Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors may be trying to win as many games as possible after refusing to sell off some of their prized assets at the deadline, and they have some winnable games on their schedule with which they can attempt to rack up some wins.
Nurse and Adrian Griffin’s team is currently outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, but some recent trades by teams ahead of them in the standings could present an avenue wherein the Raptors could leapfrog them with a winning streak. After losing to Utah on Friday, things continued to start off skittish for Toronto.
Nurse is not going to be available for Toronto’s Super Bowl Sunday home matchup against former head coach Dwane Casey and the Detroit Pistons. Toronto is turning to their top assistant in a bit to chalk up one more much-needed dub during their postseason push.
Griffin will serve as the acting head coach in this game, with Nurse missing this contest due to personal reasons. It remains to be seen what will happen in the game, but Griffin has already shown he’s a proven coaching commodity in this league.
Toronto Raptors: Adrian Griffin coaching as Nick Nurse out
Griffin, who has been an assistant coach since the end of his playing career, is widely regarded as Toronto’s top assistant and a desirable head coaching candidate. Before the Jazz and Lakers hired Will Hardy and Darvin Ham, respectively, both teams interviewed him.
Griffin, who has coached in Toronto since 2018, is stepping into this role at a very unusual time. On top of the fact that Jakob Poeltl was recently acquired via trade in a win-now move, the Raptors just blew a huge home lead against a depleted Jazz team. The Raptors need a big win sooner rather than later.
Griffin will likely garner all sorts of head coach interviews in the offseason, as he has more than paid his dues. Performing well in this game, even against an opponent not held in very high regard, could help him go one step further in building an impressive resume.