Jeff Dowtin on making an impact in his minutes

Raptors guard Jeff Dowtin discusses his mentality when he plays for the Raptors, his friendship with Malachi Flynn and how to slow down Luka Doncic.

Video Transcript


JEFF DOWTIN: I'm not gonna lie, yeah, too many cameras, too many microphones.

- What have the past three days been like for you up here with these guys?

JEFF DOWTIN: Oh, it's been great practicing with these guys, just pushing these guys to be their best, just trying to be that energizer on the team, give these guys a great energy boost. And I just love being up here.

- As chaotic as it's been, just in terms of, like, not knowing who's going to be available on any given day, does the G League experience almost prepare you for something like this, where you don't really know what the lineup is going to look like from game to game?

JEFF DOWTIN: Yeah, definitely. Our G League coaching staff, and just that great group and organization, they keep us prepared for times like this. So we're steadily practicing hard, just as these guys are doing.

And like you said, you don't really know what is going to happen. So you have to be ready at all times.

- Being on the floor like you were at the end of the Detroit game, how big was that for you?

JEFF DOWTIN: It was definitely big for me. I just-- it just means a lot of confidence in myself, being able to help pull out that win in crunch time, and get a lot of defensive stops, and make some plays down the stretch. So it definitely boosts up my confidence. And I just want to continue to play at that level.

- What stands out to you about a team like Dallas, now that you're probably going to get some minutes?

JEFF DOWTIN: I'm just grateful for the opportunity to continue to do what I've been doing, push these guys on the offensive end, get those guys open in their spots. On the defensive end, just be disruptive, get steals, playing passing lanes, and just us stay consistent, and just have confidence in myself.

- How do you--

- Sorry.

- How do you contain a player like Luka when you're switched onto him?

JEFF DOWTIN: You've got to throw different guys at him at all times. You know, Luka's a great player. Just kind of make him feel uncomfortable. Don't let him get into a rhythm.

- Is there-- with a guy like him, is there, like, a first goal? Like, obviously, if he's not comfortable, that's great. But is there something you're trying to stop at all causes, and that you go from there?

JEFF DOWTIN: I mean, definitely, you're trying to stop him from scoring at all times. And that's the name of the game. So like, just make him feel comfortable. Try to get him away from his sweet spots. And yeah, just try to stop him from scoring.

- How supportive have the vets been during this stretch? And have they given you any kind of specific advice?

JEFF DOWTIN: No, they definitely been supportive throughout-- even back in summertime, just those guys pushing me and leading me. They definitely gave me advice almost every day, just telling me stay consistent, stay in the gym. When your number's called, just be ready. It's always opportunities in this league.

So I'm grateful for them. And I continue to follow their footsteps.

- Anybody that's been especially helpful?

JEFF DOWTIN: I would say just about everybody, from Fred to Pascal, OG, Precious, Scottie, Chris, just everybody, especially guys that have been through playing in the G League and just coming up. It's a grind. And I'm grateful, like I said, for this opportunity, and just continue to be consistent, continue to stay in the gym. And then when your number's called, just showcase your talent.

- Luka uses his width and his girth and his size so well. Like, when-- you're not exactly huge. When you get switched on him, how do you combat that? What do you do?

JEFF DOWTIN: I think I'm pretty fast, you know, for my speed. So I use my speed. And I try to get underneath the ball handler, kind of make him feel uncomfortable when he's dribbling high, try to tire him out, guard him 94 feet, see how he reacts, and just go from there.

- Malachi kind of talked about your game and how you stood out to him when-- back in, like, the G League level. But what stands out to you about him?

JEFF DOWTIN: Malachi? Oh, Malachi's a phenomenal player. We work out almost-- all the time in the gym, getting shots up. You're starting to see him-- I mean, he's shooting the ball a lot, consistently now. And that just comes from just working out and steadily getting those reps.

So every time we step on the court together, I'm excited to play with Malachi. And it's a great, great feeling.

- Thank you.

JEFF DOWTIN: Thank you.

- Thanks, Jeff.

- Appreciate it. Appreciate it.

- What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

JEFF DOWTIN: Mac and cheese.

-Mac and cheese.