Why Nick Nurse missed Scottie Barnes’ dunk
Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses Pascal Siakam’s minutes, the lineup which extended the lead again in the second half and why he didn’t see Scottie Barnes 360 dunk.
- --Scottie and three backups. It kind of swung the game. What do you think they provide?
NICK NURSE: Well, they did a good job. I think that, normally, we try to get Pascal out a little earlier in that and then let him start with that group. O.G., obviously, had it going tonight. I thought Christian and Chris, again, were super active protecting the rim and changing some shots at least as well.
And, you know, I think-- I think O.G. can kind of continue to carry the load on offense. But Jeff hit a big 3 there at the top of the key, I thought, when we really needed a bucket. And that kind of got the thing rolling a little bit.
- At third quarter, I guess they made, like, eight 3s on you.
NICK NURSE: Yeah.
- You guys didn't lose any composure of that plan?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, it did-- yeah, we did a pretty good job. I mean, listen, we were-- we know that probably Porzingis' biggest danger area is from 3. And we let him shake free a few times. He made them all. I think he made four, right? And then there was-- Johnny Davis hit a couple. I think he's-- I think he's hit-- hadn't really hit any coming into the game maybe 2 for 13 or something and hit a couple in a row as well.
So they were really feeling it and throwing everything in. And then we-- again, I thought in the fourth, same thing. We got two of them, made them at least pump fake and sidestep and got them out of rhythm a little bit more. We just weren't pressing up enough on the shooters in the third like-- like we had been or like we wanted to.
- O.G., throughout his career, semi consistently has really looked good in the mid-range. I don't want to belabor questions about the shot spectrum. But do you like how it looks, just what he gets, sort of two feet planted and rises up in that range?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, I think that-- I would say this. I think that almost, almost all the time, he catches and shoots. It's a good shot. Even if he's pretty covered, especially from the corner. He's a really high percentage, high contest corner 3 shooter, right? He had a couple of mid-rangers off the catch too, which-- which, again, I like. And again, yeah, he was feeling it, obviously.
So I think when guys are feeling it, you kind of just want him to kind of get to wherever they can get to and keep letting it go. So I think that's kind of what was going on tonight, yeah.
- How have you seen the play in tournament change this part of the season or the past couple of years?
NICK NURSE: Ah, yeah, I don't-- I don't know. I mean, I think that-- I don't know if there's been a great deal of change. I think that you obviously got a lot more teams still fighting to stay alive, right, with the two extra spots there. And especially, in the West, you got a whole bunch of teams fighting there.
So I guess that's probably the only, only thing. I mean, who knows if it wouldn't be probably look as similar people fighting for eight, right? There still be a couple people right in there fighting for 8, 9, 10. Probably three teams anyway. So I don't really have a good answer for you on that. Sorry.
You happy with Pascal's minutes tonight, Lindsay? Just checking. You are?
- I'm good.
NICK NURSE: Saved a few off there? OK.
- Yeah, [INAUDIBLE].
NICK NURSE: OK.
Thank you. All right. Good one.
- How do you feel about where your team is at right now? You've won five of the last seven. And just how [INAUDIBLE]?
NICK NURSE: Well, yeah, I feel OK. I mean, listen, I'm most concerned that we can get healthier, you know? Again, it seems like we got another guy at the same position, two guys out at the same position with Gary and now Will with a sprained ankle. I just-- I think that we need to get our guys together.
And certainly, there's been some moments of, like, really, really good basketball, five out of seven, and some stretches where we look like we really got it kind of clicking at both ends where we're making them take tough shots and we're moving and finding open shots at the other end. And that's really-- if we're going to do that, well then, we're going to have a great chance, right?
And I think that we also are a little bit more versatile with Jak. I think we can look differently defensively. He's certainly a great defensive rebounder. But then we go in. They go a little small on us. We go small and match up and be able to get to some other defenses and things like that. So we're just going to keep pushing. We got a nice little stretch of games here to continue to try to get a little bit better before we go on.
- What did you think Scottie's dunk? Do you have a grade for it?
NICK NURSE: Ah, which one?
NICK NURSE: You know what? I totally missed it.
Well, what happens sometimes is somebody runs right in front of you when you're sitting down. And I actually had to ask. I said, did he 360 that? And they said, yes. So I saw-- I saw him go up. And then I saw it go in. And I was like-- so I kind of watched it on the replay. Two points is how I'll grade it.