New Raptors Head Coach Set to Challenge DeRozan on Defensive End
In what seems to be his first act as the new head coach of the Toronto Raptors, Nick Nurse is looking towards emphasizing a certain focus on defense to Toronto Raptors star, DeMar DeRozan.
“I’m more concerned on DeMar, and I’ve already talked to him about this, is that he becomes a little more focused, defensively,” Nurse said. “Some of the experimentation we were talking about. Maybe instead of hiding him in a regular season game on a poor offensive player in December, maybe we are going to throw him on an All-Star. Maybe it costs a little bit, but maybe he learns a thing or two that’ll help him down the line.
“We need to challenge him on that end of the floor. We need to hold him a little more accountable. We’re going to do that, and he’s onboard with that.”
The two already have a relationship in place, seeing as Nurse was the team’s assistant coach last season. DeRozan is reportedly aware of Nurse’s intentions and as anyone would guess, the USC alum is striving to up his game where it lacks the least.
New #Raptors HC Nick Nurse says Toronto might experiment with having DeMar DeRozan guarding All Stars "instead of hiding him in a regular season game on a poor offensive player" https://t.co/SjqlnGAgKq #NBASummer pic.twitter.com/C9YLfWlxQb
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 7, 2018
There is no question that DeRozan is one of the game’s best individual scorer, but has often coasted on the defensive side of the ball. Sometimes DeRozan tends to fall asleep on defense, causing his assignment to hedge off, forcing DeRozan to rotate late leading to a foul, or simply allowing for an open pass and a score.
Showing some strides in his three-point shooting and play-making ability this past season, Raptor fans may see a more determined DeRozan on defence in the upcoming campaign.