On the latest episode of “Hustle Play with Chris Boucher,” the Toronto Raptors forward talked about having a one-on-one meeting with head coach Nick Nurse following his stretch of subpar play.
Before they won their last two contests, the Raptors were in a slump, to say the least. Boucher was not immune to that losing streak, as he saw both his field goal attempts and his minutes suffer a precipitous drop off from what he was accustomed to.
When asked about the report that stated that Nurse held one-on-one meetings with his players to assuage tension and clear the air, the 30-year-old admitted it was a necessary conversation.
“Yeah, it was needed,” Boucher said. “It's coming. Obviously, if you don't play well, it's coming, and you're going to hear about it. So the one thing I've noticed and I've realized the most about it, is that you have to expect it if you're not playing the right way, because you've shown so many times that you could play, how you could play. So if it's expected for you to play a certain way, and you haven't for a minute, you've got to expect somebody or something to come out eventually out of it.”
Boucher expounded by saying that when playing poorly becomes a routine, that’s when Nurse will pull him to the side — showing that he cares and that there are expectations he expects him to meet.
“And eventually— You could duck a couple games not playing well. It's normal. But when it becomes a routine and it's just not what it is, sometimes you need your coach to tell you something so you can wake up, because obviously he's acknowledging that you're not playing well, which is good, because if he doesn't acknowledge that you're playing well and you just go to somebody else, that means he doesn't care.
"And if he doesn't care, then you might as well just stop playing, because if he started, if he brings you up and you realize that you're not playing well, it's because he knows what you could do, and you need to do better."
Boucher’s comments come after a rough month of December. Not only did the big man’s minutes vacillate between DNP-CD (coach's decision) to just a tick over 10, but Nurse called him out, bluntly telling the media, “Chris needs to play better.”
Chris Boucher, who’s played 9 minutes without attempting a shot over the last 2 games: “I just go with whatever the game play is. I haven’t talked to (Nurse about it) so I don’t know.”
Nurse, asked if Achiuwa’s upcoming return could help Boucher: “Chris needs to play better.”
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) December 28, 2022
For the season, the Montreal native is averaging 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 20.9 minutes per game.
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