Panel (First Segment Only)
“It’s been crazy. The fans are excited about this opportunity, even myself to know where this team comes from, where we’ve been and where we are now, Canadians should be proud” – T-Mac on the vibe in Toronto
Key to Game 1 of the NBA Finals?
“These guys [The Warriors] have to be who they are (Klay, Steph and Draymond). On Toronto’s side, they’re going to need another guy (VanVleet, Siakam). Who’s going to step up for Toronto to be that third guy that will help them out?” – T-Mac
“This is the best defense that the Warriors have played against [in the Raptors] in their 5-year run. The Raptors are big, bad and smart. As I’ll watch Game 1: How do the Raptors defense affect the Warriors?” – Windhorst
More confident in Kawhi or Steph entering Finals?
“Steph. This is his time to win Finals MVP. He needs that on his resume” – T-Mac
“Kawhi. Steph could have a bad shooting night. Kawhi can impact the game in many other ways. You’ll be able to get more from Kawhi at both ends on a more consistent basis” – Windhorst
Time for Rockets to shake things up?
Per Woj: Rockets GM Daryl Morey is “showing an aggressive desire to improve his roster with all players and picks available in trade talks.” Also, it’s unlikely James Harden would be dealt. They would like to keep him as the centerpiece
“Daryl Morey is really obsessed with trying to win a championship. He’s going to do everything in his power to try to make that happen. I’m surprised that they would include James Harden in this. You’re not going to be able to move CP3 with that contract. I just don’t see that happening. But you’re looking at the wrong moves that should be made. Their should be a coaching change” – T-Mac
“So all of their core players are under contract, they have no draft pick and their over the salary cap. So the only way that they can really make a difference with his team is through trades so it kind of makes sense. My question is: What is their motive?” – Windhorst
May 29, 2006 – Dwyane Wade with the sick circus shot, plus the foul vs the Pistons!
On whether there was pressure to get to this point of the playoffs in his first season:
“The bar was set high. [Dwane] Casey laid a great foundation here and won a lot of games. I wouldn’t be here without him. I guess there’s a little pressure. This is where we wanted to be” – Nurse
Challenges of coaching Kawhi Leonard?
“I think the first thing is you got to get to know him. You don’t really know these guys till you get them under your own roof a little bit and we had the load management thing going. When we first made the trade, obviously I was interested. He was a great player, a finals MVP and two-way player and a lot of things to get excited about. But I just wasn’t sure where we would be. When I first saw him, I was like ‘Man. This guy can really score easy.'” – Nurse
“Right away. This guy can really create his own shots so easily” – Nurse on how he knew Kawhi Leonard was extremely special
“He’s locked in. He’s paying attention to what you’re saying” – Nurse
“I only can go by what he tells me and watch him play” – Nurse on where Kawhi’s health is at
Do you have a good relationship with Drake?
“I didn’t even know it right when it was going on until the next morning somebody sent me a picture of it. So either a) I was really focused or b) He’s got really soft hands. He’s really nice to me. Great fan” – Nurse
“I don’t really notice him in my space [on the sidelines]” – Nurse
What’s the story behind your “NN” initialed hat?
“I got 4 hats. I was wearing a Travis Mathews hat that has a ‘T’ on top of an ‘M.’ My brother Steve is head equipment manager at Northern Iowa, which is a Nike school and the Nike guy kept saying to him: ‘Why is he wearing a Travis Mathews hat? I’m going to get him some Nike hats with ‘NN’ on them.’ I wear black a lot” – Nurse
What changes for you without KD on the floor?
“I got to be more aggressive because that’s 35 points out of the lineup. So for me, that’s like 3 or 4 extra buckets. You can’t make up what Kevin does with one person. That takes a whole team” – Thompson
Do you care about All-NBA snub?
“I cared. The money is nice but I’m trying to build a resume. It didn’t happen this year but hopefully go to another Finals next year and it might happen then. I just wanted to make that team so badly just because it’s a huge honor but the opportunity to win a championship is greater” – Thompson
“It’s a worthy sacrifice. To be here and to be on the global stage, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Even an All-NBA. I’m happy to be here” – Thompson
On the Raptors fans for Game 1:
“I know Aubery (aka Drake) is going to be on the sideline going crazy. I’m so excited. I know Canada always brings the energy” – Thompson
On facing Kawhi Leonard and stopping him:
“From watching Kawhi, I’ve learned he’s very good at taking his time, playing by his own pace and he’s become a such great jump shooter. It’s going to be a challenge” – Thompson
Does your mom really pick out your clothes?
“Yes she does. What mother doesn’t buy her son nice things? She knows my eye. She sees something that I like. That’s a good mom” – Thompson
Significance of first NBA Finals appearance?
“It means a lot. It means the work that we’ve put in and the work that I’ve put in kind of paying off a little bit. Just being here is a huge fulfillment, but we’re not just here. We want to go out here and we want to win and want to compete” – Lowry
On his playoff struggles this postseason:
“The problem for me was not being aggressive enough. I was trying to be more of a facilitator. But what our team needs is for me to score” – Lowry
On having games with less of the stats and having a great game despite a loss:
“To me, it doesn’t bother me. It’s an opinion. Everyone has it. But for me, I understand what I do for my team and the most important thing is been doing things for your team to win games and we’re at this point for a reason. Even if I averaged 5 points the whole playoffs and we’re at this point, can’t say much about it. You win games to try to get to this point and that’s where we are” – Lowry
How has your relationship with Masai Ujiri evolved?
How much will thumb injury play a factor in Finals?
“I haven’t complained about it, I won’t complain about it, I don’t care about it. I’m going to continue to do the things I need to do to make sure I can play at a high level. And that’s it” – Lowry
“It’s about passing. I’m a big passer. The flicking of the passing, the ball movement, handling the ball. During the game, I can’t feel my thumb” – Lowry
Lowry on keeping in touch with DeMar DeRozan:
“I talk to DeMar everyday. DeMar is definitely big part of what we’ve built here. All the guys he has relationships with, he still texts us. He wants us to be successful, he wants us to win a ring” – Lowry
Lowry and T-Mac played together in Houston from 2008 to 2009
“He’s always had the toughness. But his leadership is really highlighted on how he’s leading his team” – T-Mac on Lowry
“He helped me out with my transition [to the NBA]” – Lowry on T-Mac
May 29, 1997 – John Stockton (Jazz) with the game winning series three-pointer vs the Rockets to send the Jazz to their first ever NBA Finals!
On the Raptors first ever appearance in the Finals:
“What’s jumped out is how important this is to the whole country” – Kerr
How will you defend Kawhi?
“With a guy like Kawhi, you really have to feel it and probably adapt and adjust on the fly once the game starts” – Kerr
What did Pop tell you at dinner?
“I’m coaching with Pop this summer on the national team. He has a place in San Francisco, spends a little time there in the summer. When he’s in town, we usually get together. Most of our conversations was actually about this summer’s world championship roster and what were going to do and how were going to approach it” – Kerr
How are you planning for Boogie’s return?
“You’ll see him. The tricky part is for big guys to catch up to the speed of the game” – Kerr
“We’ve got to be careful. We know he can help us but we also don’t want to disrupt what we’ve done the last 5-6 games where we’ve kind of found a rhythm and found a pattern without Kevin and our guys are carrying some more momentum into this series. It’s a little delicate but we’ll figure it out – Kerr
How are you planning for KD’s return?
On dad jokes: