Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes discusses his improved shooting, why Pascal Siakam belongs in the MVP conversation and more.
- I guess with Fred out of the lineup, you wanted to make sure [INAUDIBLE] 3-point shooting on the floor.
DICK BREMERKAMP: No, I just was taking the looks that they were giving me, trying to capitalize, make the right plays, make it at the right time.
- You feel a big difference in terms of, like, your comfort level when you get the ball on the arc from where you were a year ago?
DICK BREMERKAMP: I don't think so. I think things are just the same. I feel pretty-- I've been feeling pretty good out there. It's just about how aggressive I am, trying to do things within the offense, trying to move the ball, trying to get things going.
- Nick was saying before the game that even though you put in the work and your jumper has improved that he wants you to be aggressive and get to the rim a little bit more. How do you find the balance between doing those two things?
DICK BREMERKAMP: Just try to be aggressive, try to force yourself in there, and try to get deep paint, kick out shots. I feel like everything just opens up when people get downhill, get to the basket. It's just so many more options being able to get easy baskets, score. I feel like I'm-- last year, I feel like I was pretty good in the paint. I feel like when I'm getting the paint, I get really good looks, and it's more easy finishes for me. So me being able to go downhill, get in the paint, be aggressive, being able to kick out to shooters, it just opened so many different things for our offense.
- Some of the passes you made when you were going down go, like, you had a pass to Christian and Pascal, like, right under the basket, over the defense. Like, when are you making a decision whether to try and take it to score and get rid of it?
DICK BREMERKAMP: I would say when the defense commits. They help up or try to hedge it. I feel like the roles open. Christian says great screens and roles. Or whoever is saying that, great screen and role. Maybe we'll be able to get over the defense and be able to hit it to the role for easy dunks. So I feel like when the defense commits, you just take what they give you.
- Are you seeing that more clearly this year versus last year? Has it slowed down? I guess, has the speed slowed down a bit for you and you're able to read it better?
DICK BREMERKAMP: Feel like it's the same. Feel like I've been knowing the game. I've have the IQ. Every game's just a different game for me. So whichever-- whichever thing is there, whichever position I'm playing, it's just every game is different. So it just depends on where I'm at on the floor.
- Scottie, we're only seven games into the season, but there were some fans chanting MVP for Siakam when he was leaving the floor. What does it kind of mean to see the fact that he's kind of getting that love from the fan base.
DICK BREMERKAMP: I feel like Pascal, he's been killing it, been playing at an MVP level. He's been playing really well for us. He's been doing so many different things to help our-- our team offensively and defensively. So I feel like he should be in that-- should be in that question of being an MVP. With the level he's playing at, we just keep winning games. I feel like it's just going to keep helping him more and more.
- When it comes to how you attack off the panels and those isolations, you can go to the bully drives a lot, going to the post ups. But when you're trying to get past the original guy, do you look to the top foot? What are you trying to attack?
DICK BREMERKAMP: What am I trying to attack? I'm just trying to-- I would say, I'm just really trying to find different ways to try to get by and get into a different combo, then probably try to attack the top foot, try to make them open up, and then go give them a bump and then try to make the defense commit so that I can find different ways to penetrate-- get to the basket or kick out the shooters.
- Awesome. I know it's still early, but you've been shooting the 3 ball really well to start the season. Have you noticed a difference in the way that teams defenses are approaching you?
DICK BREMERKAMP: I would say it's kind of really, like, the same. I feel like they're still daring me to shoot the ball. But I feel like I've been working on my-- trying to be consistent on my jump shot. So I'm just worried about myself. I'm not really worried about what the defense is doing. I'm just worried about myself.