Toronto Raptors Coach Nick Nurse Downplays the Loss of Kawhi Leonard to the Team

Published 08/05/2020, 6:00 AM EDT


Reigning NBA champions Toronto Raptors has a point to prove this season. There were claims that they would be unable to replicate their success without Kawhi Leonard in the team this year. People felt Kawhi was the main reason behind the Raptors winning their maiden title in franchise history. But the team is proving everyone wrong this season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Raptors are currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference. They are behind the Bucks, who so far have a far better winning record than any other team. However, Nick Nurse and his team have been brilliant, pulling in massive victories throughout. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The team has been spectacular, even without the services of Kawhi and Danny Green. Obviously a lot of credit goes to head-coach Nick Nurse. He has been instrumental in the team’s success.

Coach Nurse recently appeared on ‘The Herd With Colin Cowherd’ from his hotel room inside the bubble. Here is what he had to say about what the team mainly gained from having Kawhi Leonard

“He [Kawhi] can do it at both ends,” Nurse said. “He can make a game-winning defensive play just as easily as he can clear out aside and get you that must-have bucket down the stretch too.”

The Toronto Raptors have a player who can fit into the mighty shoes of Kawhi Leonard

Nick Nurse mentioned that Kawhi left a huge gap to fill when he departed to join the LA Clippers. However, the Raptors are loaded with talented players who can just step up and cover the important role that of Kawhi’s. 

“It kind of got shifted to Pascal [Siakam]. He’s handled it pretty well, and he seems to keep rising to the occasion,” Nurse mentioned. “He’s gonna have to go through it in the playoffs a little bit.” Moreover, Nick Nurse also informed how he could see a major change in a few of his players for this season.

“But the biggest thing, I think Colin, is guys like [Fred] VanVleet, [Norman] Powell and Siakam came back to campus this year just different guys.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Pascal Siakam has truly evolved into a better player this season. In fact, the 26-year-old is carrying the title of the team’s leading scorer this year. He has certainly taken up huge responsibilities and wants to fill in the shoes of Kawhi. 

Siakam is currently averaging 23.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists this season. The Raptors are on a dream run this year, hoping to become back-to-back champions. Do you think they’ll be able to replicate their success from last year?

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SOURCE: The Herd With Colin Cowherd – YouTube

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Arjun Athreya

1946 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT