Raptors head coach Nick Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse reacts to a foul call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse says a COVID-19 outbreak in March spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.

The Raptors (27-45) finished 12th in the Eastern Conference to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

They were in the thick of the post-season race before a COVID-19 outbreak sidelined numerous key players plus much of the coaching staff in March, and saw them win just one game that month.

Nurse faces a busy off-season, including at least three weeks as head coach of Canada's men's national team.

Canada must win a last-chance qualifying tournament next month in Victoria to earn a berth in the Tokyo Olympics.

Two key off-season question marks are the futures of veteran guard Kyle Lowry and team president Masai Ujiri.

Nurse says he hopes Ujiri stays, saying "we make a good team."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021.