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Evaluating Nick Nurse’s first half of coaching

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The Toronto Raptors have dealt with a plethora of injuries while implementing new philosophies on both ends of the ball. Nick Nurse has dealt with it all. Follow Yahoo Sports Canada for all your Toronto Raptors coverage.

Video Transcript

IMMAN ADAN: All right, so next guy that I want to give-- that I want you to give a grade to is sometimes taking a little bit of heat this year. He's had a difficult hand to work with. His name is Nicholas Nurse. If you could give Nick a grade, what would you-- what would you give [? coach? ?]

ASAD ALVI: Honestly, Nick, I-- I feel like an apologist for Nick at times, because I feel like every time Nick gets harped on, I'm, like, well, there's a good reason for it. And then it's like, maybe I'm too much lost in the sauce, like, being a Nick Nurse fan. But honestly, he plays his guys way too many minutes, but also it's just, like, why wouldn't you play these guys minutes? Like, I'd play them that many minutes if I was on the team. And if those guys--

IMMAN ADAN: [? Have ?] [? you ?] seen the rest of the roster?

ASAD ALVI: Exactly.

IMMAN ADAN: That's why.

ASAD ALVI: So-- and honestly, you've got to give it up to Nick Nurse because as much as people will talk about, oh, they're giving up corner 3's. They're doing this and that. Every single star player that comes through always complains about how annoying it is to play against Nick Nurse and is defensive.


ASAD ALVI: And it's one thing that people I don't think give Nick enough credit for is he's one of the more creative coaches in the league. He's willing to try literally anything. And I think having someone that's that open-minded as your coach, it feels like you have any possibility because you can do whatever you want. It's like, oh, if this player is-- like, Chris Boucher is now operating really well in this specific role. It's like, oh, we're going to figure out how to use him in that role as much as we can.


ASAD ALVI: And it's like, you don't-- like, there's no boxes on players per se. I think the minutes-- I'll give him an A-minus, I think. I think there's no reason to give him too high of a grade or two low of a grade. But I'll give him a solid A-minus.

I think Nick's been fine. Again, I think it's good since he's won a championship, there's-- and I think there's an understanding that Nick, Bobby, Masai, and the Raptors organization kind of works in one go. And you've seen that in Miami. You see that where-- you can be annoyed. Miami fans might be annoyed at Spoelstra's rotations or what he's playing or whatever in the short term.

IMMAN ADAN: But that's--

ASAD ALVI: But having that type of coach where you can just kind of rely on him and know that it's not just one system, but he can change his system over time, right? He's like a Popovich-type coach.


ASAD ALVI: Having a long-term-- having long-term stability at coach is, I think, important. I think he's had a good season so far.

IMMAN ADAN: Yeah, I think when-- yeah, like Masai came into the situation, and he adopted Kyle Lowry. He adopted DeMar DeRozan. He adopted Dwane Casey.

And you always kind of feel like when a new guy comes in, it's like, who is he going to change? What's he going to do? This isn't a team that he's married to. He didn't draft Jonas. None of these guys are his guys.

And now you're looking at this team. You're like, Nick is his guy. [INAUDIBLE] his guy. Fred's his guy. So it kind of feels like this is Masai's core. Just there-- it seems to be like a three-headed brainchild which is Nick Nurse, [INAUDIBLE]-- I keep wanting to say his name-- Masai Ujiri, and Bobby Webster, which is really great.

Here's what I'll say for Nick. You can't beat Dwane Casey. And I don't understand it. So I'm going to dock you some points there. But you embarrass Mike Budenholzer every single time.

Putting your guys 40 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back is incredibly ballsy coaching. But it was fun to watch because it ended up in a win. So Nick Nurse, you're like, to me, a B-plus this season. That's the grade that I'm going to give you.

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