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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Articles tagged: Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse complains about referees after Raptors loss

Nick Nurse with sunglasses on

Nick Nurse was not happy with the officials following his Toronto Raptors’ 102-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

Nurse said after the game that the Raptors didn’t get many breaks. He also questioned the officiating, including the jump balls.

Nurse seemed to be pointing at one play late when Cavs big man Jarrett Allen went over the top on Scottie Barnes. Somehow only a jump ball was called:

There were several other issues Raptors fans, and likely Nurse, had with the officials. Collin Sexton also committed a travel that wasn’t called, but instead a jump ball was called. Cedi Osman also had a questionable play where what looked like a goaltend wasn’t called.

Nurse’s Raptors are now 6-4 this season. That’s not a bad start considering they are playing without Pascal Siakam.

Photo: Nickbarden/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 4.0

Nick Nurse makes awkward Kyle Lowry flub before preseason game

Nick Nurse

Kyle Lowry was a fixture for the Toronto Raptors for nearly a full decade, and even his head coach clearly isn’t used to the point guard not being around.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse made a somewhat awkward flub when announcing his starters for Thursday’s preseason game. He opened the announcement by naming Lowry, even though the guard left for the Miami Heat during the offseason.

This is definitely a forgivable mistake. Lowry started 585 regular season games since joining Toronto in 2012. He never came off the bench for Nurse, and appeared in fewer than 60 games in only two seasons with the Raptors.

For what it’s worth, the fondness between Lowry and the Raptors is clearly a mutual one. For now, Nurse might as well get the mistakes done with before the regular season starts.

Photo: Nick Barden/Wikimedia via cc-by-SA 4.0

Raptors react to being booed at ‘home’ game

Nick Nurse

The Toronto Raptors lost another tough game on Thursday night in what has been an incredibly challenging season, and they continued to receive very little support from the “home” fans.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions in Canada, the Raptors have had to play all of their home games in Tampa. There were roughly 2,000 fans in attendance at Amalie Arena on Thursday, and they booed the “home team” during their 131-129 overtime loss to the Washington Wizards. Pascal Siakam said the Raptors have grown used to it.

“We’ve felt like we’ve been on the road all year so I don’t think it’s something new,” Siakam told reporters, via TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. “You kinda get caught like, oh, where are we? But we’re kinda used to it.”

The Raptors fell to 27-40 with the loss. They’re four games out of the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference, which would put them in the play-in tournament for a shot at making the playoffs. It’s fair to wonder how much better the Raptors would have played if they weren’t essentially on the road all year.

Head coach Nick Nurse is clearly annoyed with the situation, as evidenced by his response when he was asked about the boos on Thursday night. Nurse mentioned how he coached many games in Europe where the home fans booed.

“So I didn’t really notice it tonight. Thanks for pointing it out,” he said. “When you write your season-ending article you can add it to the list of things that went into this weird season.”

Nurse’s response wasn’t surprising, as he has not been in the best mood this week. The coach also slammed a report earlier this week that criticized one of his former assistants.

The Raptors have five games left, with three of them being at “home.” While they are not yet mathematically eliminated from the postseason, they probably can’t wait for the season to end.

Photo: Nick Barden/Wikimedia via cc-by-SA 4.0

Nick Nurse slams report about Nate Bjorkgren as ‘100 percent false’

Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse is pretty upset over some reports criticizing the character and coaching of one of his former assistants.

Indiana Pacers first-year head coach Nate Bjorkgren has come under fire recently. A report on Tuesday said that Bjorkgren’s future is in jeopardy, largely due to his style of coaching and communication.

On Thursday, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer published a lengthy piece that smeared Bjorkgren, pointing out all his perceived flaws and issues as a coach. One section reported that Bjorkgren acted as a sort of chief of staff for Nurse while working as an assistant coach in Toronto.

Nurse, who is in his third season as the Toronto Raptors’ head coach, responded with disgust. He told reporters that the information shared about Bjorkgren was “100 percent false” and a “bold-faced lie.”

Nurse also questioned any journalism that would allow them to publish such lies.

Bjorkgren, 45, is almost certainly going to be fired after all that has leaked out about him. What’s unfortunate is that the article was not balanced and did not include any support from someone like Nurse. Even one Pacers player had to deny an accusation from the article.

Nick Nurse pushes back at suggestion that Raptors are tanking

Nick Nurse

Less than two years after winning an NBA title, the Toronto Raptors seem to be going in the exact opposite direction. Head coach Nick Nurse insists that is by no means intentional however.

Addressing reporters on Sunday, Nurse pushed back at the suggestion that the 19-30 Raptors are tanking for a high draft pick.

“I don’t like it,” said Nurse of tanking, per SI’s Aaron Rose. “We’re still playing to win and we’re still playing to make the playoffs.”

Toronto’s front office seems to be embracing the tank though. They traded away Norman Powell, a core player of the last several years, at the deadline. The Raptors came close to trading franchise mainstay Kyle Lowry as well and made no meaningful improvements otherwise on the trade market.

That said, Nurse and the players may not have gotten the memo. The team just set a franchise record this week with a 53-point drubbing of the Golden State Warriors. They are also still just 1.5 games behind the No. 10 seed in the East, which is the cutoff for next month’s play-in tournament.

Sure, Nurse has had to deal with his fair share of turmoil this year. But the 2020 Coach of the Year will not become a tank commander any time soon.

Photo: Nick Barden/Wikimedia via cc-by-sa 4.0

Pascal Siakam was not fined for incident with Nick Nurse

Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam was not fined for his verbal exchange with Nick Nurse, despite a report to the contrary.

Shams Charania reported on Tuesday that Siakam was fined $50,000 for “directing several choice words” at Nurse as the Raptors walked off the floor following a loss to Cleveland on Sunday. The story was later amended to say that no discipline had been made official and that Toronto was still considering things.

TSN’s Josh Lewenberg also said that Siakam has not been fined.

The Raptors lost 116-105 to the Cavs. That was their eighth straight loss. They lost to the Rockets on Monday for their ninth straight loss, which also snapped Houston’s 20-game losing streak.

Toronto is really sinking, which explains Siakam’s anger and frustration. He was also benched in late December as discipline for leaving the floor early during a prior loss.

Raptors sign head coach Nick Nurse to multi-year extension

Nick Nurse

The Toronto Raptors came up just short of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals when they lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games, but the team has shown they are committed to head coach Nick Nurse going forward.

On Tuesday, the Raptors announced that they have signed Nurse to a multi-year extension.

Nurse is in just his second season as Toronto’s head coach. The first obviously could not have gone better, as he led the team to its first NBA title with a lot of help from Kawhi Leonard. Even after losing Leonard in free agency, the Raptors still managed to compile a 53-19 regular-season record and come one win away from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had high praise for Nurse after Boston defeated the Raptors in a hard-fought series. Nurse, 53, has been with the Raptors since 2013, and he clearly has earned the respect of Masai Ujiri and the rest of the team’s brass. It’s easy to see why.

Brad Stevens gives major credit to Nick Nurse after difficult series

Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse’s Toronto Raptors may have fallen short in the playoffs against the Boston Celtics, but the Toronto head coach left his counterpart impressed.

After his team won Game 7 on Friday night, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was highly complimentary of Nurse’s coaching during the series.

According to The Athletic Celtics reporter Jay King, Stevens said they saw “more defenses and more stuff” from the Raptors than he’s seen as a coach.

That’s a major credit to Nurse, who coached the Raptors to the NBA championship last year.

Though Toronto did not win it all, they took Boston to a Game 7 in the conference semifinals and pressed them hard. They had a very nice year even after losing Kawhi Leonard in free agency and may have surpassed the expectations of those who thought they would not contend in the East.

Jaylen Brown takes shot at Nick Nurse over key turnover play

Nick Nurse on court

Jaylen Brown took a shot at Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse over a key turnover play late in Game 6 on Wednesday night.

Jayson Tatum had the ball for Boston as the Eastern Conference semifinals playoff game was tied at 98 in the final minute. Tatum was driving and went to pass the ball into the corner, but he passed it out of bounds and turned it over.

Nurse was actually on the court and in a stance making it look like he was set up and waiting for a shot. The coach’s actions appeared to bait Tatum into turning the ball over.

The turnover gave the ball to Toronto, though they were unable to capitalize. The game went into overtime tied at 98, and Toronto eventually won 125-122 in double overtime.

After the game, Tatum downplayed Nurse’s role in the incident, but Brown did not.

“I think there’s a lot of emotions. It’s very intense. … Grown men should be able to control themselves — especially coaching staffs,” Brown said, via Jay King.

Tatum may be taking the high road, but there is nothing wrong with what Brown said. Nurse committed a violation by being on the court for the play and it went uncalled. He was lucky to get away with it.

Brown wasn’t the only Celtics player irritated with Toronto after the game.

Nick Nurse takes jab at referees over free throw disparity

The Toronto Raptors have dug themselves into a big hole against the Boston Celtics after letting Game 2 slip away on Tuesday night. Jayson Tatum was by far the best player on the floor, but Raptors coach Nick Nurse felt the Celtics star got some help from the officials.

Following his team’s 102-99 loss, Nurse expressed frustration over Tatum shooting 14 free throws. He complimented Tatum on making some big shots but said the referees “took very good care of him tonight.”

The Raptors actually shot 19 free throws as a team, so Nurse was exaggerating a bit. The Celtics shot 25, with Tatum taking the majority of them. Tatum also attacked the basket more than any other player on the floor, though coaches never like to see that type of free throw disparity.

Toronto led for the majority of the game, and Nurse’s team was up eight to start the fourth quarter. The Celtics then chipped away at the lead and put the game away with clutch three-point shooting in the fourth quarter. The Raptors need to focus more on perimeter defense in Game 3.

Complaining about the free throw disparity might result in a fine for Nurse, but it could also lead to a few more calls going his team’s way in a must-win game on Thursday night.