I LOVE the Raptors and will freely admit to be a bandwagon fan starting when they played for the Eastern Conference Finals. I think “A bandwagon fan’s guide to the Toronto Raptors” made a good point,
“Being a bandwagon sports fan often gets a bad rap, as if watching sports requires years of misery as an entry fee. But what, exactly, is wrong with getting spontaneously excited about something new and expanding your horizons a little?”
Here are my 8 Teachable Moments:
1) Our humanity must come before our desire to win
Just tweeted out as I got a confirmation, “My heart & big respect goes to Kevin Durant! While I LOVE @Raptors and want our team to win, our well wishes and admiration for a dedicated and talented player like KD must come first! Speedy recovery!”
2) Improvisation happens at the highest level
I have no idea there are so much improvisation and changes between different games and even different quarters within the same game. Here is a a great excerpt from “Coach Nurse has Raptors thinking inside and outside the box in NBA Finals” by Doug Smith (TorStar),
“It has always been about the feel and the moment and wilful improvisation for Raptors coach Nick Nurse, and the stage and the circumstances and the stakes these days won’t change that.
He coaches as much by his heart as he does by the numbers, asking his players to do things that are out of the norm, to try something because he feels it might work.
It’s freeing and it’s fun and it’s what he is.
“I guess (Nurse) is a guy that thinks out of the box,” Kawhi Leonard said before the Raptors practised ahead of Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors. “He is experimental, and a lot of times what he draws up on the board works.”
Nurse has been at his improvisational best in the NBA Finals that resume here Wednesday night. His team needed a spark in the final stages of Game 2, so he had the Raptors play a box-and-one defence. Four guys in a zone, Fred VanVleet chasing Stephen Curry around. No one had seen it in years and certainly not in the NBA.
“I was like, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about going box-and-one, what do you guys think?’” Nurse said here Tuesday. “And they were like, ‘Well, what does that look like?’
“I drew the box up and who would be where. They kind of liked the looks of Marc (Gasol) and Kawhi being down (near the basket), and Kyle (Lowry) up and Fred chasing. Kyle was kind of the one that said, ‘Yeah, man, that will work. Let’s go.’”
The Raptors held the Warriors without a basket for about six minutes as it unfolded. The only bucket the eventual winners got was Andre Iguodala’s dagger with seven seconds left, a play that was in no way related to the unorthodox scheme.
“I don’t know if it worked or not. I don’t know the numbers or whatever it was, but it was pretty innovative,” Lowry said. “The first time a team has probably ever played box-and-one in the NBA ever. So you give Nick Nurse credit for that.” […]
hat he asked his players to do something strange is one thing (“It’s probably something you see more often in high school — even college you’ll see it — but I don’t remember ever seeing it in the NBA,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said). Getting them to buy in and do it is another.
“First of all, your players have to have some faith in it,” Nurse said. “I got a sense of, from them, that they were good with it in the timeout.”“
3) Play in a level-headed manner
It was business as usual after the win in Game 3 (G3), and even G4. Now we lost G5, I expect the Raptors to be professional to the nth degree in playing G6 tomorrow night.
4) Singing O Canada inside Oracle Arena
So moved and touched seeing people singing O Canada in this tweet Read the rest of this entry »