Scariolo instructs Baynes during Toronto-Houston game Chris O'Meara / A
P Sergio Scariolo coached an NBA game for the first time as head coach. The 59-year-old Italian coach and Spanish coach replaced Nick Nurse as head of the Raptors' coaching staff. The American coach, five of his assistants on the Canadian team and also the Cameroonian player Paskal Siakam had to follow NBA security protocols due to the pandemic and could not be present at the game against the Houston Rockets.
The Raptors won 122 -111, with 30 points from Powell, 25 from VanVleet and a triple-double from Lowry, with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The Rockets fell despite 21 points and 12 assists from John Wall and 27 points from Oladipo.
Scariolo reconciles the position of Spanish coach with that of assistant coach of the Raptors since 2018. Last week he directed the qualifying games for Eurboasket 2022 against Israel and Poland. The last one was played in the Polish town of Giliwice and Scariolo celebrated his 150th match with the national team with a victory over Poland 88-89. The coach had just finished the mandatory quarantine period when he returned from Poland to Tampa, Florida. There the Raptors play their games this season due to the impossibility of complying with anti-convid regulations every time they cross the border with Canada to compete with the United States teams, and vice versa.
The Raptors announced that Nurse and five other assistants could not be present at the Amalie Arena in Tampa a few hours before the start of the game. They did not say when Nurse and his assistants will be able to return to their normal activities with the team and explained that they would be communicating by phone with the Raptors bench during the game against the Rockets. “Scariolo has been here for several years and brings his experience not only because of what he has done in the NBA, but also as the head coach of several major European teams and as the coach of Spain. It hasn't been difficult to appoint him, ”said Raptors general manager Bobby Webster. The Canadian team's next games are played, also in Tampa, on Sunday against Chicago and Tuesday against Detroit.
The Raptors had already lost the contest to assistant coach Chris Finch earlier this week, as he was hired as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Toronto is one of the four teams, along with the Clippers, Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, who have not yet had to postpone any game this temporada.