Kyle Lowry is closing in on a return to action, but don’t circle Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat as a certainty. Read MoreLowry close to a Raptors return and Nurse NBA coach of the month again — Toronto Sun…
NICK NURSE NAMED EASTERN CONFERENCE COACH OF THE MONTH
The National Basketball Association announced Monday that Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October and November. This marks the second time Nurse has earned the honour after he won for games played in October and November in 2018.
Nurse coached the reigning NBA champions to a 14-4 record (second in the east) to start the season while facing several roster challenges along the way. The Raptors had eight different players miss games due to injury, including Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, yet finished the month on a six-game winning streak and a perfect 8-0 record at Scotiabank Arena. The team ranked first defensively, holding opponents to an NBA-best .408 field goal shooting percentage and fourth in points allowed (103.8). Offensively, Toronto ranked first among east teams averaging 14.3 three-pointers made and a .395 three-point shooting percentage.
Highlighting the month was a key 101-96 victory Nov. 25 vs. Philadelphia in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. The Raptors held the Sixers’ all-star duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to a combined 10 points on 4-of-19 shooting from the field. Toronto has so far faced 12 all-stars from last season and held eight players under 15 points.
Toronto followed up the next game by tying a franchise-record with 21 three-pointers made Nov. 27 vs. New York. It was the Raptors’ 33rd consecutive home victory against Atlantic Division opponents, setting a new NBA record for home wins against division opponents.
A native of Carroll, Iowa, Nurse became the first coach to win both an NBA and NBA G League championship, after guiding Toronto to its first title last spring. He recently coached his 100th game for the Raptors and holds a career record of 73 wins and 28 losses.
The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have agreed to terms with the following free agents on Minor League contracts with invites to 2020 Major League Spring Training:
- RHP PHILLIPPE AUMONT
- 2B ANDY BURNS
- RHP A.J. COLE
- OF PATRICK KIVLEHAN
- RHP JUSTIN MILLER
AUMONT, 30, spent last season with the Ottawa Champions of the independent Can-Am League. There the native of Gatineau, QC, made 18 starts and finished with an 8-4 record and a 2.65 ERA, while also recording six complete games and 145 strikeouts over 118.2 innings of work. Aumont played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2012-15 and compiled a 1-6 record and a 6.80 ERA over 46 Major League appearances. The 6-7, 240 lb. righty has also played in the minors for the Blue Jays, White Sox and Tigers organizations. He most recently pitched in the WBSC Premier 12 Tournament in November and helped Canada’s Senior National Team to a 3-0 win over Cuba with eight shutout innings.
BURNS, 29, slashed .275/.364/.470 with 17 doubles, three triples, 19 home runs, and 63 RBI across 118 games for Triple-A Buffalo last season. He was selected by Toronto in the 11th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and played 10 games for the Blue Jays in 2016. The right-handed hitter has played seven seasons in the Minor Leagues and two in the Korean Baseball Organization, combining for a .777 OPS across 1,022 total games.
COLE, 27, posted a 3.81 ERA while making 25 appearances for the Cleveland Indians last season. The 6-5, 238 lb. right-handed pitcher struck out 30 batters and issued eight walks in 26.0 innings of work before being placed on the injured list with a right shoulder impingement from August 10 through the end of the season. The Winter Springs, FL, native has also played for the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees over the course of his five-year career, going 11-10 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP along the way.
KIVLEHAN, 29, played 90 games for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons last season, slashing .247/.336/.534 with 13 doubles, three triples, and 25 home runs. The Nyack, NY, native also played for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians and the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2019 and finished the year with an .871 OPS across 125 games. The 6-2, 223 lb. right-handed batter has played in eight Minor League seasons, accumulating a .280 average, 169 doubles, 26 triples, 134 home runs, and 522 RBI over 799 contests. The fourth-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft has played three seasons in the Major Leagues for the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, and Arizona Diamondbacks, and has combined to hit .208 with five doubles, three triples, and 10 home runs in 132 games.
MILLER, 32, posted a 4.02 ERA across 15.2 innings pitched for the Washington Nationals last season. He also landed on the injured list twice and made 19 Minor League appearances. The 6-3, 215lb. righty has spent five seasons in the Major Leagues, having also pitched for the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies compiling a 4.43 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, 54 walks and 159 strikeouts over 156.1 innings.
When Sheldon Keefe checks his new scoring forward assets, it starts with six first-round picks, four of them high on the NHL salary grid at between $6.9 to $11.6 million US, two of them No. 1 overall draft selections. Yet the coach of the Maple Leafs has a place in the lineup — and his […]Minimum-wage Marlies help new Leafs coach Keefe — Toronto Sun
Pistons coach Dwane Casey has believed since training camp that he was the right person to unlock Christian Wood’s potential. On Sunday, he got another sign he might be right. Wood came off the bench to score a career-high 28 points in 22 minutes as Detroit routed the San Antonio Spurs 132-98. “Christian is a […]Wood scores career-high 28 as Pistons blow out Spurs — New Delhi Times
Considering the Boston Celtics faced an injury-riddled Brooklyn Nets team and simply disastrous Knicks squad in their weekend trip to New York, it would have been problematic if they returned to Boston winless. Crisis averted. Behind a game-high 30 points from Jayson Tatum, which tied his season high, the Celtics earned a 113-104 win over…Celtics Wrap: Jayson Tatum Drops 30 Points In 113-104 Win Over Knicks — NESN.com