Raptors Report: Nick Nurse’s early strategy, Christmas Day snub, Tampa costs

Title: Raptors Report: Nick Nurse’s early strategy, Christmas Day snub, Tampa costs
Date: December 3, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I rounded up some of the more interesting news from the first few days of Raptors media week.

Don’t be surprised if Nick Nurse utilizes a tighter rotation early in the 2020-21 season, just as he did this past season.

That was the biggest takeaway from Nurse’s training camp-opening media availability Wednesday, a chat that touched on a number of topics but conceded there are still many questions that need an answer in a short window of time. That timeline could necessitate Nurse leaning more on his known commodities as the season sprint opens in, like, 15 minutes.

The Raptors have realized regular-season success for years now, in part, due to continuity. The core of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas offered an offensive style and a secure floor for expectations, while the rest of the roster was filled out with veterans who fit the culture and system and young players who could grow within it. Even in the Raptors’ championship season with two new starters and a new head coach, it was the ability of the holdovers to mold the new pieces in and stabilize the team’s foundation. Last year, the Raptors arguably overperformed because seven key pieces returned.

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