Sports outfits from all over the world have been facing truly precarious circumstances as they’ve been trying to navigate the perilous waters of a global health disaster. And what happened on Friday night in camp Toronto Raptors is but one example of how wrong things tend to go, when they do happen to go bottoms up.
Mere hours before the Raptors were supposed to tip off against the Houston Rockets, the team on Friday evening released a press statement confirming that due to safety protocols, at least six members of its coaching staff, which included head coach Nick Nurse, would not be present on the bench on the night.
According to a prominent sports insider, a member of the team’s coaching staff tested positive hours before the evening’s proceedings were scheduled to get underway – which ultimately led to five more members of staff having to enter into self-isolation due to possible contact with the affected party.
It Never Rains – It Pours
But if Nick Nurse and co.’s absence wasn’t unusual a stir-up enough, popping up on the 5:30 p.m. injury report had been Raptors champion forward Pascal Siakam – also over health and safety protocols and concerns.
The result? A Raptors team taking on Friday night against the Rockets without their coaching boss, sans five assistants, and minus their lead scorer. Trying times by anybody’s measure – even when you’re the Toronto Raptors.
Thankfully, Toronto did end up seeing to Houston, who headed into Friday night’s game on a nine-straight-games losing streak – only to make it a round 10 on the night in question.
They Make Do
Part of the Raptors’ success is their ability to make do with what limited talent they happen to have going during any given game. And Friday night’s win was once again proof of exactly why they’re anything but just another NBA team.
Though left with only four supports on the bench, there remained a wealth of experience amongst the four-man remaining band – and most notably owing to the presence of acting head coach Sergio Scariolo.
Scariolo, who is in charge of Spain’s national side, thankfully made it out of quarantine in time to oversee his duties at camp Raptors. And not only did he yet again prove himself the correct choice for the job at hand, but he actually flourished in his sudden and impromptu role.
Although Friday night’s win will unofficially be placed at the feet of head coach Nick Nurse, we’re quite certain even Nurse would concede who the victory really belongs to.