Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher discusses Pascal Siakam's multi-positional game, the importance of him to play with energy and why he likes playing alongside Precious Achiuwa.
- As Freddy was saying how you're kind of annoying on the bench because you had all this energy to finally get back in. How does it feel to [INAUDIBLE] energy [INAUDIBLE]?
CHRIS BOUCHER: He said I was annoying?
- Because of the energy that you had and needed to get out.
CHRIS BOUCHER: I mean, it's just because, I don't know, I've been wanting to play, obviously. After last year, I think we were all excited about coming back, so yeah, I was definitely moving around a lot and stuff and itchy to come back. So yeah, I mean, I'm happy to be back, for sure.
- How excited or optimistic are you about what the bench can look like when Otto gets back, and you guys really get a rhythm there, five, 10 games in a pretty steady rotation?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I mean, I think it could be exciting. You know, we can play a lot of different positions. I think we all starting to realize our role and how we can help the team, and you know, I think it's a good combination of tall guys that could do a lot of different things, that could be really disturbing for the other team. So hopefully, we can figure it out quick and, you know, keep it up [INAUDIBLE] during the game.
- A lot of people growing up play guards to guards, forwards to forwards, centers to centers. And that's sort of the position you play when you play. What position is Pascal playing now?
CHRIS BOUCHER: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. He plays every position. At this point, he-- you know, he's the shooter sometimes. He bring the ball sometimes, ball smooth. I mean, I think he plays every position, which is, I think, what coach is trying to make, you know, everybody be positionless, and he's one of the guys that can show us the way because he does it every day.
- Wanted to ask you about that little routine that you have when you come into the game, where you sort of jump off the bench and sprint to the scorers table. Where did that come from? Why do you do it? How long have you been doing it?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I just felt like, you know, when I was walking to the game sometimes, it didn't get me ready. My legs-- my legs were not ready, and my mind was not ready. But when I ran there, I just felt like I-- you know, it's game time, and you know, by the time I get there, I know, OK, I'm about to be ready, and I get to feel my legs a little bit and see how I'm going to be playing today because, obviously, it's really important for me to bring energy. And I think that's a way to show that I'm ready for the coach, but also for myself.
- It's not easy playing the same team twice. But with the schedule now, you guys are playing the same team kind of back to back. Is it exciting? Do you look forward to the challenge [INAUDIBLE]?
CHRIS BOUCHER: That's weird to me, honestly, to play the same team every time, but it is what it is. I don't really know the reason what it is, but it definitely feels weird. I feel like I'm playing video games, where you play the same team every time.
- Precious was saying that, like, one of the tangible ways he has chemistry with you is he knows when you're on the defense, then he can roam a little bit, and he knows that you've got his back. What are maybe one or two of the tangible ways that you have that chemistry with him?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I mean, we're all-- we're playing hard, so that's something that helps for sure. But I think one thing that, you know, those close out, knowing that I have him in the paint, you know, you kind of take more risks knowing that you-- your teammates are going to help you. And you know, it's kind of weird chemistry because, I mean, I didn't really see it coming.
But they all figured it out, so it's really nice to play [INAUDIBLE] Precious. I think one thing that I like about him is he feeds off my energy. I feed off his energy.
We laugh. We joke around and stuff. We all have to figure it out, so much stuff together when the bench was not good, so we were supporting each other. So now, it's still the same, right. We're playing at the same time, so it's cool.
- How much does that sort of phase help when, you know, early last season, you had your struggles. He had his struggles. How much did that sort of help you guys a lot?
- I mean, it made-- we believe in each other, you know what I'm saying? As much as they were talking about us, we always knew that we were able to do something, and we were going to figure it out no matter how much time it took. And obviously, he's really talented. So you know, guys like that, usually they figure it out, and same thing with me. So having him with me, telling me things would be fine, and I was saying the same thing to him, you know, it was a great way to get out to [INAUDIBLE].
- Was there something that maybe you took from his approach to, like, coping with struggles or anything that you learned?
CHRIS BOUCHER: Being aggressive. I think he's really aggressive. You know, that's something I've seen from him, and I really liked it from the first day he came here. So you know, I took that with me, and I was, like, you know what, my confidence always being high, but playing all aggressive and kind of knowing what you want to do when you go on the court, I think he always had that. You know, you could see he goes with force and all that, and that's stuff that I wanted to take. So yeah.