Toronto Raptors’ five biggest questions going into the 2018-19 season

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

4. How does Nick Nurse affect the team?

A ton of weight is being put on the shoulders of Nick Nurse this year.

Nurse had a large impact on the offense last season. This year, he will see his responsibilities grow to both sides of the ball.

With an added emphasis on spacing and ball movement, Nurse designed a game plan that fit guard tandem Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan well last year.  The biggest beneficiary was DeRozan who increased his playmaking to a career-high in assists with 5.2 per game.

With DeRozan now in San Antonio and Leonard serving as his replacement, it will be interesting to watch how the Nurse schemes around both Leonard and Danny Green.

Leonard, whose career-best for a year in assists was 3.5, is not known for his facilitating abilities. Neither was DeRozan before the philosophy switch by Nurse. Could Kawhi see a similar improvement in playmaking this season?

Not only will Toronto emphasize ball-movement, Nurse also intends to emphasize three-point shooting. Going back to his time in the G-League, Nurse has always placed an emphasis on three-point shots and shots at the rim.

Last season, the Toronto Raptors had the NBA Coach of the Year. If they receive similar, or better, production out of Nick Nurse, it will go a long way towards helping the Raptors compete in not only the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference but the league altogether.