Trash-talk Toronto Raptors: A lasting goodbye for Kawhi

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Nick Nurse (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Nick Nurse: Not only did I win a challenge this time, but it seemed to turn a game. Maybe these things aren’t so bad!

In the fourth quarter of the game against the Brooklyn Nets, the Toronto Raptors got hit with a bad offensive foul call on a Norman Powell drive to the basket in which he hit the basket. A skeptical Nick Nurse challenged the call and it was actually overturned!

Not only did they count the basket, but Powell escaped without a foul and a chance at an old-fashioned 3-point play.

Oddly, upon replay, the call against Powell didn’t seem entirely egregious. As I watched, I figured that it would be another blunder for Nick Nurse, who just can’t seem to get over his shock and awe during these reviews as the season goes on.

Perhaps, the officials were feeling bad that they had pulled the rug out from under Nurse so many times before, so they rewarded him with this one. Whatever the case, the foul loomed large as the fourth quarter finally swung the game as the Raptors pulled away from the Nets.

Here’s the updated list, by my count, through December 14th:

  • 10/22 v. New Orleans, foul, unsuccessful (0/1)
  • 10/25 v. Boston, foul, unsuccessful (0/2)
  • 10/28 v. Orlando, foul, unsuccessful (0/3)
  • 10/30 v. Detroit, out of bounds, unsuccessful (0/4)
  • 11/2 v. Milwaukee, foul, unsuccessful (0/5)
  • 11/6 v. Sacramento, foul, unsuccessful (0/6)
  • 11/10 v. Los Angeles Lakers, foul, successful (1/7)
  • 11/18 v. Charlotte, foul, unsuccessful (1/8)
  • 11/20 v. Orlando, foul, unsuccessful (1/9)
  • 11/25 v. Philadelphia, foul, successful (2/10)
  • 11/29 v. Orlando, out of bounds, successful (3/11)
  • 12/3 v. Miami, foul, unsuccessful (3/12)
  • 12/8 v. Philadelphia, foul, unsuccessful (3/13)
  • 12/14 v. Brooklyn, foul, successful (4/14)

Now that leaves Nurse with a fairly dismal 28.5 percent success rate. Overall, including Nurse, the league has a 44 percent overturn rate, which is actually quite telling that the officials are admitting fault at such a high rate. Given the subjectivity of the replay review, the officials seem to want to do their best despite what we saw with the James Harden dunk.

Honestly, if Nurse continues to be so terrible at the challenges then I may have to retitle this section “Nick Nurse’s Negligence.”

Oh well, I suppose he can’t be good at everything.