Toronto picked up its second win from three game down at Summer League, pulling out a 92-76 win over the Rockets during which the Raptors were never really challenged.
As is always the case in Summer League, the final results in Vegas aren’t nearly as important as the developmental flashes shown along the way. Here’s what you need to know about the dudes that matter most from the Raptors’ third summer league game.
Scottie Barnes — 23 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 blocks, 2/7 FG
Barnes’ first real moment of note didn’t come until the second quarter when he hit Ishmail Wainright with a heads up dart of a pass in transition for a lay-up. If he’s going to chip in on offense with the big club this season, the fast break is probably going to be where it happens most. It was nice to get a look at his vision on the run.
After that play he promptly had to leave after dinging his ankle setting a screen, though he did his best to fight coach Patrick Mutumbo on the decision at the time. He thankfully returned just before the half.
There are going to be a lot of offensive growing pains with Barnes. He’s unsure of himself when he doesn’t have a passing outlet to lean on, and there isn’t really a level from which he can be considered a good scorer yet. If you adjust your expectations accordingly and buckle in for the long haul on that end, you’ll enjoy the Barnes experience a lot more. Toronto doesn’t need him to be an offensive stud from day one. That doesn’t mean he won’t contribute in a big way on defense immediately. He’s too special on that end to not be a Nick Nurse favourite early on.
No sequence from this game better sums up what the Barnes experience is probably gonna look like this year than a stretch in the third quarter when he duffed a fast break lay-up, only to race back and explode for a block, which in turn became a Malachi Flynn pull-up three.
That block was one of his five on the night. He’s going to be an absolute terror.
Malachi Flynn — 32 minutes, 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 5/14 FG, 2/7 3FG
It was a second straight uneven effort from Flynn against the Rockets. He still at times looked like the most seasoned and professional player on the floor, but the wonky shooting line is a little discouraging.
Precious Achiuwa — 26 minutes, 19 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 8/11 FG, 2/3 3FG
Toronto has been kind of lean on sick dunkers since DeMar DeRozan left town. Precious Achiuwa might be the next great hope for those who love yams.
Achiuwa’s handle and fluidity at his size continue to stand out. What he does with the ball after he dribbles up the floor and Euro-steps waiting defenders into oblivion is still anyone’s guess, but it’s tantalizing as to watch him when he gets a head of steam. His threes feel a little like Summer League anomalies, but if they’re more than that then watch the hell out. Toronto’s development staff is going to have some fun with this guy. He also might be too good for Summer League, which you love to see.
Ish Wainright — 29 minutes, 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks, 7/12 FG
Wainright has extreme sound role player energy. He knows where to be on defense, he’s a really smart cutter on the offensive end, runs the floor well as an outlet, and does have a track record of shooting well from three, although his overseas numbers are super up-and-down. There’s also something to the idea of having a dude who looks like the oldest man in the NBA on a super young roster. Consider me intrigued as he heads into training camp fighting for a roster spot.
Dalano Banton — 16 minutes, 8 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 4/11 FG
Banton is like if Delon Wright was four inches taller and a couple degrees weirder. He’s got some slither to his game, so while he doesn’t really have blow-by speed, he can still get to the rim with bizarro elongated crossovers and a strong one-footed leap. In the instances in which he got walled off from the basket against Houston, he busted out funky turnarounds and heads up dimes through traffic.
Banton wasn't giving this one up pic.twitter.com/bCPVOjmR4t— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) August 13, 2021
Banton finding Wainright pic.twitter.com/hOAJwQ8oMv— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) August 13, 2021
His length on defense is also unmissable. He chipped in a second-quarter chase down, and mostly lined up as a big on the defensive side of the ball, lingering around the paint and disrupting shots from all angles.
I don’t totally know what I’m watching when he plays, but I’m damn sure I love the shit out of it.
Justin Champagnie — 12 minutes, 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 3/6 FG, 1/2 3FG
One of Toronto’s two-ways for this coming season is proving to be damn intriguing. He came up with a huge block in help defense in the opening quarter, and followed it up with a transition steal and a catch-and-shoot three. He mixed in a couple decent drives and finishes as well. He looks like a legit dude if the Raptors are able to make him their latest three-point shooting developmental success.
Toronto gets back to it on Saturday when they take on James Bouknight, Kai Jones and the Charlotte Hornets at 7pm on TSN 2.