Toronto Raptors Nick Nurse Finalist for NBA Coach of the Year

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Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse looks on as his team plays the Cleveland Cavaliers in first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Nick Nurse is one of three finalists for the NBA’s Coach of the Year.

Along with the Milwaukee Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Billy Donovan, the Raptors head coach is included in the nominees for the NBA’s 2019-20 End-of-Season Awards.

On Saturday, the NBA announced the finalists for its end-of-season awards. The voting is based on the games before March 11, when the NBA suspended its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is Nurse’s first appearance as a finalist for NBA Coach of the Year. After winning an NBA championship in his first season as head coach, Nurse coached the Raptors to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference (46-18).

From 2013-2018, the Iowa native served as the assistant coach for the Raptors. Nurse replaced Dwane Casey as the head coach for the 2018-19 season, en route to the franchise’s first championship.

If Nurse wins Coach of the Year honours, he will be the third coach in Raptors franchise history to do so, joining Casey (2017-2018) and Sam Mitchell (2006-2007).

Below are the other finalists for the NBA End-of-Season Awards:

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, James Harden

Defensive Player of the Year: Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Anthony Davis

Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams, Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell

Most Improved Player: Luka Doncic, Brandon Ingram, Bam Adebayo

Rookie of the Year: Zion Williamson, Kris Dunn, Ja Morant

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