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The Raptor Report: The First Dance

by The Sports Reverends · Published May 19, 2020 · Updated May 19, 2020

Kawhi Leonard watches ashis game winning ball goes in to clinch the series in Game 7as their Raptors defeatt the Philadelphia 76ers, in Toronto, Ont. on Sunday December 31, 2000. Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

Some people WANT it to happen, some WISH it would happen, and others MAKE it happen.” -MJ

So how does that relate to Nick Nurse and the Raptors? Nick Nurse: Triangle or Square

Before the Toronto Raptors became champions, Coach Nick Nurse was learning from MJ & Kobe’s Coach Phil Jackson. Coach Nurse travelled to Montana for a three-day session with Phil Jackson. Coach Nurse was soaking in so much knowledge as he was driving around with Coach Jackson and says:
I’m just kind of sitting there with the windows down going, ‘Wow.’ - Nick Nurse
Nick Nurse had the invite to learn from Phil Jackson, because of the relationship of Raptors Vice President of Health and Performance Alex McKechnie, as he worked for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2000s, when Jackson was coaching.
The innovation from Nick Nurse is absolutely incredible. He studied and learned the triangle offense from the 90’s Bulls championship teams. He used that offense in his other head coaching tenures, but with the Raptors he adjusted it. The game of basketball is vastly different today, then it was in the 1990s. After the championship the Toronto Raptors have won last season, the Raptors are without an NBA Superstar (Pascal Siakam is on pace to get there). If they wanted to remain competitive, they needed to make a change. Coach Nurse adjusted the triangle to look more like a square. Giving more spacing and opportunities for players to score.

Spaced-Out Square

As the season has been progressing, the Raptors spaced-out square offense has grown in efficiency. There are five Raptors averaging 16-plus points per game.

  • Pascal Siakim 23.6 ppg