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DanH
LX wrote:


Nurse was pretty much humiliated. Opposing coach gets a standing ovation when announced. Nick doesn’t even get announced at the start of the game. That was right after Casey straight-faced told on him for not having any plays that weren’t already there last season. Then Doug Smith asks Nurse if they got out-executed and Nurse just looks like a guy cornered by the cops.

If there was one essential thing in each of the three losses that made the difference it would be that the opposing team in each case was better prepared. Time to respond and make the system work for a lot closer to 48 minutes.


Yeah, Nurse has had a rocky start to the year, IMO, 12-3 record notwithstanding.  The end results are the ultimate judge, of course, but just like Casey when he was here, some of the micro stuff is less than inspiring, and a little worrying if it becomes a long term trend.  So far, of course.  Lots of time yet to learn and grow throughout the season.  Just, non-ideal early returns, is all.
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Pzabby_2nd
I wonder how much the last play was on Nurse vs Kawhi telling the team to give him the ball?

Kawhi was doing pretty well on his isos through the game so probably a bit of both.
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3forthewin
I'm a little bit confused why Casey is so surprised that the Raptors offense looks the same? Wasn't this offense pretty much designed by Nick Nurse?
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JeffB
3forthewin wrote:
I'm a little bit confused why Casey is so surprised that the Raptors offense looks the same? Wasn't this offense pretty much designed by Nick Nurse?


Our offense looked better last year imo. We play more iso right now
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DanH
Pzabby_2nd wrote:
I wonder how much the last play was on Nurse vs Kawhi telling the team to give him the ball?

Kawhi was doing pretty well on his isos through the game so probably a bit of both.


Was he?  I saw a lot of Kawhi's turnovers throughout the game coming in isolation situations.  While when he ran a screen play with JV he always got an easy look.

In any case, the last play of the game isn't the only issue.  They scored 16 points in the 4th Q - the offence died for a lot longer than one play.
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elT
JeffB_STR82DVD wrote:


Our offense looked better last year imo. We play more iso right now


Not at this time of year and not by our veterans. Bench mob was doing good but not better than this.

Not fair to compare peak performance from March last season to what is now a work in progress in so many areas.
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7shikamaru7
Some head scratching plays from Nurse. Why did Leonard bring up the ball and why not Lowry? He could've just went thru picks and get a favourable match up rather than take on Stanley (who stole the ball from him twice). And on the last inbound play...why not bring lengthier Delon to distract the inbounder? 

Communication needs to be better...I thought our line up of "switch on everything" will make things easier defensively. This was a frustrating loss and a cause of concern specially going to Celtics on tomorrow. 
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CobraKing
7shikamaru7 wrote:
Some head scratching plays from Nurse. Why did Leonard bring up the ball and why not Lowry? He could've just went thru picks and get a favourable match up rather than take on Stanley (who stole the ball from him twice). And on the last inbound play...why not bring lengthier Delon to distract the inbounder? 

Communication needs to be better...I thought our line up of "switch on everything" will make things easier defensively. This was a frustrating loss and a cause of concern specially going to Celtics on tomorrow. 


Seconded. Extremely frustrating (to watch) second half. Team looked completely disinterested and unfocused except maybe for Siakam who looked like the only Raptor wanting to win the game. Borderline felt that they were throwing the game way, especially Lowry.

Same as you I hope we don't take a L against the Celtics. The US media is already clowning us for dropping the game to Casey's Pistons - spinning the narrative as though it was a proper beatdown when we could've very well won it or send it to OT.
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elT
I just don't see the point in hiding issues behind wins. And a win last night would do that. Losses, especially like last two, have a major function. Both in mindset adjusting and path mapping.

Right now, this team doesn't have to pull out wins out of games like last night. Pistons do need every single one and Casey is great for that. But we moved on from that approach.

I honestly enjoy seeing every little weakness exposed. One, because the team is so good that it can be compromised in number of ways and still kick ass and win 12 out of 15 games. Two, because exposing those things now means there's time to fix them.

Losing direction on offense will never go away. GSW's by far best offense of all time goes through dumb periods every game. That will be a constant battle. The best way to deal with those dumb ass periods is to have guys that are ready to take initiative at any moment. You can run any play, but if guys won't execute it, it won't mean much. So I'm looking at our ball handlers to sharpen their senses and play purposeful, aggressive, proactive on offense as often as possible. And our shooters need to make shots.

What needs major work is defending against high pace, transition and ultra aggressive teams. That has been one structural weakness I've seen. We are not doing enough to make opponents uncomfortable. We've struggled with rebounds at times but also shown there's more than enough rebounding on the team when players focus.

With that, it didn't look to me like Nurse is coaching the team to overcome challenges but expose everything, face the truth and try to fix it. Whatever challenges remain come April, things that are not plainly fixable but will require special attention/preparation/scheming... I trust we'll be fine with that. And that will be the time to evaluate Nurse's ability to coach. I'm mostly curios what his approach will be in play-off game plans, will he throw the first punch or trust what has been built over the regular season? Will he seek out opponent's weakness and press and push and pull on it until they crack or will he double down on our strengths and try to overwhelm the opponent? I'm not sure. Nothing so far indicates either. But experimentation does indicate willingness to risk and live with results in order to have more data and options down the line.

Just as long as the players stay committed and don't lose motivation to play super hard even if participating in a large scale experiment.
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LX
Nicely put elT. They have taken an obvious step forward, but they are still susceptible to not being able to handle top level offenses, particularly with transition in play. It does not hurt them to see the shortcomings now. It can only help. moremilk wasn’t completely offbase in raising concerns about the current level of defensive play being good enough to beat the Warriors, though i would suggest that any if us worrying about it is a useless exercise. That is where they need to get to. They need to be able to do to every team what they hope to do to GSW. And seeing clearly how and when and why that is not the case should be helpful.
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3forthewin
elT wrote:
I just don't see the point in hiding issues behind wins. And a win last night would do that. Losses, especially like last two, have a major function. Both in mindset adjusting and path mapping.

Right now, this team doesn't have to pull out wins out of games like last night. Pistons do need every single one and Casey is great for that. But we moved on from that approach.

I honestly enjoy seeing every little weakness exposed. One, because the team is so good that it can be compromised in number of ways and still kick ass and win 12 out of 15 games. Two, because exposing those things now means there's time to fix them.

Losing direction on offense will never go away. GSW's by far best offense of all time goes through dumb periods every game. That will be a constant battle. The best way to deal with those dumb ass periods is to have guys that are ready to take initiative at any moment. You can run any play, but if guys won't execute it, it won't mean much. So I'm looking at our ball handlers to sharpen their senses and play purposeful, aggressive, proactive on offense as often as possible. And our shooters need to make shots.

What needs major work is defending against high pace, transition and ultra aggressive teams. That has been one structural weakness I've seen. We are not doing enough to make opponents uncomfortable. We've struggled with rebounds at times but also shown there's more than enough rebounding on the team when players focus.

With that, it didn't look to me like Nurse is coaching the team to overcome challenges but expose everything, face the truth and try to fix it. Whatever challenges remain come April, things that are not plainly fixable but will require special attention/preparation/scheming... I trust we'll be fine with that. And that will be the time to evaluate Nurse's ability to coach. I'm mostly curios what his approach will be in play-off game plans, will he throw the first punch or trust what has been built over the regular season? Will he seek out opponent's weakness and press and push and pull on it until they crack or will he double down on our strengths and try to overwhelm the opponent? I'm not sure. Nothing so far indicates either. But experimentation does indicate willingness to risk and live with results in order to have more data and options down the line.

Just as long as the players stay committed and don't lose motivation to play super hard even if participating in a large scale experiment.


Excellent insight!
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moremilk
Northern Neighbour wrote:


Why have such a negative attitude or view of the future? Just enjoy the season and let everything fall into place. Two losses shouldn’t automatically mean that the Raps are on the verge of a collapse.


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negativity · expecting the worst


you have a weird tendency to view negativity in each of my comments … Did I say or imply anywhere that we are on a verge of collapse? I am definitely not expecting the worst, if anything, I'm probably over-optimistic about this season … There's a difference between expecting the worst and considering all outcomes, both the positive and negative ones. To ignore what could go wrong and focus only on what could go right is not a healthy approach to anything (in my humble opinion).

We can't ignore the elephant in the room - this season is all about convincing kawhi to stay, and it's more or less universally agreed that the best chance we have is for the team to do well and go deep in the playoffs. Obviously, nobody knows for sure, it's possible kawhi falls in love with the city and the players and the rest, and stays no matter what, but the safer bet is that he will leave if he doesn't see us a legit contender.

Given that the team could lose him for nothing, if there are strong hints from his camp that he's made up his mind and he's leaving, we'd have a strong incentive to trade him before the deadline. Again, I think it's unlikely that this would happen, but it's still a viable possibility.

So, it goes without saying that the next two months are fairly critical. In particular, the main danger is a big collapse like you mentioned (and which I didn't predict 😉). If you think people are negative now, just wait if we should lose 7 out of 10 during that stretch ...


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moremilk
As for nurse, it's too early to really judge anything. There have been tons of decisions that are head-scratching, but there could be reasons behind them we don't really understand. Would I play brown the minutes he is playing? No, as most fans, I don't understand the logic there. But, for all we know, perhaps brown is killing it in practice and nurse is trying to build his confidence now, early in the season, because he expects to shorten his rotations later. Does our offense look very static at times? Yes - but that's a surprise only because it looks so good in other stretches. Most fans expected the team to struggle early on, and had we started 8-7, I bet there would be less angst. 

To my eyes, the team is still far, far from being a smooth machine. We win games because of the sheer talent, but we are definitely not better than the sum of the parts - like some past Raptors teams. Having all these little injuries is not helping matters, as the lineups keep changing. Hopefully, kawhi's iso heavy tendencies are a result of him trying to get back in game shape - in which case I don't mind them. Having a top kawhi is worth a few losses, if that's the cost. 

The main worry for me is the bench right now. Hopefully, it's just a matter of adjustments, but I'm not convinced - I think it goes beyond that, at least to some extent. 

The one thing that's clear is that the team has a ton of talent, so barring any injuries, there's really no excuse for the team not to be really good by spring time at the latest. If that doesn't happen, Nurse will and should be questioned. 
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Pzabby_2nd
I wonder if Masai is thinking of splashing to improve the bench... what type of player would even be most useful?
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