

“Scottie Barnes is a hell of a player, man,” Malone exclaimed during the post-game presser. “He was just out there putting his head down, making plays all over the court.”

Sure, Jokic’s passing wizardry might have hypnotized the crowd, but it was Barnes’ hustle and versatility that truly impressed Coach Malone. “He rebounds like a beast, pushes the break with authority, and can find his teammates with pinpoint passes,” Malone elaborated. “He’s like a point forward at times, dictating the flow of the game.”

One play in particular stood out for Malone, perfectly exemplifying Barnes’ multifaceted skillset. “In the third quarter,” the coach recounted, “he grabbed a rebound under the basket, took two dribbles, and then launched this left-handed laser across the court, right into Pascal Siakam’s hands for an easy layup. That’s the kind of impact he can have – game-changing plays out of nowhere.”

While comparisons to the reigning MVP may seem premature, Malone sees shades of Jokic in Barnes’ ability to orchestrate the offense. “They both have that knack for seeing the whole floor, making the right reads, and getting their teammates involved,” Malone explained. “Of course, Scottie’s still young, but the potential is definitely there.”

Barnes himself remained humble when asked about the Jokic comparisons. “He’s an incredible player, one of the best in the league,” Barnes acknowledged. “I’m just trying to learn from him and everyone else I can. Every night is a chance to grow, and I appreciate Coach Malone’s kind words.”

One thing’s for sure: Scottie Barnes is no secret anymore. With his relentless energy and ever-expanding skillset, he’s quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference. And if Coach Malone’s assessment is any indication, the entire NBA better take notice. This Toronto youngster is just getting started.


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