On the latest episode of "Hustle Play with Chris Boucher," the Raptors forward give his thoughts on why the team is struggling to win games. Listen to the full episode on the podcast feed or watch on our YouTube channel.
CHRIS BOUCHER: We get better at that. Like I said, it's just having all players on the same page. And right now, like I said, they blame the bench. And we have to figure out ways to help the starters. If that's the issue right now, then that's what we need to do.
And it-- it's a lot of different ways, you know, protecting the rim. Right now, we don't score, but we get scored on. So we need to get better on defense so when we score, we're actually doing something positive. Those are all things that we're doing.
And if you see like yesterday, with first quarter, we came in the game. We got stops and all. And then we looked good. So this is something that we need to build on. And like I said, it takes time. But when you start seeing things that are working better for you, you know, we win games. And then we go back to the winning-- you know, winning side.
- Let's talk about the bench for a little bit. Like, does it annoy you when you-- when you're reading articles or you're listening to people in the media talking about the Raptors have a weak bench and all that kind of stuff when essentially this is the same bench that was here pretty much last season?
CHRIS BOUCHER: Well, I hate it for sure because, I mean, I feel like, you know, the reason why I'm coming off the bench is to bring energy and all that. And people have known me as, like, somebody that comes off the bench to bring something, to make something happen. And I feel like at this point right now, it's kind of forgetting what I'm bringing because we're not winning, obviously. And I'm not shooting it well.
So obviously, on that point, you know, players go to slump and stuff, shooting slump, and struggles and all that. But like I said, I do know, like, when I get out of it, is it going to still be the same? And that's the energy that I don't like-- it's because our bench is not strong.
But Precious was hurt. Otto-- we don't have Otto. Malachi just started playing. We got Jeff, who can play a couple minute, Juancho and Khem, Christian. Like, all of us are gradually getting to a level of comfortability on the floor but also knowing each other. And it takes time for that to get to that level. The starters have been playing 100, 200 game together, you know what I'm saying? So clearly, they know how to play with each other. And we need to get to that level.
But obviously, the media is not going to give us that time because they want result right now and they're not getting it. So it's understandable. I understand their pain. I know they don't know what the fuck they talking about, but I understand their pain.
- So what would you like to see improve the most? Like, if it had to do with offense, defense, communication, for example.
CHRIS BOUCHER: I think we just need to shoot it better, to be honest with you. That's the main thing right now. We're not shooting it-- I think we're the worst shooting team right now in NBA.
- From the 3-point range, yes.
- OK, so that doesn't help us right now. And you know how they were making fun of, like, of the teams that didn't have shooting before and how shooting was becoming the best thing? Well, we're starting to seeing that you do need to make some shots. You're playing basketball. You got to make some shots. And right now, we're not making it. And that's what hurts us right now.
I don't think-- like I said, if-- we're creating good shots. People are open. I'm open. We're getting open shots, usually. We're just not making it right now. And--
- The Milwaukee game was crazy.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Well, see, that--
- But it was both teams, actually.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah. Well, I mean, what game did we start-- was that in Milwaukee that we started--
- 2 of 30, I think. [? Ahmed, ?] was that 2 of 30?
CHRIS BOUCHER: What game was like 7-0 for a long time?
- I think it was Milwaukee.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Milwaukee? So see, that's what I'm saying. Like, we-- clearly, you can see that we're struggling in shooting right now. And it's not because we're not getting open shots because we are getting open shots. Like, I'm watching film, and I'm seeing guys open. We're just not hitting. I'm seeing myself open, and I'm not hitting shots that I would hit thousand times.
So it's hurting us. And when guys are not hitting shots, it plays in their mental. And then they-- the shot that we're missing that we're creating so hard to get are killing us on defense because they're just running with it. And those are-- those are little aspect that affects our game right now.