Sports: Coach Nurse’s summer of fun arrives at basketball’s biggest international stage - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsCoach Nurse’s summer of fun arrives at basketball’s biggest international stage

12:30  24 august  2019
12:30  24 august  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Nurse’s prescription for Canadian basketball success won’t be easy to fill

Nurse’s prescription for Canadian basketball success won’t be easy to fill There is a delicate balancing act ahead for Canadian basketball coach Nick Nurse. As he and his team embark on a long day’s journey halfway around the world, he has to prepare to teach but also to manage time. He has to satisfy the players in his charge and the clubs that employ them in the summer. And he has to do it all knowing that, for all practical purposes, his season is three games long. It will take a combination of teaching through video and managing time on the court so that when the games count, everyone’s at their best.

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Coach Nurse’s summer of fun arrives at basketball’s biggest international stage© James Worsfold Nick Nurse’s fun coaching style and refreshing faith in his players and system has rubbed off on the Canadian senior team in a short time.

Watch Nick Nurse in the throes of a unique summer job, patrolling the sidelines in his Canada hoodie or shooting shirt and doing what he does.

Exhorting here and there, a quick hand slap to a player leaving the game for a job well done, a fast aside to an official about some call made or missed.

Always working but seemingly always relaxed, as comfortable leading a bunch of players he barely knows in an international exhibition as he was in games for the highest NBA stakes.

Nick Nurse wants Canada's NBA-thin roster to reach for new heights at basketball World Cup

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Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has won at every stage of his career. Now he just needs to With his promotion to head coach of the Toronto Raptors in the summer of 2018, Nick Nurse was Iowa, in Nurse ’ s day, put together an annual showcase of top high-school basketball players called

Unruffled, unperturbed, loving every minute of it as the head coach of Canada’s senior men’s team that returns to the biggest international stage next week for the first time since 2010 — at the FIBA World Cup in China.

In a private moment, it’s pointed out to the 52-year-old Toronto Raptors head coach that he seems to be getting a charge out of a return to the world scene and he’s quick to agree.

“I love coaching these guys, man,” he said relatively early in the process.

Nurse got the job — which is currently for this summer and through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, if Canada can cadge a Games berth — under somewhat unusual circumstances.

Senior team general manager Rowan Barrett had originally said he was hoping for an accelerated process after former coach Jay Triano took his name out of consideration for a job he’d held since 2012. Barrett at first said it would be a matter of weeks before the important job was filled, a rather odd pronouncement that cast a limited net over the world of candidates.

Canadian men's basketball team completes pre-World Cup sweep of New Zealand

Canadian men's basketball team completes pre-World Cup sweep of New Zealand SYDNEY, Australia — Phil Scrubb scored 24 points as Canada's men's basketball team completed a two-game sweep of New Zealand with a 103-100 overtime win in pre-FIBA World Cup action on Wednesday. Canada is now 4-2 in exhibition play heading into its final friendly on Monday against the United States in Sydney. The Canadians open World Cup play Sept. 1 against Australia in China. Khem Birch of the Orlando Magic currently is the only NBA player with the Canadians in Australia, but Canada coach Nick Nurse says another is on his way.

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Barrett and Canada Basketball officials saw the folly of the original statement because so many candidates made their interest known. They ended up with Nurse, as accomplished a head coach as they could possibly have hired.

And given the high-pressure, intense basketball and the monstrous stakes for Canada heading into the World Cup, his personality seems a near-perfect fit.

The best thing the team has going for now is a coach with something of a devil-may-care attitude, the possessor of a refreshing belief that things are going to work out and they’ll find a way to do the things they need to do. It resonates with the players.

“He’s got a really good attitude, he knows his stuff and I think he brings really positive energy to the team,” guard Phil Scrubb said early in the international season.

Nurse’s energy will go a long way toward helping Canada overcome what can be seen as a talent deficit in a first-round group that includes perennial medal contenders Lithuania and Australia, along with Senegal.

Canada's World Cup hopes get shot in the arm from Nurse

Canada's World Cup hopes get shot in the arm from Nurse Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse had barely finished celebrating the team's first NBA title in June when he took on his next formidable challenge -- guiding Canada in the Basketball World Cup. Canada, who will be outsiders to triumph at the World Cup, finished 3-2 in a five-game exhibition tour in Australia, having split two home games against Nigeria. Following an 84-68 defeat to World Cup holders the United States on Monday in Sydney, Nurse said: "I've learned a lot about them (the players). "I'm a new coach (for this team) and they're still trying to learn me, I think, and we've made a lot of progress.

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The coach’s creativity and ability to move from one task to the next, regardless of how the previous one turned out, permeates the roster. You don’t see the coach get upset, you don’t see the players get upset. Nurse experiments and the players believe he’ll find the right formula. Of all the key things that have happened in the abbreviated season, the way the disparate group has come together might be the most important.

“He knows how to get the most out of us,” veteran forward Melvin Ejim said.

Nurse has been digging deep into his bag of tricks to give Canada an edge, never more so than in an overtime victory over New Zealand on Wednesday in Sydney. He called two late-game plays that he’d used before with the Raptors but likely caught his entire roster by surprise:

  • On one side inbounds play, he had four players stretched across the court and set them all in motion before the ball was put back into play — a breakout style he got from studying pre-snap CFL player movement. It ended with a well-structured high pick-and-roll that ended with a shot at the rim, which was blocked.
  • Seconds later, Canada ran a Nurse favourite. With the ball out of bounds about midcourt, Canada had one player isolate on the ball side and three others lined up along the free-throw line on the opposite side of court. With many expecting the ball to go to the isolated forward, the ball went from midcourt diagonally into the far corner, where centre Kyle Wiltjer had stepped back beyond the three-point line. He missed the wide open shot — much the same way Marc Gasol did the only time Nurse had the Raptors run it.

Those are the kinds of innovative tactics that give the players an even greater appreciation for the coach, and a belief in what they’re doing.

“You gotta have fun, man,” Nurse said.

An attitude that may given Canada an edge when it’s most needed.

Doug Smith is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @smithraps

Nurse calls on Canada's top players to commit, and not just for one summer.
SHANGHAI — Nick Nurse is calling on Canada's best basketball players to commit to playing for their country. 

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