Nick Nurse Named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month
The National Basketball Association announced Monday that Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October and November. This marks the second time Nurse has earned the honour after he won for games played in October and November in 2018.
Nurse coached the reigning NBA champions to a 14-4 record (second in the east) to start the season while facing several roster challenges along the way. The Raptors had eight different players miss games due to injury, including Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, yet finished the month on a six-game winning streak and a perfect 8-0 record at Scotiabank Arena. The team ranked first defensively, holding opponents to an NBA-best .408 field goal shooting percentage and fourth in points allowed (103.8). Offensively, Toronto ranked first among east teams averaging 14.3 three- pointers made and a .395 three-point shooting percentage.
Highlighting the month was a key 101-96 victory Nov. 25 vs. Philadelphia in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. The Raptors held the Sixers’ all-star duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to a combined 10 points on 4-of-19 shooting from the field. Toronto has so far faced 12 all-stars from last season and held eight players under 15 points.
Toronto followed up the next game by tying a franchise-record with 21 three-pointers made Nov. 27 vs. New York. It was the Raptors’ 33rd consecutive home victory against Atlantic Division opponents, setting a new NBA record for home wins against division opponents.
A native of Carroll, Iowa, Nurse became the first coach to win both an NBA and NBA G League championship, after guiding Toronto to its first title last spring. He recently coached his 100th game for the Raptors and holds a career record of 73 wins and 28 losses.