Head coach Nick Nurse discusses his son forgetting about the Raptors' 2019 parade, what happened on the final play in the overtime loss to the Hawks and the team's 3-point shooting.
NICK NURSE: I was watching the game last night with my son, Leo. And then he woke up this morning. I said, they won and there's going to be a parade. He said, really, why? I said well, championship parade.
I said you don't remember being on the back of that? Remember that big parade we had? He goes, nope. So I had to get out all the photos of him today and show him.
- Did he sleep through it all?
- No, he was loving it. He was loving it. But he didn't remember.
- What did you think of that game?
NICK NURSE: Oh, it was great. Great game, Really exciting. I thought it was really, really fun to watch. And it comes down to some-- a couple of huge-- special teams were pretty important in that league, huh? Really awesome, yeah, a great game. Congrats to them. That was cool.
- Hey, Nick, you've gone-- now gone eight games with no Pascal. And you're 4-4. Is that kind of good, just sort of treading water and having got killed for--
NICK NURSE: Well, I think that we would probably-- not having Pascal is one thing. But the other, numerous guys out was probably the other. I'd say, when you look at it in totality, 4-4 with all the bodies that are out, we're just probably OK, right? Would have been nice to get that one the other night. We really had it right there.
Played really well and played well enough to win, but the ball didn't bounce our way. And we didn't make the plays we needed to. Then we'd probably be really happy. 5-3 would sound really good. It's funny how that one win record sounds a lot different.
But, it's OK. I mean, listen, we certainly needed to survive here. And Pascal was out there today in practice and noncontact-- well, there's not a whole lot of people in contact these days when the numbers are what they are. But he was out there moving around. So we shouldn't be awfully far away from him being back.
- Nick, was it good to just be able to get the guys back in there in some capacity today? Because you haven't had a lot of time to practice lately.
NICK NURSE: Yeah, certainly, it was. I mean, it's always-- a day like today, we did a lot of just organizing, right? And again, with pieces coming and going-- Gary and Chris were back today. So now you're putting those guys back in. And so just a lot of organization. And it's good to get a good hour's worth of that stuff in sometimes, just to make sure everybody knows what we're doing on the stuff that we're doing currently.
- How's Scottie's ankle?
NICK NURSE: His ankle is fine. Yeah, he's fine.
- Fred was talking about he'd been beat on a trick play in the last three seconds the other night in Atlanta. He even said, you don't see that very often. But what goes-- what happens in that situation? Doe guys just get discombobulated and get different groups on the floor? What goes into letting-- having that happen to you?
NICK NURSE: Well, good play by them, first of all, right? It's exactly-- when you have a main guy that's being taken out, you got to change the angles to get him the ball like they did. I just-- I mean, I don't think we were communicative enough in who was going where and all that stuff.
I mean, you got to get matched up. And it didn't start out very good, getting matched up. And then I just don't think anybody got matched up. I mean, what it really comes down to is you've got to play the full clock out, right? Just cause they got 1 and 1/2 seconds or 3 and 1/2 seconds to go full court, that's still-- a lot can happen, right?
And then I think you get-- sometimes guys relax or whatever. And you shouldn't probably pick up that hard. You probably just keep everything in front and make them take a long, deep shot. If you lose on that, you lose on that. But we didn't get very organized. And a couple of guys ran by the play and things like that.
- You go over that play with the team, or is that so unique that like-- I mean, obviously, you have to be prepared for that time. But how much time is it--
NICK NURSE: No. I mean, it's worth some thought. To me, it's more what I just said. Stay dialed in, get matched up. Matching up and making sure everybody has a person is probably the main thing, rather than-- it was such a trick play. I mean, it wasn't-- they just changed angles, a really good play. I've probably scored 100 buckets off that exact same play in my coaching life.
- You're not intending to guard the ball on that inbounds are you?
NICK NURSE: What's that?
- After the free throw?
NICK NURSE: What's that?
- You're not intending to guard the ball after the free throw on that inbounds, are you?
NICK NURSE: No, we weren't. So we were actually in pretty good shape. I mean, Thad was guarding the man taking it out. He turned to guard Trae. But Scottie was late. Scottie was back towards midcourt and then ran up.
- You think he should have held back?
NICK NURSE: And Christian-- well, as the ball went over and the screen was happening, both Christian and Scottie ran right past it. And OG obviously thought somebody was behind him because he ran up to take Trae and then looked back and was like--
NICK NURSE: Oopsy.
- When you look at-- I know we can cherry-pick numbers. But I think the last four games, you guys are 24% from 3, in the last eight or nine it's 30%. In the first eight or nine, you were 40%. So how much do you allow yourself to look at those trends and count them as significant? And how much do you just kind of go, these things happen?
NICK NURSE: Well, I mean, listen, I think the combination of Fred and OG were what, 1-17?
NICK NURSE: It's a pretty good night when those guys are getting 17 of them up. And I just think they're going to make them. They're career 40% guys. It's unbelievable we were in that game when you think about that. I mean, not in it, we were controlling it, right, somehow.
- But just on the longer sort of two-week stretch, again, it's like, do you pay attention to variability--
NICK NURSE: Not really, not really. It's so hard to pay attention to anything right now, Michael, with so many-- no, it is. With so many guys out, it's like, man, I'll only-- I don't want to sound like a goofball here or anything. But the only thing that really matters is the score on the scoreboard right now because pieces are playing that probably won't later. Different pieces every game.
So I don't think we can read too much into the stats. It's back to the minor league days, the, hey, they're 20th in the league and whatever. It ain't matter. They don't even have the same five guys playing for them that they did last month. So there's just nothing in them sometimes.
- With 3's in general, would you say that you need a half a season to-- because it's such a high variable statistic in general. Do you need a half a season to really--
NICK NURSE: Well, what are you trying to determine? You want to know if we're a good 3-point shooting team or not?
- If they're just not the right shots, if they're getting good shots or taking too many or taking too few, all of that. What goes on to assessing your quality and how you should change or not change?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I mean, first of all, I think we are a good shooting team. I think we are generating a lot of really good shots from 3. I think we're a little heavy on the nonpaint to long paint shots right now that probably we'll clean up as we go here a little bit. But as far as generating catch-and-shoot 3's for the guys that we want to have them, we're doing a pretty good job of that.
- It seems like everyone around the roster keeps changing with injuries and stuff. But as long as Chris is healthy, he's coming off the bench in that sixth man role. What is it about him that you love in that spot? And how has he taken to that role compared to years past?
NICK NURSE: Yeah, I would say that would be what we would like to do, leave Chris in the coming off the bench role. It's just a burst of energy that he provides and really, really does a great job in that role, right? I wouldn't say that-- I'd say anything's on the table right now, though, with so many guys out and stuff.
We may have to-- we might have to move off that for a few games just to see. I mean, who knows? We don't even know how many guys are playing by Wednesday. We'll see who we got back, right?
- Precious is over there taking 14-foot shots.
NICK NURSE: He's a ways away.
- How much should I read into that, nothing?
NICK NURSE: He's a ways away. Yeah.
- So Gary and Chris looking likely. Anybody else may be back, Banton?
NICK NURSE: Not right now. Gary and Chris look likely for Wednesday, yeah. Other than that--
- Is Gary's hip thing mostly behind him?
NICK NURSE: Yeah.
- With the all injuries--
NICK NURSE: [COUGHS]
- How nice is it being able to work Thad into the [INAUDIBLE]?
NICK NURSE: Well--
NICK NURSE: Well, he's been great. And we've kind of found out he's been great at kind of the five spot. So we settled him into that a little bit. And he's played very, very well. The only issue we got was Christian re-emerged himself the other night and played like 32 straight minutes or something like that. No, I don't know what he played. It was a lot, 22 maybe. He played good.
So I mean, I think that Thad's found a home with the chemistry part of it at the five for us at both ends. So that's good. Obviously, we've learned that. We've learned a lot of stuff though. It's been interesting.