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Billy Donovan Complements Scottie Barnes & Nick Nurse Clears the Air With Chris Boucher

Toronto Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes receives praise from Bulls coach Billy Donovan while Nick Nurse discusses starting fresh with Chris Boucher

The Scottie Barnes tour continues as coaches around the league note how impressed they've been by the Toronto Raptors rookie.

"He’s going to be a very good player," Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan said prior to Monday's game. "Very aggressive, puts it on the floor, he’s got really good length, a two-way player. Defensively, [he] can play a lot of different players. [He's] got the versatility and length to guard a lot of different people. ... He's only to get better with minutes and through playing. And certainly, he's gotten off to a great start in this early part of the season."

Clean Slate for Chris Boucher

Raptors coach Nick Nurse is ready to wipe the slate clean for Chris Boucher and start over after ripping him for his disappointing start to the season.

"What happened the other night, it wasn't Chris's best performance, obviously, and for his sake and our team's sake, you've gotta look another way on those kind of nights," Nurse said. "For him, and I say this about all the guys, you shouldn't have to try to shoot your way into a good game. Especially somebody like him that can rebound and run and block shots and tip-dunk and those kind of things. Those should be constants or at least the effort to make those constants should be there, especially the rebounding part."

That's long been the problem for Boucher. When his shots aren't falling he tends to let it impact his game elsewhere. His effort begins to wane and those hustle plays he makes all but vanish.

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"Some nights the matchup is when he sets a screen they're gonna put two on the ball and he's wide open and some nights they're gonna switch and he's not gonna have any room to breathe," Nurse said. "That's just kinda basketball. Again, I still keep saying, you can still play well, very well, without having to have a good shooting night."

Nurse said the lackluster start isn't all that surprising considering Boucher is coming off finger surgery in the preseason and hasn't had very much time to get back in the groove of things. He said he did, however, pull Boucher aside after shootaround Monday to reiterate how important it is for the 28-year-old to stay focused and keep his motor up every night, not just when his shots are falling.

"Today's a new day, man," Nurse said.

Further Reading

Even as everything in Toronto changes, DeMar DeRozan's impact on the Raptors leadership remains the same

Raptors development paying off as Gary Trent Jr. blossoms into a defensive pest

Luka Doncic takes over as Raptors run out of gas late