Raptors Notes: Nurse, Leonard, Anunoby

Fresh off his team’s Game 6 victory over the Bucks which sent Toronto to the Finals, Raptors coach Nick Nurse has apparently achieved another honor. He will coach Canada’s national team at the FIBA World Cup in China, Peter Yannopoulos of TSN tweets.

Canada Basketball, which hasn’t officially confirmed the coaching change, began courting Nurse prior to the postseason, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

Nurse, who was an assistant for Team Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, would replace Hornets assistant Jay Triano as Canada’s coach, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets.

We have more on the newly crowned Eastern Conference champions:

  • Toronto president Masai Ujiri had a strong response for Kawhi Leonard during their first meeting after the blockbuster trade with San Antonio last season, as Michael Lee of The Athletic details. Leonard asked Ujiri why he made the trade despite Leonard’s intention to opt out of his contract after the season. “Because you’re the best player in the league,” Ujiri told Leonard. That bold gamble has paid off, Lee notes.
  • The Raptors are optimistic that OG Anunoby will play at some point in the Finals, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun tweets. Anunoby has not played since an emergency appendectomy last month. The last appearance by the reserve small forward was April 9th. The gaps in-between games should also help Leonard, who is dealing with a leg injury, Wolstat adds.
  • Nurse’s G League success — he won championships with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Iowa Energy — prepared him well for the Raptors gig, Adam Johnson of 2Ways10Days.com details in a story originally posted prior to the season.
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9 thoughts on “Raptors Notes: Nurse, Leonard, Anunoby

    • Reflect

      That was still the wrong decision. The team is playing better because it’s a better team. DeRozan and Lowry are as average as it gets.

      • kenleyfornia2

        DeRozan has been putting up all star offensive numbers for 6 years now but sure he is “average”. This team is in the finals. It was 100 percent the right move. Casey had 5 years for them to make noise in the playoffs. 2016 was the only year they weren’t underwhelming

        • Reflect

          If your best player is only described as “an all star”, that is the definition of average. There are 16 players on each team, so 32 all stars in the NBA, by definition. On average, every team has an All Star. Even the Knicks and Cavs both had one in 2018.

          A real contender needs more than that.

          • kenleyfornia2

            You can try and spew nonsense any way you want. DeRozan is a far above average player in this league. The average team is not capable of being a 1 seed, which they were. The idea “they weren’t a true contender” is BS. If you are the top seed you are a contender. Nurse’s system has made them a much better team than in Casey years. The got knocked out by lower seeds or taken to game 7s in the Casey years consistently. In year 1 of Nurse they knock out the top seed and go to the finals. I dont know what fantasy land you live in, but here on earth that was a right coaching change.

      • whoneedsfacts

        There were rumors in the 18/19 season that Nurse was behind the changes that made them better, it appears Nurse took those measures to the next level this season. Nurse is a great coach and the Rap’s desperately needed changes, his vision is certainly paying off.

        • x%sure

          More than rumors! He redesigned their offense to reduce the iso components; it was a big deal. Ironically, once he gets the promotion, there’s Kawhi and Nurse isos him.

          • Yes, Nurse redesigned the offense yet while everyone likes to mention that Casey won Coach of the Year, it seems lost on people that perhaps Casey won that award based on the reinvention of the offense in that season. And it happens, where a head coach gets credit for work his assistants do.

            Often times, the league picks up on it and someone plucks that assistant away. It seems to me that Masai definitely recognized this situation and decided his assistant coach Nurse was the more valuable personnel here.

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