Raptors Hire Nurse As Head Coach To Heal Playoff Wounds
After a month long search to replace the 2018 Coach of the Year, the Raptors have finally found the perfect replacement - the 2018 Coach Of the Year's Assistant, Nick Nurse. After a sweep to the Cavaliers that lost Dwane Casey his job, the Raps look to heal their playoff wounds with the hiring of Nurse.
And now, there seems to be tension between the two in Raptorland.
This doesn't surprise me at all, Nick's progressive, offensive-minded coaching styles would clash with Dwane's old-school, defense-first methods, and the two really never saw eye-to-eye throughout their tenure together. But they saw 5 largely successful years together on the Raptors bench, and now, Casey has found home for 5 years in Motown, while the man he gave an NBA opportunity to 5 years ago has achieved a lifelong goal, and still, no one is toasting each other's good fortune? It looks like the pettiness of the NBA goes all the way up to the front office.
Casey took the Raptors on a magical 7 year run and now the team he built is being handed to his sidekick that could be mistaken for the night manager at Shoppers Drug Mart. All because the Raptors were looking for a solution to losing to LeBron James. Dwane was the scapegoat and took the fall, while his under-performing star players are left unaccountable for their poor play. Now we look at the man who stood beside Casey for all these problems as our solution?
Although, maybe Nick did have the answers to halting the Cavaliers, and just no one was listening to him. Questionable leadership skills, similar to the player's questionable listening skills.
I love the idea of hiring within and I don't think it happens enough, however, I think we need a new face with a new culture to come in if we expect different results. It seems difficult to push the same guys outside their comfort zone with someone they are already comfortable with.
Ultimately, the Association is a player's league. A strong coach is significantly important, but arguably two of the weaker coaches in the NBA were in the finals the last two years.
The Raptors could have hired nurse, a doctor, or any other miracle worker and I don't think much would change if the same core sticks around. But, Nick is apparently a brilliant basketball journeyman, who has grinded his way to his dream job at 50 years old. That relentless ambition is admirable.
The worst part about all of this though - Drake and Nick Nurse won't look nearly as cool together on national television as Drizzy and Casey did.
Thankfully, both Casey and Nurse will be battling it out behind the clipboards in the same conference several times next year, before possibly meeting in the playoffs. A classic case of the grasshopper vs sensei. This way, true Raptor fans can over-analyze this coaching change and evaluate it based on the season series.