(6-8) ORLANDO MAGIC, 97 VS. (10-4) TORONTO RAPTORS, 113
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019
TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES
NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)
On the energy from the bench tonight …
All three of those guys are energy guys, Terence (Davis), Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) and Chris (Boucher). Geez, they came out of there
with plus-21 and plus-22. That is a heck of a stint for those guys, two stints.
On the starters being a little off tonight …
A little bit, little bit. I thought we didn’t execute a bunch of our schemes early defensively. We just had some breakdowns and you could
see some clear lane layups in the half court, which we don’t like to see very often, if ever. But those guys (bench) provided a nice punch
and then the starters came back in and started playing. It wasn’t the prettiest game, I don’t think, but I thought we played pretty hard,
like really hard in stretches. So that was good to see.
On what you are seeing defensively from Rondae and Chris …
First of all, Rondae has been really good defensively. He has really been a big asset, we put him on a really good player when he gets
in there. Just his intensity, strength and foot speed have been great. He has been extra possession-getter, keeping balls alive. I think
those are big momentum plays and we haven’t had a lot of those this year, so it is good to see us get some of those. And Chris, when
Chris is amped up – and he has been pretty amped up most nights – he’s at the rim blocking a few shots, grabbing a few big rebounds,
On Chris’s positioning on offence …
I think the key to that is that you go consistently, no matter where you are, and you see a shot going up, you just take off flying. If you
go in there nine times in a row, you are probably going to tip a couple in, because you are flying hard. He’s got length, he’s got some
speed to use to get up in the air. He works at that a little bit, even when we are playing 4-on-0 or 5-on-0 in practice, he works on his
timing of trying to fly in there and chase those rebounds. That’s good, I think him and Rondae, both of them attacked the glass really
good for us.
PASCAL SIAKAM (18 points, 11 rebounds)
Are you surprised by how bench had been able to contribute?
I’m not surprised, but I think those guys always have that mentality. We’ve got some dogs ready to go out there. Chris stealing my
rebounds, TD just making plays out there. Those guys have been playing well.
Is Chris at his best playing instinctively?
I think he’s at his best that way. Continuing to just play hard and do what he does best without thinking like blocking shots, rebounding,
running, dunking and shooting threes, open ones. All those things he can do them every single night.
TERENCE DAVIS ll (19 points, eight rebounds, five assists)
Are you comfortable coming in off the bench?
It’s more comfortable. Getting the time in with those guys, getting reps in practice and just knowledge from them – and trust, gaining
their trust as a rookie. It takes time and I think I’m starting to get there.
What do you think the chemistry is between you, Chris (Boucher) and Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson)?
We are just hard-playing guys. Bring energy, on the bench today Chris told me, he just pointed out when we go in, we’ve got to pick the
energy up. It’s just about energy and the games will take care of itself.
CHARLOTTE HORNETS QUOTES
STEVE CLIFFORD (HEAD COACH)
On tonight’s game …
I like the way we played in the second half. We started the game fine. (When) we broke the lineup it was awful. Those guys (went)
down, but again … we didn’t defend after we broke the lineup in the first half. I thought (in) the third quarter we put ourselves in position.
The end of the third hurt us and then it got away from us with about seven and a half left. I thought the second half we actually played
— it’s misleading because of the final score — but the second half we played a lot better.
On the bench …
You’re playing a hole against a good team on the road, so you just can’t withstand those turnovers and really awful defence … They
staggered their lineups more too, so I mean, they didn’t play like a full second unit.
What would you want to see from your team if Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon are out?
We’ll worry about that tomorrow. I’ll watch the film and we’ve got two days before we play, so you know, you have to wait … I always
say this is true, you get up in the morning, you say, ‘Who do we have?’ and then you figure out the best way to have a good day with
that group, that’s all you can do in this league.
On Mo Bamba …
I just told Jeff Weltman this year that he has made really good progress from last year. Go watch the films from last year. He’s playing a
lot better this year … I think he has a lot better idea of what the NBA game is all about and so, in that respect, he’s made good
NIKOLA VUCEVIC (three points, five rebounds, five assists)
How bad was it when you couldn’t get off the floor?
It was really painful when it happened. I’m not sure if I stepped on his foot (or if) my leg got tangled up in his leg … It was really painful.
It’s hard for me to put any pressure on (it), so we’ll see. I’m supposed to get an MRI tomorrow and then I’ll know more after that, but it’s
pretty painful right now so we’ll see how it goes.
How disappointing is it to suffer this injury when the team was starting to play better?
Very disappointing. I mean, injuries suck, but obviously, unfortunately they are part of the job we do … It’s obviously bad timing for us
as well. We had a very tough road trip and especially the worst timing (because) we’re playing better. Guys are going to step up. We’ll
see what happens with AG (Aaron Gordon). Hopefully his is not bad. We believe in the guys we have and hopefully the guys will step
up and we’ll keep playing well.
AARON GORDON (two points, two rebounds)
Feelings on the injury …
It was a little bit (of a) worse sprain than I’ve had. Usually I can roll it over and then kind of lace it up a little bit tighter and keep going. I
jumped all the way up and came all the way down on it. It hurts, man, not being able to play, not being able to help my team win, but it’s
just part of the game, so I’ll take my time and get back right.
Did you know it was hurt pretty bad?
Yeah, it was basically a full jump, so it was a max jump, and then I came down and I landed on the back of someone’s leg and it rolled
over. That’s when I knew it hurt a little bit more because I had jumped all the way up.
How tough is it to lose two starters on the team?
Like I’ve been saying all year, we’ve got really talented people in this locker room, so it is the next man up. People (have) to be ready to
step up in place and collectively fill that void. We’ll be able to do it.
KHEM BIRCH (12 points, four rebounds)
How do you rally the troops when you lose a couple of guys like that?
I mean, you (have) to just stay ready. We have a deep team, so everyone has to stay ready. A couple of us have been doing this for
two —I’ve been doing this for three — years, so it’s no excuses. You have to come ready. When your number is called you have to be
prepared and make an impact.
On playing in your home country …
It’s kind of crazy how it happened. I don’t wish an injury on anybody. It’s just crazy, you know, that someone gets hurt and I play in front
of my mom. My mom was sitting courtside – it’s great. I love playing in front of my home country.