Greeget.com. Masai Ujiri’s approach, behind the success of the Toronto Raptors to the NBA Finals. Toronto Raptors are enjoying their success in 2018-2019.
After going through various challenges in the playoffs, they finally broke through the NBA Finals for the first time in history. The Raptors will face defending champions Golden State Warriors at the top of their trip.
The success of this season’s Raptors is actually inseparable from someone’s role. Within 48 hours after they won the territory, the person’s palm turned red; his fists were tired from applause from all forms of celebration.
He was Masai Ujiri — the club president who received the last thanks for the success of Raptors.
Even so, Ujiri is actually the first person to open the way to that success. Raptors were successful thanks to the decisions he made at the break last season. He even dared to take risky steps to have to hurt the feelings of some people.
Broke Dwane Casey
Ujiri dared to decide on cooperation with Chief Coach Dwane Casey. He did that following the failure of Raptors in the 2017-2018 playoff. The Toronto team lost to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round. They lost a sweeping 0-4. Even though at that time Casey was their best coach. He drove the Raptors to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 59-23.
Casey was even very successful at that time. He is the best coach of the National Basketball Coach Association (NBCA) version. He also won the best NBA 2017-2018 coach title. However, all the titles did not change Ujiri’s decision. He doesn’t budge.
Ujiri then promoted Nick Nurse to head his team. The previous nurse was assistant coach Casey. He also served as head of Iowa Energy and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League. Nurse delivered Vipers, who is an affiliate of the Raptors team, won two titles in 2011 and 2013. He was selected as the G League’s best coach in 2011.
With that note, Ujiri felt the Nurse was able to develop the Raptors in 2018-2019. He believed it to guide the team in a better direction. In the end, Nurse officially became head coach in June 2018. Meanwhile, Casey arrived at Detroit to accept the Pistons proposal.
Exchange DeMar DeRozan
The Trial decision to exchange DeMar DeRozan with Kawhi Leonard was the most controversial decision at that time. DeRozan is the best Raptors player. He has served the team for 10 years. You could say he was the main face of the Raptors. However, Ujiri apparently ignored it for one purpose: Increased team achievements.
In the end, Ujiri sent DeRozan, Jakob Poetl, and 2019 voting rights to the San Antonio Spurs. The Raptors get Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The exchange becomes the pros and cons. Because, Ujiri’s step was very risky considering Leonard’s condition.
Leonard only appeared nine times in 2017-2018. He refused to play on the grounds of injury. Spurs are frantic without a champion. They also realized Leonard was not at home there. The player doesn’t even want to wait until the contract expires. He wants to move soon. Trials used it to seduce Spurs to exchange.
Unfortunately, Leonard’s contract has only one season left. He could have left Toronto in the free time later. The exam needs to be really smart convincing Leonard to stay. However, there is no guarantee for the future. The Raptors could lose Leonard without getting anything. That’s why Ujiri’s move to exchange DeRozan is very risky.
After promoting the Nurse and recruiting Leonard, Little by little Ujiri picked the sweet fruit from what he planted. The Raptors finished second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 58-24. They even managed to break the NBA Finals for the first time.
In the regular season, Nurse slightly restrained Leonard. He only plays his champion in 60 matches out of a total of 82. That means, Leonard has missed 22 times in 2018-2019. Nurse held Leonard for the playoffs. Moreover, the players were absent for almost a season in 2017-2018. He clearly did not want to rush to press Leonard.
Nurse then released Leonard in the first round of the playoffs. Forwarda with the back number two exploded. He drove his team to beat the Orlando Magic 4-1.
Leonard did not stop there. He also had a big influence when the Raptors defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The series lasts up to seven matches. He scored an average of 34.7 points during that time.
The Raptors then had to fight a team as strong as the Milwaukee Bucks in the final of the region. They even fell 0-2. However, Nurse was able to handle his team well. He used Leonard to destroy the Bucks. The Raptors won four consecutive wins. That result led them to the NBA Finals.
Until that point, it seemed that there were no significant problems that made the Exam decision worse. They only have to full effort to defeat the dominance of the Warriors. The Raptors were just one step away from winning. However, the Warriors are certainly not a team that is easily overthrown. That is all.
After the final, then Ujiri needs to think about how to defend Leonard. He knew the risk, he should know the solution. After going through all this, he must look after him. Because, as he wanted, the Raptors should not fall, but continue to rise to a higher level.