Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes gives his thought on playing back-to-backs against the same team and why Pascal Siakam is a unique player.
- Scottie I was just asking Chris about that little ritual that he does when comes into the game, kind of jumping off the bench and sprinting to the scorers table. He says he does it as sort of like fitting in the way that he plays, coming into the game and bringing that energy. When you see him coming with that kind of energy, does that kind of let you know that he's ready to go?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I think Chris always comes with that energy. He always has that mindset when he comes into the game to really just bring that energy, bring that intensity, and try to do whatever he can when he's stepping on the floor to try to help us gain an advantage coming off of the bench.
- How much of a difference has it made having him back with that second unit?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Chris, he's a person that can make shots, get offensive rebounds, crash the boards, get defensive rebounds, be able to protect the rim. He does a lot for us.
- Scottie, it's the second time you guys have played the same opponent back-to-back. What's different about it compared to what you've done in other years, just every game, defending team?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Well, I only played one year. But I've just--
- It's a year experience, bud.
SCOTTIE BARNES: Yeah. I would say it's a different feel, I would say. I guess it's something new that they try to put into it. It's all right. It's not my-- what I like, but it's all right.
- I mean, do you prefer to see a new team?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Yeah. I think it's more fun that way. But just got to keep going with the game plan, try to be better the next night than you were the previous. So it's a test for us.
- In the first back-to-back with Miami, did it feel like much-- or you sat out the second game. From what you saw, I guess in the second game, did it look like much had changed in terms of how they prepared for you or you prepared for them? Or was it basically more or less the same?
SCOTTIE BARNES: For sure. We lost the first one. We had to come back, regroup, find different things that we needed to tweak, play a little bit harder, have a better mindset going into the game. And I felt like we did that. So like I said, it's just try to be better the next night than you were the previous, and just try to change those things to try to help your game plan so you can win.
- What do you guys need to do better then tomorrow? Even though you got the win, what sort of adjustments would you be looking for in tomorrow night's game?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Just keep trying to find those things to make it harder for Embiid and Harden. Just find those things that they've been telling us to just try to make it harder for them.
- Is one of the things that's made this team so successful is that, on any given night, it seems like one night Precious is getting 22 rebounds. And last night, Trent's getting 27 points. And it just seems to go up and down the lineup depending on who it is on any given night, and yet the starting five are doing what they're doing.
SCOTTIE BARNES: We have so many different players that can do so many different things. I feel like that's one thing-- that's a great thing about this team. We have so many different people that can score, so many different people that can rebound, so many different people that can play defense and impact the game in so many different ways. So I feel like that's a great thing about this team. Any night can be anybody's night.
- I asked him before the season, what position do you play? And he said all of them. And watching Pascal now, it seems like he's now playing all of them.
SCOTTIE BARNES: Mm-hmm.
- It's kind of unique to see a basketball player of that ken do the kind of things that he's doing right now.
SCOTTIE BARNES: What was the question?
- Well, how unique is what he's doing big picture in the NBA?
SCOTTIE BARNES: He's doing-- he's doing so many different things for us, rebounding, passing, scoring, playing defense on the other end. You guys see what he's doing out there on the floor with the numbers that he's putting up. He's a great player. He's done so many different things. He's a unique player. Like you said, he's doing a lot for us.
- Scottie, I was asking Nick about this as well. We're only a year in, year with it. How did you get through, do you think, to each of individual player, whether it be as an individual, whether it be the coach, to have that unselfishness? Because it's one thing to say it, it's another thing to actually do it and to not necessarily worry about your numbers on any given night and looking at what's best for the team, making that extra pass, looking for the extra guy. How do you actually have that instilled as an individual and not have to have somebody tell you to do it?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I feel like that's just-- for me, I feel like that's just the way I always played. I was always an unselfish player, looking at just probably trying to get others involved, trying to take those opportunities for me when I need to whenever I find-- I'm just trying to play the game the right way. So I feel like that's how I played growing up.
Everybody's a different player. Everybody does things. Some people shoot better than others. Some people get to the run better than others. I feel like me, I just really just try to play the game wherever I see the right passes, wherever I try to take the opportunity and find the right play.
- Now, you can you answer collectively as a team though, why this team seems to have that instilled more so?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Instilled as what?
- The unselfishness and not necessarily worrying about whose night it is.
SCOTTIE BARNES: I think we're just really just trying to win. I feel like that's the key to it. We're just trying to win. We're trying to find those things throughout the game that's going to really help us. If we see one person has a hot hand, we're going to go to that person. Gary and Pascal have the hot hand, so we're going to find different ways to try to get them more involved into the game. Any night can be anybody's night. So we just try to find those things. And I feel like that's what we go to.