Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes reveals how close his ankle is to 100 percent, what he's learned about the postseason and how often he is carrying a basketball around.
- --in these first five games about the playoffs and about how you were able to handle it all?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Well, I would say that every game really matters, really counts. Every possession, the atmosphere is crazy. So everything really just matters when it comes to details, game plan, everything. You just have to really try to execute it and be perfect on it.
- You would think a guy like yourself, very emotional, would sort of thrive in the atmosphere. Have you found that? Do you find it fun to play in large crowds, big crowds, noisy events?
SCOTTIE BARNES: For sure. I would say I love that, playing in front of the atmosphere. This atmosphere, it's just crazy. It gives you energy. It's great to play in.
- Scottie, how are you feeling overall? I mean, it certainly was beneficial to just have the day to kind of rest and move your ankle. How are you feeling overall heading into game 6?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I feel great. Body feels great. Overall, mentally, physically, I feel great.
- Overall, how much was it a benefit to be tasked with bringing up the ball a little bit more in the later half of the season, and now to have that task into the series?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Been doing that really well. So it's nothing really different for me, I've always been doing it. Really just trying to get everybody involved on my certain sets, do what I can to get people involved.
- Scottie, the saying obviously is that playoff series can be a bit of a chess match with all the adjustments going back and forth, and obviously having to prepare for the same team over and over again. How much different is that from the regular season in terms of game to game prep and adjustments?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Repeat the question again?
- How much different is it preparing for games in the playoffs, facing the same team and having to adjust, as opposed to preparing for games in the regular season?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I would say regular season really just preparing for different people. Every single night, different teams, so what they're doing. I would say the playoffs, preparing for the same people, got the same game plan. Just got to change it up a little bit, try to give them different looks for the game plan. Really, that's what I would say.
- Do you feel like momentum can translate from game to game, or is just each game its own?
SCOTTIE BARNES: For sure. I feel like we're playing really good right now, playing pretty hard. So I feel like we got a little momentum going.
- This has been a pretty incredible week for Toronto big picture sports. You win the Rookie of the Year. Auston Matthews scores his 60th goal last night. Vladdy Guerrero just had a three-home run game. Do you in any way look at what's being done in the environment around you, and does that in any way motivate you?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Motivate me? I don't really know. I'm just trying to win games right now. I see that stuff on Instagram, of course. But right now I'm just trying to mark in and try to win games with this team.
- Are you even thinking about the ankle anymore, or is that like-- is there a a daily routine that Alex has got you doing to make sure that it [INAUDIBLE]?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Come in every morning, just really get my treatment. Come in before the game, get treatment. I'm not really worried about it anymore, really. A little pain comes now and then, but I'm fine.
- Scottie, with Brad out, how much bigger of a part of the offense is kinda getting the ball into the post and finding some mismatches for you guys?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Really just try to play in transition more, get people in their spots. Pascal go work, OG, of course. He's doing more with the ball in his hands. We're just trying to really get out and run in transition, do more on that end, really.
- What is it about you that you seem almost your calmest at the biggest moments?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I don't know. I don't know. It's early in the morning, really. I don't know.
- Have you always been like that?
- Yeah, I would say, yeah. I guess. I don't know.
- Scottie do you treat an off day in the playoffs any differently than you would in the regular season?
SCOTTIE BARNES: No. I would say we usually-- we come in the morning and work, do our workouts, try to keep our routines the same. I can't really just take a day off, really. So every day, even when it's an off day, really, just come and get your work, get your treatment and then just really prepare for the game.
- How many hours out of a day do you have a basketball in your hand?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I don't know. Plus the practice, probably three or four. I don't know. Depends on which type of day it is. If it's game day, little more. But off day, probably three or four. That's it. Thank you, appreciate it.