Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse wasn't quite sure why his team was so flat in Friday's game vs. the 76ers.
- Go ahead with questions on this.
- Nick, you had talked before the game about the need for defensive effort and intensity. Did you think-- why do you think your team didn't have that much of it tonight?
NICK NURSE: Well, I don't know. We didn't have much effort or energy on-- on anything. We just weren't very crisp at either end, I thought. And it showed up in a lot of areas.
Again, I know I talk about the same thing. It starts with effort. It starts with guarding the ball. And then it starts with schemes. And all of those things were well below where they need to be to give ourselves a chance to win.
I think it affected us at the other end. I thought, for the first time, our-- when we did have-- we had a bunch of long strings of stops. And we got not much to show for it at the other end. Our transition offense was really, really poor, right? We didn't convert a lot of fast break opportunities. In fact, we'd turn it over, and it'd be a fast break back the other way. So we just weren't very sharp at either end tonight.
- [INAUDIBLE] obviously Fred's 0 for 11, 0 for 8, is an uncharacteristically bad night. But he looked a little bit slow and a little bit out of sorts. Is he OK, or what did you see from him?
NICK NURSE: Well, I'm going to check. I asked him several times in the game physically, if he was all right. And he said that he was every time. But he certainly was out of sorts. There's no doubt about it, yeah.
- With the blitzing, were you more disappointed-- or not disappointed, I should say, when you were looking at how they were getting past it, is it at the point of attack, or the rotations behind it?
NICK NURSE: Well, first of all, early in the game, there was no-- there was no blitzing going on. And they were still getting it right down the center of the lane with the screening, and put us either-- put it in at the rim or the weak side kickout. They were kind of auto-passing to the weak side kickout.
So again, that was way more of us just not guarding the ball better. We shouldn't have been-- that guy shouldn't have been so open, roaming so open down the lane. Man, we just didn't guard and cover it very well. And again, it started with our just intensity on the ball and our ball pressure.
As far as the blitzing goes, you know, it was kind of-- it was kind of home run or strikeout. I think we did a lot of really good ones that we turned 'em over and made 'em miss in a lot of stretches. And then we had a few where we didn't rotate, or we rotated the wrong guys, or two guys rotated to one, just not in sync with some of that stuff, too, yeah.
- One of the bright spots tonight, I thought, was Chris Boucher. What does it say about him that, coming off this injury, he's kind of been able to jump right back into the role that he figured out for himself last season?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, you're exactly right. He was the one guy that noticeably was running hard, playing hard, at the rim at both ends, competing, right? So that's-- I mean, listen, again, he needs to play like that to have success. I mean, our team needs to play like that to have success. And you're right, he was one of the few bright spots tonight.
- With Embiid not playing, I mean, do you think guys kind of let down a little bit, and--
NICK NURSE: Well, I think that-- a couple of things. I think that maybe the game the other night, not handling the success of that game and how well we played the other night well enough-- something got us out of sorts, right? And I'd hate to say it was that. But I don't really know why-- why we weren't ready to give a little bit more effort tonight.
- Nick, did you feel like OG showed some strong leadership tonight? It seemed like several stretches where he was almost, like, single-handedly keeping you guys in it.
NICK NURSE: He played pretty hard, right? And you're right, I thought he made some good plays. And I thought again, it just-- it was some of the-- there was even more plays there for him, both passing and receiving at the rim.
I thought him and Pascal had a couple of transition two-on-ones, maybe three or four of them that came up empty on. And it's just like again, it was like a half step slow. And that's just what it looked like on that as well.
But no, I thought he was fighting hard on the glass. I thought he was making good moves at the rim. And I thought he got his hands on some balls on defense, yeah.
- Nick, obviously, you want to compete until the end. But there's a moment in time where you have to pull the starters and proverbially throw in the towel. How hard is that, just as a coach to say, we don't have it tonight, and we have to move on to the next one?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, no, it's really hard. I think that, again, I think you're going to have some first halves like you have. And we certainly came out and played-- what did we give up in the second quarter? See, we only gave up 16 in the third-- excuse me, in the third quarter. So we picked it up, and we were figuring out ways to make 'em miss.
And again, probably the biggest problem there was we didn't get enough at the other end to cut more into the lead, right? So we ended up probably getting it back into single digits fairly quick, but then go back at the start of the fourth still down 11. But once it got-- and I think if it stayed right around there, you run with them the whole way.
10 or 11, 9, that can change quick. But it got away in-- around the four-minute mark. And it was time to get 'em out. And I don't ever, hardly ever do that. And I don't really believe in throwing in the towel.
- Thanks, everyone.
- Oh, and Scottie's available right now, so--
NICK NURSE: Thank you. See you.
- Thanks, Nick.
- Monday for a game?
NICK NURSE: Sunday for practice. So I'll see you.