NBA Finals: From afar, watch the Lakers-Heat with Raptors head coach Nick Norse

NBA Finals: From afar, watch the Lakers-Heat with Raptors head coach Nick Norse
Toronto Raptors coach Nick Norse discovered the bubble shedding process. You try to empty everything that has happened, and efficiently get rid of what you no longer need, but similar to what happens when you receive a parcel in the mail and all this little styrofoam peanuts disperse, and after some time, a couple of these little ones appear from under the sofa, and you have to cleanse Of anger that still remained in their sight.

This is in charge of this year's ruling NBA coach, who will soon be the NBA champion. The Raptors have held a tight grip on the Larry O'Brien Cup longer than any other team in history - 483 days and counting - due to an unprecedented pandemic that has thrown the traditional schedule into disarray. The nurse was kicked out of the Florida bubble nearly a month ago, on September 11th, by the Boston Celtics who are now at home watching.

The nurse pleaded with herself to "go on," but it's not that easy.

"It's funny," said the nurse. “At the time we were in the bubble, I was thinking, 'That's cool.' But now, after I've been out for a while, I realize, 'Yeah, it probably wasn't too hot.'

The nurse agreed to watch the fifth game of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat on Friday with this reporter. He admits it's not an enjoyable experience, because "we can be match winners. And I think, I feel like we should be there."

"It's really, really bad," said the nurse. “You could say Miami and we had flipped. We were heading towards a pandemic. We were kicking a donkey. And Miami was fighting ... It looked like they were preparing to collapse. But then everything stopped, and you should be able to reset.

"It wore three of the top four rankings, so I think you'd say the Clippers, Raptors, and Bucks were affected the most [by the pause]. Looking at the players, maybe we didn't get the normal or average play a play from [Marc] Gasol and (Pascal) Siakam."

The 35-year-old Jasol averaged 6.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in the qualifiers and made only 18.5% of the 3-point streak. He had thought about skipping the bubble altogether due to concerns about his elderly parents, who still live in Spain, which was at one time one of the worst hot spots for COVID-19. "It was difficult for him," said a nurse. "He does a lot better with the ease with which his family is around, and the knowledge they are doing well. He didn't have that comfort, and they were far away."

Siakam, whose meteoric rise capped his first NBA selection this season, also suffered noticeable struggles. As his responsibilities increased, more scrutiny came, and his post-season play (17.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 39% payouts) fell well below the regular season benchmarks he set in 2019-20. The opposition players and coaches who have since left the bubble especially noted that Siakam seemed to be particularly elusive in Orlando, both on and off the field.

"He was not right," admitted the nurse. “I think he lost his bounce. He wasn't looking athletic or strong or fast. He was doing well in March, but not playing for three or four months hurt him. He couldn't keep going, and he never came back to where he was adapting.

"So, the lay-off made a difference for him. But look, the Lakers and Miami also got the layoffs, and they didn't let that stop them. That's why they're still playing.

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