Outside of the red hot 9-1 Spurs and Rockets, who are very motivated currently, there seems to be a lot of coasting towards the postseason going on in the NBA these days and the Toronto Raptors aren’t any different as they coast towards a second place finish.
“For the last 12-14 games, (I’m) not really putting a ton of emphasis on the results,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse recently. “We want to play well. We want to pick off wins when we can get them, but I don’t think anybody can get caught up in the results.”
Three loses behind the first place Bucks and 4 losses ahead of the third place 76ers and only 11 games remaining, the Raptors are pretty much locked into their playoff seeding. Throw in the fact their first round opponent probably won’t be set until the last week of the regular season and Nurse doesn’t have a lot to use as motivation.
“It is a challenge,” Nurse admitted. “You can look around the league and it’s kind of going around a little bit. I think you are seeing mixed results all over the place.
“”It is a little bit difficult to focus.
“”I’m happy as always to get a look at some other guys and figure out where they are going or where they are not going.
“For now, (the rotation) is 10 or possibly 11. I’m okay with it now.
“I just want to keep finding guys minutes, continue to polish and expand our defensive coverages.”
So don’t look for Nurse to start tightening up the rotation or reacting to losses to teams the Raptors have no business dropping games to. Like last season, Toronto will be coasting towards the playoffs with 55-60 wins a sure thing and next to nothing to motivate them beyond just don’t get hurt.