Will Miss: The crazy defense
One of the hallmarks of Nurse’s stint up north was a ferocious defensive squad that prioritized turnovers and switching above all else. This was a perfect match for a Masai Ujiri-assembled roster that placed as much of a premium on length and perimeter mobility as any in the league.
What better way to slow down a player like Antetokounmpo or Embiid than by throwing two or three of your biggest guys at him every play and trying to confuse them? This scheme allowed Toronto to punch above their weight with poor rosters and cement themselves as elite when they had deeper units.
Nick Nurse built the Toronto Raptors into a defensive juggernaut.
While Rajakovic will bring his own defensive schemes to town, many of Nurse’s hand-picker personnel are still in town. Their baseline talent alone, which was identified and developed by Nurse and his staff, will give Toronto one of the toughest units in the league to face off with.
Rajakovic can build a defense that gets fans excited and wins accumulated, but there’s something so fun to watch about a Nurse-led scheme that only his mind can execute. Even when Toronto was at its lowest, they were still able to cause havoc against the best of the best.