Nick Nurse is still the same coach he’s always been, creative and flexible and ready to try new things quickly if one method — his method — isn’t working fast or well.
He will always be on the lookout for unique combinations and strategies that may be considered out of the norm, challenging his players to use their body as well as their mind.
But this Raptors team is not like their other Raptors teams. Most of the group lacks the knowledge base, years of exposure to speed and talent, shared experience that can allow it to work through the inevitable tough parts that come in every single game.
Therefore, he would remain true to his philosophy and personality, and the “fundamental principles” as he calls him, which have allowed him to be successful with teams in leagues around the world over 30 years on the bench, while being subtle. Adopting a new Raptor from reality.
Guard Fred VanVleet said of Nurse, who began his fourth regular season as head coach of the Raptors on Wednesday night, “I think he’s going to…
The process of change may have begun last season, an unusual and unsuccessful year spent in Tampa’s purge with a team that was bound for anything less than good to mediocre. But this group – with only six players who have ever experienced nurse-trained practice or play – differs by some order of magnitude.
“I think they figured out last year that some teams have got to adapt and adjust, and with the group we have, you can’t let things go all the time. You have to be more stickler , and he is doing that,” VanValet said.
Nurse isn’t going to suddenly turn into some micromanager who calls every set, and blows up two or three timeouts in the first half of the game because the youngsters who are playing are a little messy. They have to give them the freedom to fail because that’s how young players learn.
Still, they don’t have the luxury of Kyle Lowry or Marc Gasol or Kawhi Leonard, whose basketball IQs were off the charts and earned the right to find out.
Scotty Barnes and Precious Achiuwa and Yuta Watanabe and the like have no experience to draw.
“They don’t have a point of context,” VanValet said of the inexperienced players. “Yeah, that’s one thing we talked about… I mean, Scotty’s been two years away from high school.”
At the same time, fans can get to see a slight change in the nurse.
“I think you probably play a lot with a more experienced team. They want to play through that too, because they probably think they can handle it and all that kind of stuff without (break),” Said the nurse. “It does (change things). You’ll probably have to accelerate a bit in areas to stop the pace and maybe get back on track, or anything like that. “
And there may be a moment or two, especially in the season, when teaching timeouts may not be necessary, but patience will be there, just to drive home the unbelievable reality that NBA games can be wildly unpredictable.
“These games are long and they take a lot of turns, a lot of directions, and not getting caught up in any serious turns is part of the experience, I guess … that I’m just trying to focus, The coach said. “Continuing to play and maybe not get caught up in the scoreboards and things like that sometimes. The bus is really zeroing in on getting a stop and then keeping a quality offensive capture, and you just keep doing it little by little. “
But the nurse is always going to be the nurse. He’ll spring up a box-and-one defense in the NBA Finals, he’ll probably play four six-foot-eight guys and one six-foot-one point guard, and he’s going to demand every player. The roster is able to get the ball into the transition.
And if inexperienced players who have never lived such creativity, then the nurse will receive recognition from veterinarians.
“I think your first impression – because in the case of the NBA fraternity the coach is out of the box; he doesn’t really follow any of the conventions or guidelines that most coaches do – (is) some people might not know that. How to understand it or how to take it,” OneWallet said. “I think that’s the only thing I’m trying to do is (buffer). Tell them, like, we trust them.
“He’s a little weird sometimes, but he’s won us championships, so he knows what he’s doing.”