Here’s when the Raptors should consider firing Nick Nurse

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 26: Referee Derrick Collins #11 listens to Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 26: Referee Derrick Collins #11 listens to Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Nick Nurse will forever be remembered as the man who brought a championship to the Toronto Raptors for the first time, and his work in seasons since that victory has established him as one of the very best coaches in the league. The 2022-23 season, however, has been nothing short of a nightmare for him.

The Raptors have officially lost their 35th game of the season, making it impossible for them to win as many games as they did last season. Masai Ujiri and the front office deserve tons of blame for the poor roster, but Nurse’s poor schematics and inability to develop talent have created a whole new set of issues.

There have been some rumblings in the past that hinted at frustration within the organization with regard to Nurse’s performance this season. Continuing to underperform with a team that the front office holds in high regard is likely what prompted that fervor.

If the Raptors fail to make it into the play-in tournament, that will make it two years out of three in which Nurse and his abrasive style have failed to make it to the postseason with a core that Masai Ujiri believes can get this team back into the championship spotlight. Is it fair to ask if Nurse could get the axe anytime soon?

Nurse has bought himself a fairly significant chunk of time after winning a title and getting as far as he did with the 2021-22 team, but the Raptors need to at least consider making a move if (read: big IF) they fall out of the play-in picture entirely by the end of the season.

Will the Toronto Raptors fire Nick Nurse after 2023?

The anti-Nurse argument, beyond the record, is accentuated by a lack of player development. Many of the players from the 48-win team of yesteryear are either regressing (Malachi Flynn) or stagnating (Precious Achiuwa, OG Anunoby).

The pro-Nurse camp should be heard out, at the very least. Not only was he handed a roster that has dome very clear holes, but he has shown that he can lead this team to wins when they have a traditional big man like Jakob Poeltl fixing their big rim protection issue.

The post-2020 span without Kawhi Leonard hasn’t been the best endorsement for Nurse.

The Nurse debate won’t go away amid some corners of this fanbase that strives for debate and nebulous organizational change among all else, but those clamoring for a potential coaching change may actually have some firm grounds for complaint if Nurse stinks it up.

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