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Raptors’ Nick Nurse excited for opportunity to coach Team Canada

Raptors, Nick Nurse, Team Canada

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse says he is excited to lead Team Canada at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

As part of an interview with Paul Jones of Sportsnet, Nurse noted some of the better traits his team has shown after just one practice. He says the work ethic and IQ are there, but he admits there isn’t a lot of potential for isolation scoring:

Team Canada will be without several key players at this year’s FIBA World Cup tournament, including Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray and New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett. Murray recently tweaked his ankle, and Barrett is dealing with a calf strain. As a result, both have decided to withdraw from the competition and focus on recovery for the upcoming NBA season.

In an recent interview with CBC Sports, Nurse noted that he is excited to get back on the court with the Canadian national team:

“I love international basketball,” Nurse told CBC. “I think there is a great influx of talent here.”

Nurse is coming off a memorable year with the Raptors. In debut year as Toronto’s head coach, he led the team to its first championship in franchise history, defeating the Golden State Warriors, 4-2. Now, he’ll look to lead Canada to prominence in China.

Canada’s first matchup of this summer’s FIBA World Cup comes against Australia (Sept. 1). Then, on Sept. 3, the Canadian side will face Lithuania.

And for their third matchup of the tournament, Canada will face Senegal (Sept. 5).