GANTER: Nurse seriously contemplating going small with his starting five
Article content continued
The Houston Rockets have used it and had regular season success, though playoff success has been harder to come by.
So, a James Wiseman might have a career night shooting over Toronto’s smaller defenders, but the Raptors can offset that at the other end when Wiseman has to defend smaller, more mobile opponents who are equipped to make a guy like that pay from the outside.
Again, Nurse said he was considering this particular strategy, but considering and actually doing remains a wide gulf.
His focus remains on finding a starting lineup and a rotation he is comfortable with and that level of comfort has not been reached yet.
“I’m trying to figure out where guys play best and maybe, you know, maybe it changes a look for a guy, coming off the bench he plays a little better, plays a little bit more relaxed, maybe plays better with a different group of guys, maybe the matchups on the other team are better for him, whatever it is,” Nurse said, explaining his decision Friday to bench Baynes and go with Len.
“Again, I’m just trying to search and hope someone grabs these positions and plays better one way or the other as a starter (or) off the bench or finds some sort of rotation we can kind of rely on,” Nurse continued.
If that turns out to be a small starting lineup with bigs mixed in coming off the bench, so be it. But if Nurse has shown anything consistently throughout his coaching career, he is not afraid to try anything.
The Raptors finish this trip against the Warriors, who have a lottery pick big man in Wiseman still learning the intricacies of the NBA game, and then a veteran big man in Jusuf Nurkic when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers.