Raptors rookie Christian Koloko discusses his recent play, the importance of helping alleviate the heavy starters minutes and avoiding fouling.
- Are you starting to feel more comfortable than you think you were earlier in the year?
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Oh, yeah, definitely. Definitely. I feel like, yeah, I feel more comfortable. You know, I think we're kind of halfway through the season, so I have a lot of games under my belt, so I just feel more comfortable out there. I know I have to do better, and I kind of know what the team needs from me even more now, and I just try to do the best at it.
- There's talk about a rookie wall, or because you play so many more games, and it's just way harder at the NBA level compared to college. Are you feeling that?
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: I mean, a little bit, a little bit. But the biggest difference is, yeah, games are every two days, and we've got practice every day, and in college, you play two games every week, so it's like, you don't really feel that on your body like that, but, here, it's like you got to really take care of your body and be ready every day.
- Pascal was saying how much work that the second-unit guys have been putting in. How good did it feel yesterday to finally see some results of that work kind of play out in that second quarter?
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Man, it felt really good. It felt really good, because, you know, the last couple of games, you know, I think the bench, we didn't play-- we played terrible. We played terrible, and we know, for us to be a good team, for us to be the team we want to be, we have to do a better job. When we get on the court together, we've gotta do a better job defensively, offensively, and I feel like we did a really good job yesterday. We did a really good job. And we needed that win, so it was really good to get the win.
- How important is that? I mean, obviously, it's important for a lot of reasons, but taking pressure off of the starters, so they don't have to play 40-plus minutes, and is that part of it as well?
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah, definitely. Definitely, because we know, if you can give them, like, two, or three, or five extra minutes to rest, that's gonna help them. That's gonna help them when they're gonna come back on the court. They're gonna have more energy. We can see, yesterday, like, when Freddy came back, he was picking up full court, you know, he got that extra energy, and I feel like we need to do a better job every day like that, and I think, if we do that, like I said, we're gonna get to where we want to get to.
- Nick sort of stuck up for you after the game, and said, well, if they ever stop calling fouls on him, he could get a few blocked shots. After a game like that that, I mean, goes well, but some frustrating calls, do you go back and watch, and like, OK, I need to show my hands a bit more? Like, what's your process like to sort of cut down on those?
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: I mean, yeah, after a game like that, I always go back, and I basically watch the whole game, most of the time, and I see what I did wrong, what I did right, and, I mean, some of those fouls, they were actually fouls, but some of them, I don't think they were fouls. So I don't know. I don't know what to say. But I'm just gonna continue to do my job. I'm never gonna shy away from going and contesting shots. I'm gonna do that, and whatever they call, I'm just gonna deal with it.
- Is there one thing you need to, like, maybe accentuate for the rest to see, or to not see, or--
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: I don't know. Probably just show my hands, show my hands and just jump vertical. I don't know, sometimes, I'll be, maybe, lowering my hands a little bit. But I don't know, I just feel like I've just gotta show my hands better and just go up vertical.