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Nick Nurse named NBA Coach of the Year for 2019-20

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse led a Kawhi Leonard-less team to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference during the regular season.

Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors looks on at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 21, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was named NBA Coach of the Year for the 2019-20 season on Saturday afternoon. The Raptors finished the regular season 53-19 and second place in the Eastern Conference. Many believed the defending champions would regress after losing All-Star Kawhi Leonard during the offseason. Instead, Nurse and Toronto are in good position to defend the title in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

Not only did Nurse keep the team a contender despite losing Leonard, but the Iowa native was able to develop players into All-Star caliber starters. Pascal Siakam. Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Norman Powell have all been a crucial part of the Raptors’ success over the past few seasons. All of them were selected outside of the lottery. VanVleet was an undrafted free agent. Siakam and OG were both picked in the 20s in the first round. Powell was a second-round pick by the Bucks a while back. All have taken huge strides in their careers thanks to Nurse, who has been with the Raptors organization since 2013.