The Nick Nurse Is In

It’s been a week since the Toronto Raptors named Nick Nurse the 9th Head Coach in franchise history. Where did he come from? One seat over on the bench. He’s been an assistant with the Raptors since 2013.

When the Raptors fired Dwane Casey, I came on this blog and said this about Nick Nurse being a possible replacement:

My only reservation about that is it wouldn’t be that much of a change from Casey, at which point I would wonder, why not just keep Casey?

Fair opinion, at the time.

But then the Raptors hired Nurse and I started thinking about it some more.

I liked Casey and want him to do well in Detroit, but I realize something had to change in Toronto. And sure, he won the Coach of the Year award, which was voted on by his peers.

By the way, that’s not the NBA Coach of the Year award – that one is awarded next week.

But just because you win the spelling bee, doesn’t mean you write the best stories. Get what I’m saying? The coach of the year is rarely the one winning the championship in the same year.

So I’m glad the Raptors didn’t feel like they had to handcuff themselves to Casey, just because he won the award.

Is it fair? Definitely not. Could they have made a mistake? Define “mistake”.

Before Nurse was hired, I thought he wouldn’t be that different from Casey. My opinion has evolved on this.

Think back to any job you’ve ever had, preferably one where you were a subordinate. If the person you reported to got fired, and you were given their position, would you be the same leader as them?

I don’t think so. I wouldn’t be. They could be a template for the job, but we all bring our own philosophies and ideas with us. If we were going to be like the former boss, they would’ve just kept the former boss.

Based on the things Nurse has been saying, I think he’s going to be a lot more creative with our defence. Last year, it was like our players knew they weren’t good at defending so they just hoped the opposing player would miss the shot.

I don’t know if that’s coaching, hustle, or a personnel problem, but when OG Anunoby (a 20-year-old) is your best defender, and the only one who doesn’t look scared when LeBron walks in the room, something is very wrong.

Nurse has already said he wants to run more plays through Kyle Lowry, which I think is great. Last season felt like we were protecting Lowry as much as possible. Other guys were bringing the ball up the floor and he would rest in the corner on offence. I don’t know what was up with that.

Maybe because he was our best three point shooter, having him off the ball would be best for his skill set? Alright. Then that’s on the front office to go out and get more three point shooters, so Lowry can go back to being the quarterback of the team.

Stop running the wildcat and let Lowry control the game.

Alvin Williams played with Vince Carter, but Williams was the floor general. I remember going to the store and wanting a Williams jersey, but they didn’t have any because they don’t think anyone is interested in anyone other than the superstars, so I got Carter instead. That’s a true story. Now I have two Vince Carter jerseys.

I even told my mom if we ordered the jersey, make sure it says “A. Williams” on the back because Jerome Williams was also one the team.

Nick Nurse seems like a forward thinker – a guy who wants to be where the game is going, before everyone else arrives. I like that.

I think his relationship with the players makes this transition easier. The players aren’t going to show up on the first day of school and wonder who the new teacher is, or how many buttons they can press before being reprimanded.

It may sound like I’m talking myself into this hiring, and maybe I am a little bit, but I’m happy with it and am willing to give him a chance.

Also, my mom loves the name Nick Nurse. I think this is the first Raptors Head Coach she knows the name of.

It reminds her of something Joe Bowen – the Leafs play-by-play guy – said at the end of a playoff overtime game in the early 2000s (it went until 1AM – I remember this because I thought it was so cool I was up that late).

“Goodnight, nurse.” That was Bowen’s call when the game ended. But it sounded like, “Good. Night. Nurse.” I wish broadcasters said it more. I say it a few times a month.

Anyway, so many people have already written Nurse off as Casey 2.0 and are wondering what the point is.

Others are just giving opinions for no reason. I read the comments under one article and one person said something along the lines of, “Never heard of the guy. I’m more into real basketball, like the NCAA and CIS.”

So then why did you comment? I don’t understand why 98% of the people on the internet press send.

Nick Nurse aside, the roster needs help.

There was a rumour that the Raptors are trying to trade their way into the Draft lottery tonight to draft point guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. That’s interesting to me because point guard is our deepest position.

I’m not opposed to trading Kyle Lowry, at all.

I don’t know what the Raptors are thinking, but based on the current roster, I think Fred VanVleet is the future starting point guard of this team. I don’t know when that is, but I feel like he can eventually put up the same numbers that Lowry is and be a star for us.

That may be a bold prediction, but I’m sticking with it. Lowry was a late bloomer.

It’s been said that everyone is on the table in terms of trades. I think Lowry goes before DeRozan, just because if they trade DeRozan, they’re admitting to a rebuild. Right?

I think people are underestimating how much better our young players will be next season. I mean, it took DeRozan a few seasons to build himself into an All-Star, and he did it while playing on terrible teams.

These guys already have playoff experience. I think Anunoby takes a big step next season. I think once Pascal Siakam puts on more muscle and sharpens his game, look out. Just a matter of when.

I’m not confident Serge Ibaka is still on the team on opening night, though.

I think Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright are currently making the front office think about whether or not we’d be okay if Lowry were traded.

Obviously, I’m just speculating. A lot will change. These players are by no means married to this franchise and five years from now, they all may be gone.

I’m just giving thoughts on the guys who are here right now. Who knows, they may flat line like Norman Powell did this season. That’s a guy who I can see getting traded, even though he has so much potential. He just needs to get out of his own way.

I’ve gone on long enough. I like the Nick Nurse hiring. I’m exciting for the upcoming roster moves. And I can’t wait for the NBA Draft tonight!

Thanks for reading, and happy basketball to you and yours.

Note: I received a comment a few weeks ago on one of my basketball posts from a guy who was parsing my words and trying to bait me into a sports debate. I gave up debating sports a long time ago. There really is no point. No ones opinion ever changes. I’ll have a discussion with you, but I’m not going to go back and forth trying to convince you I’m right and you’re wrong. Go write your own blog post.

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About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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9 Responses to The Nick Nurse Is In

  1. Hira says:

    This post is aimed for Sports enthusiasts. Am not ..But I glanced anyways coz it is from you☺😎 There is a Raptor ( Dino?l!) and a Nurse..and after that I lost it at NBA Coach

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barb Knowles says:

    I’ll never debate sports with you…except American football, golf and the Olympics.

    Liked by 1 person

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