Welcome back to another edition of Trash-talk Toronto Raptors. Here we are going to discuss everything that happened with the Raptors except... basketball.
A win on Monday against the Utah Jazz marked the end of a five-game road trip and the Raptors ended up winning the last four games despite some difficulties along the way. With the Boston Celtics in a skid, the Raptors have built their lead for the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors now have a much-needed break until Saturday when they will face the Detroit Pistons back at home.
If all goes well, Fred VanVleet and Marc Gasol will return to the lineup after the latter finally played a game against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. VanVleet has been nursing a sore shoulder and the extra rest that he could afford tonight will hopefully bring him back to full strength for the long haul.
But this column, of course, isn't supposed to cover all those basketball things. This column is meant to cover the nonsense and hullabaloo that these Toronto Raptors inspire. As well, we couldn't do this without you, the readers, chiming in! So, if you spot anything worthwhile that you would like to share then please don't hesitate to contact us on Twitter at @HughesWithMe or @RaptorsRapture.
This week on Trash-talk we are going to cover Nick Nurse's honesty, a slightly petty post by the official Raptors Twitter account, how the NBA is handling the coronavirus outbreak, and finally, we're going to highlight Brittni Donaldson, the Toronto Raptors' assistant coach.
Without further ado, onto this week's edition of Trash-talk!
Nick Nurse still telling it like it is
Earlier in the year, Nick Nurse didn't mince words when speaking about some of his players by pretty much calling them lazy and unwilling to adapt. When he said that, one of his victims, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, eventually picked up his play and earned much more time playing. The others... well, let's just say they fell by the wayside for now.
Nurse used his brutal honesty again to hopefully inspire some folks.
Chris Boucher also told the media this:
After Nurse shed some light on the bench, Boucher responded by scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns. Now, it was just one game and Boucher has been quieter since, but it's a telling sign that Nurse has such a firm grip on the locker room. He can bring out the best in his players and although he's still waiting to get a great game from his favorite, Patrick McCaw, he's been a reliable locker room force.
The NBA is full of coaches that either don't have a firm grasp on the locker room or who don't get respect from their players. For Nurse to be able to be honest and then work with his players to have them execute is unique. It also shows just how much these players enjoy their camaraderie and have a belief in their ability to perform at the highest level.
After a lot of years with disappointments, this team is by far the most fun to watch. There's something so heavenly about the grit and tenacity that they exude -- like a tough and hard-nosed mechanic. Without so much doubt and injuries throughout the season, it is a pure joy to watch them operate like we know they can.
Nurse, keep up the honesty, it's only proving more and more worthwhile.
A petty but timely post from Toronto Raptors Twitter
As you may recall, the Toronto Raptors played the Golden State Warriors last week, which had Steph Curry make his way back into their lineup after a hand injury had kept him out for most of the season.
To be honest, it was a joy to watch Curry glide down the court and fire haymaker threes. I even found myself cheering a bit despite it coming against the Toronto Raptors. Additionally, it was a tough game, but the Raptors pulled it out eventually and beat the Warriors, 121-113.
After the game, the Toronto Raptors official Twitter account couldn't resist a little pettiness, especially having won the championship on Golden State's floor last season. Here's what I'm referring to if you missed it:
Having a little fun never hurt anybody and, amid a lost season for Golden State, even they might have laughed. The Warriors also gave a shout out to former players, McCaw and Boucher, with small posters hanging up in the visiting locker room for the Toronto Raptors.
Paying respect to three-time champion, Patrick McCaw, was just another classy move by the Warriors.
Coronavirus solutions for the NBA and the Toronto Raptors
The virus outbreak has had some serious consequences for the NBA. First, they informed players that they should consider fist-bumping fans over high fives and should consider bringing their pens to write autographs.
While these suggestions are fine and seemingly harm no one, there will be a lot more to do if this continues to get worse around the world. Already, the San Jose Sharks of the NHL may have to figure out where to play, if to play, and in front of whom to play as Santa Clara banned gatherings of larger than 1000 people for the area. With MLB ready to start and the NBA just ramping up for the upcoming postseason, there is a lot at stake for all the professional sports leagues.
With that being said, the NBA players might be the most at-risk considering how close fans can engage with the players. It's not unheard of for players to dive into the crowd going after a loose ball or to bump into people sitting in the floor seats. Truly, if this doesn't get under control, it could be a great detriment to the league.
So, people, make sure you're washing your hands, you're staying home if you're not feeling well, and continue to be diligent in the wake of this outbreak. Although sports are awesome, enjoyable, and fun, it is more important that we take care of ourselves in this scary situation.
The Toronto Raptors celebrate International Women's Day
Before we end this week's Trash-talk, I just wanted to showcase this clip of Raptors' assistant coach, Brittni Donaldson. It has been awesome to have a coach on the sideline that further extends the diversity of the squad and I can't wait to see how far she goes. She clearly has a firm grasp of basketball and is extremely helpful to the players.
All the best, Brittni, and keep those wins rolling!
That's all for this week, folks. See you all next week!