Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses Scottie Barnes' effort vs. the Hawks, his improved mechanics in his jump shot and the value of Christian Koloko.
- [INAUDIBLE] maybe one of your best defensive performances start to finish in swarming ball deflections, disruptions. Really gave you a huge advantage.
NICK NURSE: Yeah, it was pretty good. Talked about before the game, that was the challenge, was to challenge every pass, right? And try to keep pursuing every shot as well. And we-- did a good job of that it. You know, wasn't a whole lot of-- wasn't a whole lot of wide open stuff.
So it was a good job. And you're right. We got our hands on a lot of balls. What did we create there, 18 turnovers and probably another half a dozen just-abouts, right, where we knocked the ball away and didn't quite come away with it. But it was good.
- What do you noticed about OG's reads? In particular, like instincts.
NICK NURSE: A little better, right? He's put him in some positions to decision make on a couple of our sets. And he really fired some really good passes out. So that's good. He kind of had a stretch of that, playing out of the high post when teams were zoning us up quite a year ago. So he can-- he can play with that kind of vision. So it was good to see.
- You were saying before the game you wanted Sky to stop focusing on the paint and take all those 3 pointers.
NICK NURSE: Yeah.
- You're happy with that, I assume?
NICK NURSE: Well, obviously he was feeling it out there tonight, right? I'm happy with 14 attempts. But mostly, he was great on defense, right? He really set the tone, I thought, of picking up and working on Young.
And he was into the game, right? He was pushing. He was advancing the ball. He was throwing ahead for transition buckets. Really got us going, I thought, in transition offense. But his defense was outstanding tonight.
- One of the things you always talked about is kind of taking guys out of their comfort zone. How much do you think the length that you showed to Trey tonight sort of did that for him?
NICK NURSE: It did tonight, right? It certainly-- it certainly did tonight. But again, there was a lot of-- a lot of team length out there tonight. And that mattered too.
It was-- when we did have to switch, somebody pretty long on him as well. And again, I just thought we challenged, especially when he was roaming around looking for somebody to pass to. We made a lot of his passes difficult-- out, cutters, all that stuff. Yeah.
- Nick, after the draft, you were talking about Christian and saying how theoretically having that type of route protection could help your perimeter guys ramp up the aggression even more. Did you see some of that tonight?
NICK NURSE: Well, he had a good game. I thought-- I thought he swung at a lot of them, right? Which is what we want him to do. He was going after him. Offensively, was open. He was screening, rolling, and was a big target, tried to dunk everything he catched. Like that as well.
So, you know, that's it. Screen roll and blocked shots is pretty-- pretty good. And he was active out there tonight.
- Nick, have you noticed anything in particular with Scottie shooting over the past year and a half or anything-- any tweaks in particular to his shooting form or anything that you've-- you've liked from the first day you got him to today?
NICK NURSE: Oh yeah. We've-- he's worked and made some mechanical adjustments and worked pretty hard on him. I think-- I think that's-- that's for certain. You know, and worked at the reps. That's for certain as well.
And then it just transfers to, you know, confidence, right? It's always mechanics. And then can you execute those mechanics in the game? And do you have the confidence to pull the trigger? So, you know, don't get carried away here on one big shooting night. But still, I think the willingness to step into them and take them is what I like more than anything.
- [INAUDIBLE] to start the third-- I'm sorry. From Birch and Malachi--
NICK NURSE: Yep.
- --[INAUDIBLE] like six or seven minutes each. Played really, really well. It that the kind of stuff you need for those [INAUDIBLE] guys?
NICK NURSE: Ken was great, I thought, tonight and his little short little stints. And that was especially-- I thought he gave us a big boost in the second half because they came out in scored, like, a ton right off the bat. Christian gets hit in the eye. And Khem came in and makes a 3 and then another a couple of-- he might've had a block himself or had a big defensive player or steal or something.
Got to the free throw line once, too. Made those. And then got to run a little bit because he was playing well. That was huge. And again, it's good, I think, if Khem can play these short stints with tremendous energy. Then we don't miss much there at that position.
- How much of an advantage is it for-- sorry.
NICK NURSE: It's all right. It's all right. Go ahead, Mike. You got it.
- Well, you asked the question I was going to ask. And I interrupted you. So yeah.
NICK NURSE: OK. It all works out. It all works out.
- That was my bad. That was my bad.
- So polite.
- How handy is it or how much of an advantage is it when Scotty is playing point guard, gets a pick and roll? He made a couple of passes, like, over the defense versus trying to snake it off the side or in, you know, to a seam or something like that.
NICK NURSE: Well, I thought he made a variety of passes, right? Like, he made some strong side zip outs that, you know, just getting off it quick. And guys were ready. And he hits a roll or some for those guys to get some at-the-rim action. Made some weak side kick outs as well.
And that's really kind of-- you know, when you're playing the screen roll, can you find the four guys because you never know what presents itself? And have envisioned a hit every part of the screen and roll is ideally what you're after. That's good. All right.
- Thanks so much.
NICK NURSE: Thanks a lot. See you.