The Toronto Raptors fanbase had to be thrilled when Chris Boucher was included in the opening night rotation, as he quickly recovered from a finger injury that forced him to miss the entire preseason. Unfortunately, that optimism has faded fast, as he has thrown up some clunkers.
Boucher is averaging just 6.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, shooting a gnarly 27% from the field and 13% from 3-point range. Boucher saw his playing time cut from 20 minutes in a win against the Celtics to eight minutes in Toronto’s loss against the Dallas Mavericks. He scored a whopping zero points on 0-5 shooting.
With this roster in need of some bench players that can step up and make a difference on offense, Nick Nurse sounds slightly disappointed in what he’s seen from Boucher this season. He made sure that the Montreal native got the message in his postgame press conference.
Nurse did not mince words when talking about how Boucher has performed this season, claiming that he “needs to start playing better” after his dud against Dallas. Based on quotes like that, it’s safe to say that Nurse is a bit frustrated with Boucher’s performance over the first few games.
The Toronto Raptors need more from Chris Boucher.
Boucher is a free agent at the end of this season, so there are genuine short and long-term ramifications to the slender power forward watching his skills drain away. He might not be in danger of losing minutes in any sort of major fashion just yet, but that doesn’t mean he should just assume things will magically turn around.
On a young team that isn’t blessed with a ton of shooting talent, Nurse knows that Boucher needs to start performing like the breakout performer that he was last year. When asked if Boucher has been “up and down” in the last few games, Nurse said that he “didn’t see any up” from No. 25. Ouch.
The Raptors have been in a shooting funk to start the season, as the only player on the roster that is in the regular rotation and is making over 45% of their shots is rookie stud Scottie Barnes. Even with so many players starting slow, it’s Chris Boucher who has the lowest field goal percentage on the team, which is a concerning statistic.
The Raptors might decide to switch some things up after a 1-2 start to the season, but any change they make will still involve Boucher getting a heavy chunk of minutes. He was a legit Sixth Man of the Year contender last year, and Toronto needs that player to emerge once again.