Questions will come fast and furious and from every angle. Nick Nurse knows this, and is ready to attack.
They will be brought up in an accusatory fashion, with a real desire to learn and have their mind set Raptors Fitness Trainer. It will just be a function of the current makeup of the team that the coach will have to do massages at night in the upcoming NBA season, which is a challenge because there is very little selection among the options at the end of the list.
“Why did you play this guy on this guy?”
“Why don’t you like this guy?”
“I sure hope this guy gets more playtime. Why wouldn’t that happen?”
The questions will surely center around three intriguing but flawed young players who will make up the depth that every good NBA team needs, and it’s likely that the fans – as well as members of the media – who demand more Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton or Justin Champagnie to be nurse.
“There will be some finesse in that,” the nurse said this week at his home Golf outing for the charity in Uxbridge. “I can imagine sitting in front of you a lot here coming in at these press conferences, before and after the game, asking me why he played and why he didn’t play.
“I think there’s going to be some serious deception about it, but it’s just spinning around in my head a bit and I can see us using a lot of it in different ways.”
There is no indication that a nurse’s tendency to spot things as they appear doesn’t work very well. The 48-win season a year ago attests to that, and is backed by a history of regular-season success dating back to 2018. (Riding in Tampa’s tank season is the anomaly and shouldn’t count.)
But there are a few malfunctions in the roster that were addressed by the team’s front office, and it speaks to the need for further development from specific players.
The front end of the roster is good and will be what holds the Raptors through most of next season. But there will be extensions when back players are asked to take on important roles. The problem is that there is little or no separation between them.
- Champagnie is a very active activist whose shooting is suspected.
- Banton is uniquely built and fast enough to fill several roles, but the shooting is lacking.
- Flynn is consistent and efficient at picking up, but it didn’t deliver the consistent effort the nurse wanted.
all are good; They are all defective.
“What are we going to need at the end of the attack from these guys? They’re going to have to drop open shots,” said a nurse. “It’s not like they’re going to have to do every skill set move in the world, get creative.
“When it comes down to them and they are being kicked with a rhythm, they are going to have to make some. Whoever does that has the best chance of strengthening one of those points.”
Several Raptors are beginning their head start in development, and training camp next month, at a casual get-together in Los Angeles this week. The nurse said the majority of the team members and some assistant coaches and front office staff are in the actual camp run by celebrity development coach Rico Haynes, but there is some special time in Toronto.
“Part of the reason we do this is because we get a chance to get them out there and do some group work,” a nurse said. “So the rounds are in the afternoon, and that’s just the kind of organized run that the YMCA does in the afternoon, but it’s very organized…the rest of the time, yeah, we’re doing massive numbers of Raptors work.”
Maybe someone will get out of the group, and cut back on the barbecue that the nurse sees coming once the season starts.
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