Toronto Raptors centre Chris Boucher discusses how revealing the past few games have been for him, battling against Joel Embiid and playing with the assorted guys on 10-day contracts.
- When's the last time you kind of felt that kind of flow like you had the second half today?
CHRIS BOUCHER: It's been a minute, to be honest. But after the Cleveland game, I think kind of gave me a perspective of, like, do I-- was I really ready to be a number one option? A lot of stuff that you see guys do that every day, Fred, Pascal, Gary. They come in. And it's a little harder than you expect. So it was a good experience for me and then just made me realize what I really can do. And I've seen a lot of stuff-- that game that I wasn't really happy about it and just wanted to change it a little bit and just come with a different perspective. And definitely felt good.
- What's it like talking with Embiid for--
CHRIS BOUCHER: Oh, man.
- --a while?
CHRIS BOUCHER: He's a big guy, man. I won't lie to you. But, like I said, I think he made me a lot better today. I think I've learned a lot of stuff from him, playing against him, and a lot of stuff that I didn't think I was able to do. And, like I said, for me, it was a really good experience to play against an all-star like that and just realizing the stuff that you could do and how hard it is just to play against a guy like that. So I've learned a lot. And hopefully I could take that to the next game and whoever I'm playing against and just find ways to make myself, like I said, useful.
- Can you share some of those things, what you learned from him?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I mean, it's like early work, kind of running the floor, being always in position where you've got to make it hard for them. And guys like that, obviously, they're really big, and they can get the ball whenever. But, like I said, you kind of find ways to be disruptive a little bit and make it a little harder. And, like I said, it's a lot to learn in the game. The game goes fast, but it was definitely a good experience for me.
- Chris, I don't want to jinx anything, but did you feel like this is kind of putting this bad period-- not you, but as a team behind you, the whole COVID thing?
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah, I mean, guys are coming back. So that's one thing-- yeah, knock on wood, but it feels good to have couple of guys back and just seeing Gary and Pascal back now, it feels good knowing that. Fred and Scottie are coming back too and Precious and-- so we'll have our team full soon. And after a battle like today, I think it's just going to show us how close we are to be really good team.
- You just locked yourself in your room and stayed away from everybody for the past--
CHRIS BOUCHER: I mean, I've been doing that since before bubble, since COVID was happening. I don't go out. You know what I'm saying? You guys, if you know, I stream a lot. I don't really-- so yeah, probably that's the reason why I didn't get it. I'm not going to jinx myself, but definitely helped out.
- We got a couple on the line for you, Chris. We'll go to [INAUDIBLE].
CHRIS BOUCHER: I didn't even get my last rebound though.
CHRIS BOUCHER: I didn't get my nice rebound though. That hurts.
- Hey, Chris, in terms of playing with all these new guys who are on these 10-day contracts these past couple games, what has that been like for you to kind of have to focus on your own game, but then, at the same, time guide these guys along and teach them things as you go?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I mean, it's just-- it's different, obviously. Usually, I play with guys, you know, I've been with them for four years. We got a lot of new guys that came in this year, but we've been around each other the whole summer. So it's definitely weird to be with guys that just came in, and they still got to learn the plays and the schemes and everything.
But, like I said, I think this year we had to do it a lot before the season. We had a lot of new guys, Precious and, you know, Scottie-- all these guys came. So it was just an adjustment. It's just not really used to do an adjustment the day before a game. So it's a lot harder.
But, like I said, it's-- the league is all about adjustments. And we had to make adjustments and be myself especially and just figure out a way to make it work. Obviously, we're a really good team. And we could-- you know, have a really good coaching staff. So we just got to respect their scheme and just go over there and play harder than we showed in Cleveland.
- With DJ Wilson specifically, can you talk about what it's like to play with him? And just it feels like he has a good sense of where to be on the floor. Is it pretty easy to play with him?
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah, I mean, he's been in the league, like I said. You know, DJ Wilson is not somebody that just you don't really know. He's been in the league. He's over in Milwaukee.
You know, I got the chance to actually watch him play when he was in college, too. So a really good shooter, a really good size. He could do a lot of different stuff. And it's really easy to play with him because he seems like he wants to-- he wants to be part of the team. He wants to work hard, wanting to do little things, so that's always easier, to play with a guy like that.
- We'll go to Mike from [INAUDIBLE] Press.
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