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Nick Nurse wins Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honors for January

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Nurse navigated injury troubles to guide the Raptors to a 12-3 record in January.

Toronto Raptors Nick Nurse wins Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honors for January, Kyle Lowry Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As a Raptors fan, I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that we have a heck of a good coach leading our team. The NBA seems to think so too, as they’ve recognized Nick Nurse with the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month award for January.

You are surely well aware of all the reasons this award is well-deserved, but let’s run down the list, shall we:

  • 12-3 record in January (tied for most wins in month in franchise history)
  • 9-1 record on the road
  • Navigated injuries (and subsequent returns) to key rotation players Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Norman Powell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Patrick McCaw and Fred VanVleet
  • Moved his team into sole possession of second place in the East
  • Began a winning streak that currently sits at 11, tying the franchise high

So, yes, a pretty darn good month!

Nurse won the award earlier this year in October/November, and won it in October/November last year too. He currently has the defending champs with at 36-14, the third-best record in the league... and the exact same record they were at at this point last season. Avoiding a championship hangover, and keeping this team winning at an elite pace despite the pieces they lost in the summer, isn't just leading to Coach of the Month honors — it has Nurse contending for Coach of the Year as well.

As you can see from the above tweet, the GrizzliesTaylor Jenkins won the award out west.