Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses Scottie Barnes and O.G. Anunoby's performance vs. Miami and Thad Young's influence.
- [INAUDIBLE], what do you think allowed you to string together so many stops in that third quarter with 21 [INAUDIBLE] run to turn the game around. Did you do anything differently? Or what kind of defense are locked in?
NICK NURSE: Yeah. I mean, yeah, we did. We switched our coverages and our matchups. And then they took a timeout and we switched to another-- a third thing that we hadn't used yet, and that kind of kept that streak going. I think it was 13 straight stops, ties a record.
Yeah, that was it. That got us going. We found-- we were searching for some way to stop, get them stopped, and we found a couple of things.
- And OG's offensive game, he was at the rim, he made some shots, and drove it, he kicked it, but what [INAUDIBLE]
NICK NURSE: Well, yeah. Yeah, there's exactly right, what we're talking about. And that's, just again, getting in the situation and we did work on a few things pre-game you know, of addressing that late game a little bit with him. And it's always a little tricky, because you don't know how they're going to match up, et cetera. So it was they were moving it around a little bit, too, so we had to kind of keep adjusting to that.
But now he just-- he wanted the ball, he controlled it, he made moves, he made pass outs, all the stuff you got to do when you're the go-to guy.
- You were talking before the game about wanting Scottie to get to the rim, or he did it in the second half. In the first half, it looked like he was taking what the defense was giving him, knocked down a few jump shots, does that sort of help him from a confidence standpoint early in the game?
NICK NURSE: Yeah. I mean, again, I just want him to be aggressive and you're right, he came out feeling really good about his jump shot, obviously, and they're giving him space. But you're right. I liked how he worked his way-- worked his way inside there a lot late, too, did some good cutting and found some seams in the zone. They were playing quite a bit of zone, he found some seams there at the basket. Good reads.
- How much do you think having Fred back helps him as well? Looks like those two are playing pretty well off of each other [INAUDIBLE].
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, I think it helps. I mean Fred obviously is helping organize a lot out there. That certainly is a big part of what's going on in a game like this. Who's spacing where, who's setting, who's handling all that stuff? And it's good because again, I think with Scottie playing a good portion of point guard while Fred is out, now we've got some more things we can do when Scottie handles and get Fred off the ball.
And I thought Fred had a really good game. He called-- he found a couple sets on his own there where he got OG kind of curling down the lane and he just kind of kept going to that. And they had trouble until they went small and then they were switching it. So we couldn't quite take advantage of that anymore but those are great, great reads and calls by him.
- Nick, how do you feel about those mid-range shots from Scottie? They're probably against your rulebook from years ago, when you were in the G-League but maybe you've changed a little bit since then?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, listen. I want him to have some freedom to be aggressive. So I'm going to probably go with that. I think it's-- when he's feeling good like that and he's hit one or two, then you're going to probably let him go on those. Right? And I think if he doesn't hit them, he probably needs to attack the paint or do something else. But I'm OK, I'm glad he come out aggressive.
- You've had a few games like this year where there's a huge opponent turnover number, but also a pretty good field goal percentage from the opponent. Is that a trade-off you're willing to live with? Obviously, you'd like to do both. But is that an acceptable trade-off?
NICK NURSE: I mean, I think that's a little bit how we're going to play, right? I mean, I think you look at that. And you say, Oh geez, 55% and they make 13 3's to or seven, how do you win a game like that? Well, what you got to do is look at the total field goal attempts, right? And that just is so many more possessions that you got. And that's just again, a little bit out of our style, I think.
- I assume there is-- how much do you see as an area to grow when you are forcing those turnovers?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, I think that we are getting close at covering some of that stuff up. I think we're just a half count or a full count late at getting back to blocking some of those shots at the rim. I think we had a game-- maybe it was Chicago, or something when we were pretty much in rotation the whole night because of our scheme. And everybody was really quick and energetic and getting back there, you know?
I think, if I could see some improvement it would be probably Christian and Chris getting their count sooner so they're not committing those little tap fouls. I think the shot block, I think they should be getting some of those, and that would probably help the field goal percentage defense a little bit.
- After the Houston game, we talked about OG's driving, and you said you loved how deep he was getting all the attempts but you could do more to spring up and finish. It seemed like tonight, that was almost prophetic.
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I think he's gone to more power and balance than he has-- than skill. I think he was doing a lot of Euro stepping and trying to avoid-- and I think he's just gone in there and gotten big and strong. I think it's enabled him to get clearance. He really good two foot jumper, as we know. And I think it gives him a better chance to see out as well. He made a huge play out to kind of seal the game I think.
NICK NURSE: Yeah. Ankle. They said it wasn't too good, but I don't get official report.
- Coach, I'm sorry to ask him--
NICK NURSE: It's all right.
- First, how it came out again--
NICK NURSE: Yeah.
- But [INAUDIBLE] minutes, what happened [INAUDIBLE]. What is your opinion about his performance, especially in defense?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. That's kind of his game. I always-- well, a lot, I talk about don't really have to have a great shooting night to have such an impactful performance, and he is a plus or minus of 17. And what he's really good at, which we needed tonight, is he chases shooters. Like when they're flying around, he's chasing them.
He hit a little trouble on the ball here and there, but the rest of his defense is good. He chases shooters, knows the schemes, he blocks out, you know? So I thought he was a key. He was in that stretch of all those stops. I believe he was in for all 13 of those. So he must have been doing something right.
- Coach, when you guys brought in [INAUDIBLE] last year, there was kind of some talk about how you want him to be here for a little bit, and not just last year. And obviously, he's stuck around. What can you say about just his consistency, and just how he's been able to slot in different parts of the lineup?
NICK NURSE: Well, he's been huge. Right? I mean, I think that, again, you've heard me talk about-- you guys are asking me, who's going to play? What's the rotations? And I said, we're going to need everybody. He didn't play much there for a while, a few DNPs, and you know, I went to talk to him right after his first DNP and said, hey listen. It's going to come around-- he goes, he was total pro. He said, I know it is.
I would just say that his engagement and what he looks like out there, he looks fresh and in shape, and he's moving good, and he's doing a lot, that he just looks like he belongs out there and he's a really effective player. So that to me is the best part, I think he looks like fresh as a Daisy out there, which is good.
- Is that more or less look like the Kyle you're familiar with, out there?
NICK NURSE: It was tough. He was trying to will them. He was trying to will them to a win, that's for sure.