Well the awards start coming, and they don’t stop coming. After a 12-3 month for the Toronto Raptors, Nick Nurse has been named the Eastern Conference’s Coach of the Month for January.
It’s almost a no-brainer. Fresh off of being named the coach of Team Giannis in the All-Star game, Nurse has earned this new achievement. Well, it’s not exactly new; Nurse has won the award twice before, in November of this season and in November of 2018-19. This was perhaps the most impressive month of Nurse’s regular season career, though.
The Raptors tied the franchise record for most consecutive wins, with 10 of their 11 wins coming in January. In fact, the Raptors have the longest current winning streak in the NBA. They beat some impressive teams this past month, including the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Even in the three games Toronto lost in January, the Raptors either blew big leads or missed extremely make-able jumpers (as was the case against the Miami Heat); Toronto could easily have been 15-0. Furthermore, Pascal Siakam was named an All-Star starter in his first appearance at the game, and Kyle Lowry will join him in his sixth All-Star game. Toronto has won on and off the court in January.
There have been other, milder victories for the Raptors. It appeared that they were finally healthy towards the beginning of the month, but they have since lost key rotation players Marc Gasol, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Norman Powell to injuries requiring various lengths of time. That didn’t stop the winning at all. Nurse and the Raptors will take their 11-game winning streak into February, and they will face the Indiana Pacers at home on Wednesday February 5. A win there would set the record alone for most consecutive franchise wins. If Toronto keeps this up, Nurse likely has plenty of hardware left in store before the end of the year.