Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet expresses how he felt about some of the criticism against Scottie Barnes and why he would take the sophomore over any emerging NBA talent.
- Nice bounce back from Scottie tonight. What's been the message to him over the last few games that he's sort of been dealing with a bit of a shooting slump?
FRED VANVLEET: There's no message, man. You guys have fun on Twitter, that's about it. Other than that, everybody goes through it. There's highs, there's lows. There's good games, there's bad games. He's finding his way. And just got to continue to keep working and keep playing.
Nobody around here is worried about him. We know how great of a player he's going to be. There's not any young player I would trade him for. And the sky's the limit for him. So whether that's tomorrow or in a couple of years, we'll see. The rest is up to him and how much work he puts in and how he approaches the game.
But he'll be fine. It's just every day banter when you've got to dissect every possession and every play. And I didn't really even realize that was a narrative until I was sitting at home watching the game, watching the Detroit game.
But yeah, it's a little overblown. He's got to get to it, obviously. He can play better. We all know that. But as far as like trying to make a conclusion about him as a player, I think it's pretty ridiculous.
- We talk a lot about how you and [INAUDIBLE] make life easier on Scottie when you are in the lineup, right? But how much easier does he make it on you when he is playing with the kind of energy that he brought tonight, and he's just kind of all over the floor on both ends?
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, I mean, you guys know how aggressive I am. So any type of aggression I welcome that with open arms. I think that's what the game is about. You've got to play with that fire and that passion and just impose your will, whatever that is for your game. And for him, you could see it from the jump ball. You know pushing the tempo, pushing the pace, getting his body down hill, making plays for himself and for others.
And when he does that, we're a better team. Now, again, everybody goes through different things to where it may not be there on a night to night basis. You've got to find out how to do that. Everybody has gone through it. He's 21-years-old, I think. So he'll find his way. But I was happy to see him more aggressive tonight.