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Q&A with Patrick Patterson: on his three-point shooting, shot charts and the perfect environment

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We had a chance to catch-up with the Raptors reserve forward this past Sunday for a brief chat about the season so far, how teams are adjusting to him lately, and more.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to Sunday's overtime victory over the New York Knicks, I had a chance to chat briefly with Patrick Patterson about the season so far.

You’re shooting 46.4 percent from beyond the arc this year. Has your role in the offense changed compared to your time in Houston and Sacramento?

Since I’ve been here, I would say it’s been pretty much the same. My role on offense is still to space out the floor. The one thing that has changed is the type of looks I'm getting because the team is running plays for me, and there are specific sets designed to get me an open shot. I would say too that my teammates have been very aggressive in terms of looking for me when I'm on the floor. They're always encouraging me to shoot the ball.

Have you noticed other teams making adjustments based on how you're shooting the ball this season?

For sure. I think starting with the game against Cleveland, I noticed that teams were starting to run me off the three-point line more. So I've talked to coach Casey [regarding making adjustments]. It's really just the little things, working on my in-between game and just having the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack. Otherwise, I'll just look for the open teammate. Teams are recognizing my ability to space the floor and shoot the ball, so it's just about recognizing that and making the smart play.

A lot of us like to look at shot charts and analyze how players shoot from different parts of the floor. Is that something that you study or review during the season?

Not really. Of course, the corner shot is always the easiest for a three-point shooter, and I'm comfortable shooting from the top of the key. For me, it's all about the feel of the game. Most of the team, I know my shots will come from either penetration from one of our guards who will find me in the corner, or from a pick and pop.

At this point, I pretty much know where my three-point shots are coming from based on the feel I have with my teammates and the plays that we run in our offense.

I've always been curious, for a player coming off the bench, how difficult is the routine of having to warm up before the game, then having to sit on the bench (sometimes for half an hour or more in real time) before you actually play?

For me, the key is to just always keep my hands and ankles warm. I like to stay loose on the bench and stretch before I come in. But I’m also focused and paying attention to what’s going on in the game. Not necessarily the score, or how the opposing team is doing. But more: how are my teammates moving out there? How are they getting open and where are our shots coming from on offense?

I just want to make sure whenever I come into the game, I bring that energy right away. At the end of the day, our role is to make it easier for the starters. With the second unit, our main focus is definitely making sure that Lou [Williams] gets his shots while Greivis [Vasquez] acts as that general on the floor for us. At the same time, myself, Tyler [Hansbrough] and James [Johnson] are bringing that energy on the floor.

A lot has been made about the chemistry of this team. Was it an easy decision as a restricted free agent this summer to return to Toronto?

I’ve known Kyle [Lowry] and Chuck [Hayes] since my first year with the Rockets. I have a great relationship with a few other guys on this team who I know from high school and college. Also, it's a great environment here, from the players all the way on up to management. We're all on the same page, we enjoy being around one another. And you add to the fact that we're winning? It makes for an easy decision to return.

Of course, we all dream about starting for an NBA team. It wasn't about looking for more money or taking another team's offer because I could start. At the end of the day, I was just more comfortable here. This environment was just too perfect to pass up.