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Sixers’ Al Horford impressed with how Raptors’ coaching staff develops young players

Al Horford, Sixers, Nick Nurse, Raptors

The Toronto Raptors may have lost Kawhi Leonard over the summer, but they have still shown signs of being a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference this season, as they have gone 11-4 thus far.

The Raptors will face the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, and ahead of the matchup, Sixers big man Al Horford expressed his admiration for how well Toronto’s coaching staff has developed its young players:

“I think that their coaching staff does a great job of bringing along the next group of young players,” said Al Horford, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “Obviously it’s a big difference without Kawhi, but they’re still a team that you have to consider at the very top of the East.”

While Pascal Siakam has stolen the show as the Raptors’ new biggest star, he has hardly been the only young player who has been playing well.

Fred VanVleet, for example, is having a tremendous season after a strong performance in the NBA Finals, and fellow youngsters such as Norman Powell and OG Anunoby also seem to be coming along.

Whether or not Toronto has enough top-level talent to make a deep run in the playoffs remains to be seen, but there is no question that Nick Nurse and Co. have done a phenomenal job of recovering after Leonard’s departure.

Furthermore, Kyle Lowry was playing terrific basketball before an injury sidelined him. His return in the next week or so will only bolster the Raptors’ chances.