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Raptors coach Nick Nurse takes a flamethrower to defensive effort of Stanley Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Raptors, Nick Nurse, Stanley Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The Toronto Raptors added forwards Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson over the summer with the hope that the two youngsters could bring some defense to the table, but Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has not been happy with their defensive effort thus far:

“Those guys have not understood a) how hard we play, b) our schemes, how defense is a priority for them, etc.,” said Nurse, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “We’ve got some work to do with that crew. … I keep telling them ‘show me you’re going to play defense, show me you’re going to play hard, show me you understand our coverages.'”

Ouch.

Clearly, Nurse thinks that both Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson have a long way to go, and he also indicated that neither player is guaranteed a roster spot, saying he told them “there’s a couple spots there open if somebody wants them.”

Johnson has been a major disappointment since being drafted eighth overall by the Detroit Pistons in 2015.

He spent the first three-and-a-half years of his career with the Pistons, receiving sporadic playing time before being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in a three-way deal last season.

Johnson owns career averages of seven points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Meanwhile, Hollis-Jefferson spent the first four years of his NBA tenure with the Brooklyn Nets after being selected 23rd overall by the franchise in 2015.

He struggled to stay healthy during his time in Brooklyn, playing in 29, 78, 68 and 59 games, respectively. He owns lifetime averages of 9.9 points and 5.9 boards a night.