Despite inconsistencies, Raptors are a difficult playoff matchup
On the latest episode of Hustle Play, Alvin Williams and Chris Boucher discuss why the East's top teams would prefer to avoid the Raptors in the postseason.
- But it's funny because we're talking about the Raptors having an up-and-down season. But when you listen to all these different shows-- when they talk about that playing scenario, they say, when you look at these teams high up in the seeding, whether it be a Philadelphia or Milwaukee, they always say, the one team you probably don't want to see down at the bottom, if you can try to avoid, are the Raptors. Give me your perspective on that.
ALVIN WILLIAMS: It's facts because, once again, even you look last year, when the Raptors went with the whole same size, length, athleticism, running around-- all those things-- teams don't want to play that. They don't want to meet that force, that energy every time. So when you talk about our identity-- Raptors-- physicality, everybody can guard. They play hard. They play multiple positions. There's multiple players that got the same type of skill, whatever the case-- that's an identity. People really don't like that.
And once again, talking about Chris-- when you talk around the NBA, you talk to scouts, you talk to coaches-- they don't want to play against guys like Chris. They don't know how to prepare for that. It ain't a person, it ain't a game plan to prepare for offensive [? rebounder, ?] running the floor, get on-- can't say double that. We're going to send this over there. We're going to hedge on that. We're going to drop-- it ain't none of that. You got to come all out and match that. If you don't, you're going to kill us. So coaches hate that.
So that's how somebody like Chris is so valuable-- not somebody-- Chris is so valuable to the team-- that aspect of it. Of course, you got Fred. You got those guys. But that role-- when you talk about-- when you got to play against a team like that-- if it's a Milwaukee, if it's a Boston. I don't care what it looks like. They know what they up against because of what's coming every night. And until the Raptors get that consistent from everybody, across the board-- that consistent type of energy and that consistent type of flow and effort, that's what the struggle is going to be for the Raptors.
- How do you feel about it, Chris, when you hear that?
CHRIS BOUCHER: Oh, for sure. Obviously, [? even with ?] the schemes are there-- the defensive schemes are there-- every team got-- they're a star, a superstar, a shooter, rebounder, passer or whatever-- everybody got it on every team. But it's how you put it together. It's how you use it at your advantage. Some games-- you don't have the shooting. You got to go to somewhere and something else. Some days, I might not be able to shoot, but Gary might be lights out. You know what I'm saying? It's all about like kind of finding who has the hot hand and just sticking behind it together, and just go out there and play it together.
There's a bunch of games that-- I look at the clip, and I'm like, if we played like this, we would win 50 of our games-- that easy. We'd really be done in the second quarter. But then [? we would ?] play two great [INAUDIBLE] quarter, and third quarter just either come out flat, or fourth quarter-- letting them [? run it, ?] and we'd never come back.
That's the most thing I've seen now, is how the Raptors are the comeback kings, trying to do comebacks at the end, is-- because we start playing hard when it's almost over. And it's been costing us games. It hasn't worked. It's not like we've won. We've never came back that much from a fourth quarter. And I think, like I said, we practice every day. We work on it every day. Guys are putting in the work. And I'm talking top to bottom. Everybody's putting in the work. Everybody's trying to get better. I think it's-- like I said, we're still trying to figure out what identity we want to have and who we are.
And obviously, it's a team thing, so we all got to look at ourself in the mirror and figure out ways to get better because it's not working the way we're doing things right now.
- Well, like Alvin mentioned, there's still time.
ALVIN WILLIAMS: Little bit of time.
- A little bit of time, very little bit of time.