Nick Nurse on atmosphere vs. depleted Warriors: 'From a juice standpoint, it was lacking'

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse acknowledged the fans who were there, but couldn't help wonder just how amazing a full Scotiabank Arena would have been for a Saturday night clash against the Warriors. Follow our Raptors coverage all season long on Yahoo Sports Canada.

Video Transcript


- --seem like sort of an odd night [INAUDIBLE] your guys handled it as well as they could, given the [INAUDIBLE]?

NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, I thought-- I was just happy we got-- you know, came ready to play, got off to a good start, didn't have that many lulls and long stretches. You know, there was a few, but not too bad. And came out the second half and did the same, got off-- you know, being a quick start. So it was good. I mean, listen. We had some guys come out who haven't played for a long time, needed to get out there and play. That was good to see. You know, working those guys back in-- that was a great opportunity for that.

- Is there anything you can shed on Pascal [INAUDIBLE] what we already know?

NICK NURSE: Pascal and--

- Dalano.

NICK NURSE: --Dalano. I don't know what you do know, so--

- It's there in the health and safety protocols.


- No positive tests, close contact.

NICK NURSE: Yeah, "in the protocols" is the right way to put it. I'm not sure we're sure right now. So there's a heck of a lot of testing going on right now, is all I can say. And we'll continue to test. And hopefully it'll just be a precautionary thing, and we'll get them back here quick.

- Nick, you were talking about staying fluid, 'cause situations like this obviously could arise. But do you say something to the guys when they're missing a big [INAUDIBLE]?

NICK NURSE: Well, we've been going through this pretty much from the start of the year, right? I don't know. Somebody told me, the other day, we haven't had a game, or we had two games or something. So we've pretty much-- it seems like we had two and lose two. It's been going on all year.

So yeah, I mean, we just plug them in there. Not much to be said, Nikki, you know, other than, step in and start playing. And really, what I'm stressing is, you know, let's perform. Let's get solid and execute our defensive stuff, the foundational stuff. And let's share the basketball and just try to get as much chemistry and fluidity as we can together, even though it's pretty much constant in and out.

- A little bit of rust on OG, understandably. But how do you think he played?

NICK NURSE: He looked good. I thought he looked really good. And that's a good sign. I mean, yeah, I just think both him and Precious were moving good, right? They were moving. They were in rhythm. You know, they weren't-- they just-- they looked good. I don't think Precious showed any signs of any real fatigue. OG did a little bit, I thought, a couple times, but nothing major, right? But I think-- no, for rhythm's sake, I thought they looked pretty decent, considering the really long layoff. And they haven't been on the court, either, except for maybe, like, once, you know? So pretty good.

- [INAUDIBLE] precious once you found out about the absences, or--

NICK NURSE: No, that was just my mistake. I just heard that or read that wrong from internally. That was my mistake before the game.


NICK NURSE: Well, it was so many guys in, out, in, out, in, out all day. Thank you for forgiving me for that. And I'm not making excuses, Eric. I'm not, but-- [LAUGHS]


NICK NURSE: Yeah, that's right. That's right.


- --for two guys in the health and safety protocol. Does it change anything the way you operate day to day, hour to hour, night to night [INAUDIBLE]--

NICK NURSE: It changes things, Doug. I think that for us, it's-- you got to look at what-- and again, the change is because it changes. Like, what the testing is, how it's getting done, when it's getting done is changing, like, daily. So you know, we got kind of a new-- you get a new set of instructions for tomorrow. And you say-- well, you look at it, and you say, what's the best way to operate with this for tomorrow? And then you go from there. And we'll probably have a new set for game day on Monday.

You know, again, for me, I just-- A, we got to be as safe as we can, probably leaning towards, you know, not gathering nearly as much as I would like to. I'd like to at least get out there for a little bit, right? And keep-- you know, we're a young, growing team that needs to practice. So hopefully, we can sneak some in here and there. But if we can't, we got to learn as much as we can on game night.

- How different was the whole capacity [INAUDIBLE] are you guys used to that from last year? Did it feel very different [INAUDIBLE]?

NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, I think the whole game just kind of had a little bit of a-- certainly less buzz to it. You know, that that place would have been on a-- on a night like tonight, that would have been electric in there tonight, right? With a full house and one of the premier teams in the league in town. It would have been totally electric. And that was-- it was OK. I mean, we'll take any win any way we can get them, right? But it was certainly, from a juice standpoint, lacking, for sure.

- Sorry, Nick, to say this on a bit of a tangent. You talked about not gathering as much as he'd like to on the court. Does that go for off the court as well [INAUDIBLE] and how much does that build into team-building, especially for a young team?

NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, I think, again, I would say, Nikki, that we take advantage of almost every opportunity we have, one way or another, right? Even if it's a heavy schedule, we do try to take advantage of film or a shooting session or a walk-through or whatever, again, because there is so many improvement steps forward we're trying to make and keep moving-- inching forward a little bit.

So yeah, I mean, most of that stuff-- you know, even our staff meetings, we're doing them differently now, too. We're just-- again, we're doing less, and we're doing them a little more remote. We're doing them less-- very small groups, very big spaces. You know, all those things that we used to do, we're kind of doing again.

- [INAUDIBLE] with players and other coaches or whatever [INAUDIBLE]--

NICK NURSE: We haven't Zoomed with any players quite yet. Quite yet, no.

- [INAUDIBLE] question. Takeshi, do you want to go ahead?

- Hello, Coach. Congratulations on a great win. My question is, I think the bench scoring has been a little bit of an issue for your team. And today, Utah scored 12 points on [INAUDIBLE]. So how is he reliable as a scoring option in the bench?

NICK NURSE: It's pretty good. I'd like to see him around that double-figure mark if we could, Takeshi. He got a little bit of everything going today, didn't he? He got some dunks, drives, 3's, block shots at the rim. He was involved in everything.

I mean, I think our bench-- you know, hopefully, I think our bench gets strengthened with some more scoring as guys come back in to play, right? There's probably, you know, some-- a lot of guys that have been starting a lot of games that will then go to the bench. Hopefully they'll provide some scoring punch. But I hear you. I hear you out there, Takeshi. We need some scoring punch off the bench. That's for sure.

- [CHUCKLES] Thank you so much.

- [INAUDIBLE] you're welcome. You're welcome.

- Thanks, Takeshi. I don't see any other hands online. [INAUDIBLE].


NICK NURSE: OK. Yep, see you. See you, everybody. Bye.

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