Chris Boucher discusses what he learned in the playoff series vs. the 76ers and what the coaching staff was preaching when they went down 3-0. Listen to the full episode on the 'Hustle Play' podcast feed or watch on our Yahoo Sports Canada YouTube.
MIKE ROACH: That's probably the best way you can put it. But what was your-- what were your thoughts on that series overall?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I think it took us a minute to get to where we could play. Obviously, I think we had a good streak of basketball where we were playing our best basketball. And I think when the playoff came in, there was like one or two games where we couldn't-- we wasn't doing the simple thing that we used to do, the simple schemes, the simple rotations.
And I think that cost us. Obviously, game 3, we played a good game, and then buzzer-beater, that killed us. But that shows the fact that we have too. Like, we weren't going to get sweep. Game 4, we go back. We win, and then game 5 we win. And we're like, OK, we got a chance. We go at their place and beat them. Yeah, I think if we were to start the series like that, it would have been a different story for sure.
MIKE ROACH: I mean, how do you sleep at night in regards to before the playoffs start, during the series? Are you up constantly thinking, or do you sleep peacefully?
CHRIS BOUCHER: No, playoff sleep is a little different. I won't lie to you that depending on how the game will go, your sleep will be different. You could be sleeping, be excited about the next game and about showing what you're capable of doing and winning and getting close to a championship. Or you could start like we did and know the first two games nobody slept well.
Nobody was happy of the condition that we were in, and injuries, and then not playing well, having Freddy going through what he was going. I think that was just a lot of stuff that definitely could break everybody's mind.
But I think we handled it like men and got a lot of experience. We're a young team, and that's where the fruit of this playoff is going to bring is that we got the experience now. And that is great, especially with guys like Scottie, Precious. Pascal just needed to showcase what he was capable of doing again. Because I think a lot of people sleeping on him and not realizing what he can really do. So Gary-- you know, everybody.
MIKE ROACH: Well, you guys figured it out. It was just figured out late.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah, that's what I feel like.
MIKE ROACH: Pretty much because, like you said, if game 3 goes differently, right?
CHRIS BOUCHER: It's a 3-2. You know, it's a different story. I think we go over there and beat them. They come to our house. I don't think they come with the same energy. I think when we beat them at their house, they felt a little bit of like, OK, will they let their fan down? Blah, blah. Let's do the same thing to them over there.
And after game 3, they felt like they could do it. I feel like if they didn't win that game, I don't think that's going on. After the shot Joel made, I don't think-- he don't make that-- it's over.
MIKE ROACH: What surprised you most about that series?
CHRIS BOUCHER: The way we handled it, I think it's-- like, we're a young team. And we could have been like, OK, we're done. But I didn't see anybody felt like the series was over. Even after we were down 3-0, it was like, OK, that was a terrible shot. That was really hard to take. That was a terrible play for us to fail on, like, just everything that just happened and us miscommunication and somebody just leaving.
It just hurts. You feel like you could have done better just in general. And then after that-- and we do that every time. We actually are so good at guarding out-of-bounds plays and all that. So, obviously, I don't think-- I think what really, really hurt us is just that it happened, not that we can't do it-- we can't guard that. And then that's probably why we won more games. It's just because we know we can guard that.
MIKE ROACH: You guys, I believe, were the second youngest team in the playoffs. Like--
CHRIS BOUCHER: I'm not helping that though. Me and Thad and not helping out.
MIKE ROACH: No, but I'm just saying, like, even after being down--
CHRIS BOUCHER: It's all good.
MIKE ROACH: --0-3, even being down 0-3, you guys look actually really calm going into that fourth game.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah, we do got vets. Pascal, Fred already been there. OG already been there. Thad already been playing playoffs before. I'm just there. Honestly, I don't really get fazed by a lot of stuff. And then you got a lot of young guys that wanted to prove themselves-- Scottie, Gary, Precious. So that's a great combination to have, a group of guys like that that just want to go get it all.
MIKE ROACH: Now what's the message in the locker room from your coaches besides, we got to keep fighting?
CHRIS BOUCHER: One game at a time. That's how we were going in-- one game at a time. You go, it's 3-0. You won one game. It's 3-1 now. Another game you won, yeah, it's 3-2. And that's how were going, one more game. By the time you realize you play three games, it's 3-3, game 7. That's all we were thinking.
MIKE ROACH: Playing--