TORONTO – "One had to hit a bit," said Nick Nurse on Thursday, sitting in a black board on a busium at the Toronto Adapters exercise facility immediately from Lakeshore Blvd., looking at a silent tag that set to & # 39; w left.
Of course, the coach head talked about his last opponent's team, the San Antonio Spurs, in the early January – an incredible, frantic, incredible night for the Independents in Texas.
It was stimulating. The Raptors came in flawless, reaching a pair of easy middle-term home prizes, and across the Spurs side – led by an old friend DeMar DeRozan – with bad intentions. San Antonio was just 10 minutes up to just four minutes. They were up 20 minutes later. He concentrated through the second quarter, as Spurs led to 25, the game was essentially over.
He still stands as a re-lopsided hit in the Toronto season, which hurts a little more because he is returning the intense return of Kawhi Leonard to San Antonio, the place where he spent The first seven of his career – wins the NBA and MVP Finals in 2014 – before he asked him to ask for play elsewhere in the last summer.
Leonard heard him from the crowd through the night. They fed him in the finish line during warming. They enjoyed all of their 55 touches during the game. They fed as he walked off court with fraudulent friends after the shameful defeat. The fact that DeRozan was going away for double triple, his first in 764 NBA career games, was a perfect piece of poetry to tie all the experience with him.
"I do not think you have that number in the NBA season that you're saying," Oh, geez, the last time we played Indiana, they did. "# 39 ; And you're still crazy for a few months later, "Nurse said. "But that one turned a bit and I hope our men will go and play with that sort of attitude to eliminate some of that game."
Here we are, almost a few months later, and the Spurs in Toronto for the return date. DeRozan will be playing in Scotiabank Arena for the first time not as a member of the Toronto Reptors, a second that will be strange, emotional, and adrenalizing everyone at once. Opposition player is likely to put a high game during the Friday game. The air will be accused as she was to return Leonard to Texas. Unlike differently.
"I think she will be a little more joyful tomorrow than she was in San Antonio," said Nurse, marveled. "But I'll believe at the end of the day, who the crowd will not be sailing, how loud they are and anything, it should not affect our performance."
But did that in San Antonio? Was that caustic atmosphere playing part? Raptors are allowed to lose a game every time and then, and even lose them badly. But the total incapacity that they played in San Antonio was really great. Sometimes the Raptors are beaten. Sometimes they get into hot hand. But the Raptors are often unable to show up.
Perhaps only Leonard was the only Raptor who even looked like himself in that game, which led a team with 21 points on shooting 8-of-13. Was not her best night? Na. But he was far from his worst.
"I do not really think she's too worried," said Nurse. "I mean, who was playing great, it was fine, right? It was fine. We did not play great. The Kawhi problem was not down there. ohonom – I've included. "
Thursday, Leonard was up behind that black board on the momentum podium before the Nurse. It did not bring smoke; he came to basketball, and laid at his feet after being dragged from the court practice to collect banal questions about a Friday game and answered in the gorge, Leonard's handsome do it.
"Another regular season game after the break of all the stars. Obviously, wanting to come out and win," he said. "There's a basketball. It's two rounds, two teams are trying to win."
If anything of this earth affects Leonard, that's not that. Its nature is sober, unpleasant, both at court and away. He is clearly born with that fiction, but a Nurse feels that some of Leonard's experiences with Spurs have helped her to get up. When you compete in the NBA final at 22, and perform so well, you'll be named the best player in the series, it's hard to get too much work on another season game Other, no matter how close it is.
Nurse says that Leonard's competitive fire shows himself in other ways. Like how any conversation between the two inevitably turns back to win, and how the team can do more of it. As the times when a Nurse coaches, urges players to attack or defend that, and he can not help but notice what Leonard is doing intensively, making a connection direct eye and hug his head As the times when the gap is illegal, frenetic, chaotic, and Leonard is the one to talk and tell the team to calm down.
Similarly when a Nurse was sitting with Leonard a few days after the serious defeat in San Antonio, and said something to the effect, so that was rough rough days. Only Leonard shakes his shoulders.
"It's going, & ah, I'm fine. Let's go and get the next one," said Nurse. "Its measurement does not move too much. But there's not a time when I sit there in the gap looking at it, Oh, Geez, Kawhi in trouble. I can not go to it. & # 39; Or, Geez, Kawhi half sleeps, I must wake him up. It's not. In the hides during half term and before a game, 100 percent have & # 39; to finish in it. "
There is no doubt you can expect from it on Thursday night, when Toronto and the NBA world are more absorbed with emotion and circumstances, while Leonard's out is competing , trying to win another game. And you can not expect that from it until the Raptors season ends one way or another.
This unfavorable psycho is one of Leonard's most valuable and unique features, as well as being unusual to affect the game on both ends of the floor. Many players can create a crime; many players can be closing defenders. Much of it can not really tighten the noise.
"My juice begins to go once the playoffs and things come back again. Just competing and just going on a trip with the team, try to complete our goal," he said. "Going out every night, regardless of who we play, trying to make my effort of 110 percent. And once playoffs come, hopefully we are the best team we can be, and continue to strive to aim. "