April 23 update: Barnes is available for Saturday’s game.
For a team down 3-0, Nick Nurse is pulling a lot of shenanigans regarding Barnes’ injury status. The forward was originally expected to play before being considered doubtful. He’s now upgraded to questionable for Game 4, but is also a game-time decision. If only this much thought had been put into the gameplan.
April 22 update: After initially being deemed likely to play, Barnes has been listed as doubtful for Game 4 Saturday. This could be injury shenanigans from Nick Nurse, but the Raptors have lost this series essentially being down 3-0. There’s no reason to risk Barnes’ long-term health if he isn’t 100 percent ready to play.
April 20 update: Barnes is expected to play in Game 4 Saturday with the Raptors facing a 3-0 deficit. No team has ever come back down 3-0, so this is a formality now for the 76ers.
April 20 update: Barnes has been ruled out for Game 3 against the 76ers.
April 19 update: Barnes is listed as doubtful for Toronto’s Wednesday clash against the 76ers at home. The Raptors are down 2-0, and will likely have to make the uphill climb back in this series without their rookie phenom.
April 18 update: The Raptors have officially ruled Barnes out for Game 2. With Gary Trent Jr. also unlikely to play, Toronto will be quite shorthanded as it attempts to level this series with the 76ers.
April 17 update: Barnes is “closer to doubtful” for Monday’s game against the 76ers, according to head coach Nick Nurse. The versatile small forward had a great game in the opener despite the Raptors being blown out, so it’ll be hard to replace his production. Gary Trent Jr. is also likely to be out with an illness.
The Toronto Raptors saw rookie Scottie Barnes suffer an ankle sprain in Game 1 Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Barnes is an impactful two-way player for the Raptors and if he misses extended time, it’ll be a tough blow for the team who likely is going to fall behind 1-0.
Scottie Barnes was helped off the court to the locker room after Joel Embiid stepped on his foot in the 4th quarter. pic.twitter.com/HzlZj3vh9I— ESPN (@espn) April 17, 2022
Barnes logged 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in Game 1, showcasing his all-around abilities. That’s rare impact for a rookie, especially in the postseason. Barnes got extended minutes during the season with OG Anunoby out due to injury, so that’s likely why he continues to start for the Raptors.
If Barnes misses extended time, look for Anunoby and Pascal Siakam to take on more minutes in the coming games. Chris Boucher and Gary Trent Jr. could also see more time if the Raptors decide to play around with lineups assuming Barnes is out for the team.