The head coach of the Toronto Raptors is finally letting fans in on a little secret about the team’s game plan now that Kawhi Leonard is gone. Nick Nurse was put into a tough situation back in July when his Finals MVP decided to head home to play for the Clippers. The team was left with many solid players, enough to be still considered a formidable force. However, without Leonard, the need for a new strategy is paramount.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Nick Nurse says he has big plans for Pascal Siakam in particular. The coach believes that Siakam is more than up to the challenge of stepping into the Board Man’s shoes.
“I just think his next step in progression is being ‘The Man,’” Nurse said during a recent interview. “Instead of being a complementary guy next to ‘The Man’ he’s gotta be ‘The Man’ — the primary scorer and the primary option and the late-game scorer. There’s lots of little steps left to climb yet for him, and I think the sky’s the limit.”
However, it is going to take more than just Siakam to replace a player of Kawhi’s calibre. Nurse seemed fully aware of that fact while discussing what we can expect from the Raptors offensive end in the future.
“Yeah, I think there are 20 shots or so up for grabs. I doubt that will divide them up and fives guys get four, I think Kyle’s usage of shots last year was a little bit low because that was his role, so I think that probably increase again, Pascal goes up, Freddy’s goes up, Gasol we gotta get some more usage out of because his role with the team was kind of to be a facilitator we need him to score a little bit more,” Nurse said.
Nurse also reminded basketball fans that the Raptors are more than adjusted to playing games without their former star.
“But we played a lot of games without Kawhi I would says are offensive will resemblance that, will resemblance the games that we didn’t have him.”
It’s impressive that Nurse has been able to give the Raptors new lineup so much thought, considering that he is wrapped up in coaching Team Canada at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. According to CBC, Team Canada has three more exhibition games to find their groove before their international competition in China.