Amit Mann was joined by Scottie Barnes’ basketball trainer, Brian Macon, to discuss how Barnes has become a better jump shooter through tweaks to his mechanics during the offseason as he prepares for his sophomore campaign. The full episode on Barnes’ offseason development can be found on the ‘Raptors Over Everything’ podcast feed and on our Yahoo Sports Canada YouTube.
AMIT MANN: When it comes to his jumper, I did a video. For people who maybe not have seen it, it’s on YouTube. And I was just looking at essentially clips that you provided on your Instagram of what may be a little bit different about Scottie Barnes’s jumper heading into next season. And I had some observations. But obviously, you’re the expert in this area, more so than I am. What are some of the tweaks that he made? Because I think the Raptors also made some tweaks heading into his rookie season. And then it seems like there have been a few more tweaks during the offseason too.
BRIAN MACON: Yeah, I think the Raptors are really like keying in on– Nick Nurse is like one of the freaking best shooting– he’s got a book on shooting.
AMIT MANN: Night school with Nick Nurse? Shooting school at night with Nick Nurse? It’s a common thing up here.
BRIAN MACON: Yeah. But I think they got him to really engage his lower half, engage his legs into his shot in the tips. And then they moved it a little bit to the right side. I mean, I don’t really tweak it a lot. I just work on– he broke his wrist, I think, when he was in 9th or 10th grade, and he still doesn’t have like the flexibility in his wrist.
So I really work on it with the heavy ball with him getting that action of flicking his wrist. And a lot of it’s just him getting the feel for it. Once he gets the feel for it, then he’ll get it. And we don’t make like huge tweaks because I don’t want to mess up– I respect Nick Nurse and what he has done with this.
So I just kind of like– you can see the differences. And I see it. And I just try to kind of reinforce what he’s doing, make sure he’s flicking his risk every single time, and using his index finger to follow the follow-through every single time.
I mean, his hands are huge. So it’s hard for him to get a good feel for the ball every single time. But I think he’s working hard at it. A lot of it’s just identifying what shots in the flow of the game– being ready to the ball as far as like mentally, knowing that Pascal is a strong left-hand driver. And he’s coming to my side, so I’ll probably have a shot. So I need to be ready to shoot the ball.
So that’s some of it. Of course, a lot of it is physically. And then the main thing is just getting reps, reps, reps, and reps and reps and reps and reps. So that’s what we’ve been doing. And he’s made huge progress with it. And I think that he’s going to continue to make the same progress.
AMIT MANN: Yeah. Pascal talked about that during the season when he was asked about his 3-point shot and why– I think he was shooting around 33% or something like that at the time. And they asked– he had a small turnaround for 4 or 5 games. And he was asked, what’s the difference?
And he’s like, essentially, I’m just ready to shoot. I’m just expecting the ball to come my way. And my arms are ready. And my mentality is there that, when the ball comes to me, I’m ready to go. Positionally I’m sound. My hands are ready. And I’m just ready to release.
I mean, it seems kind of simplistic. But I would imagine that’s probably hard to do during the game or to develop that skill without constant reps because you only get those kind of reps when you’re in a halfcourt offense, and the shot clock’s going down, and the ball is passed to you, you know?
BRIAN MACON: Yeah, I agree 100%. I mean, it’s hard. Most of these guys have lived their whole life with them being the best player on the court, always having the ball in their hand. So when they get to a space like this where they have to play off the ball, sometimes it’s difficult for them to adjust.