Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Nick Nurse should be NBA Coach of the Year

Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Toronto Raptors
Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse missed out on the NBA Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award. We explain why he should have won.

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday, the NBA’s 30 head coaches have voted on their 2019-20 Coach of the Year award. However, it wasn’t the outcome Toronto Raptors fans were hoping for.

As per Wojnarowski, Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse finished third in the voting, falling just one vote short of a three-way tie. The award was jointly won by the Milwaukee Buck’s Mike Budenholzer and Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While appreciating why Budenholzer and Donovan received votes, Nurse deserved better. Here are three reasons why the Carroll, Iowa native should have won the NBA Coaches Association’s award for Coach of the Year:

Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors and head coach Nick Nurse. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

1) Exceeding expectations without a superstar

The Raptors were not expected to be as dangerous this season, after losing Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers. Objectively speaking, you could certainly understand this overriding sentiment.

However, not only have the Raptors been as productive, they’ve arguably been even better. Consider that through 66 games in 2019-20, the team actually has a better record compared to the same point last season.

A key reason for this has been the continued growth of the likes of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby. All have been extremely receptive to Nurse’s coaching and they have reaped the benefits.

What makes the Raptors’ consistency even more impressive, is the seemingly never-ending stream of injuries to key players throughout the season. Just as someone was preparing to return to action someone else would go down, with six of the team’s top seven players spending time out of the lineup.

This speaks volumes about the mental fortitude the roster has, and this is all thanks to Nurse. They do whatever he asks of them and they work hard, best highlighted by arguably the best defence in the NBA.

No doubt critics will still argue that what really matters is how the Raptors perform in the playoffs without a superstar, and it will undoubtedly be tough. However, you firmly believe Nurse will put his team in the best possible position, as they attempt to repeat as NBA Champions.