Ujiri’s on Casey:

“I’ve talked to Dwane Casey a couple of times and we’re going to sit down and I will understand what his philosophies are and I will tell him what my philosophies are and I’ll tell him what I think needs to be changed,” Ujiri said. “For me this organization is going to be like this now (hands together) and we will all be on the same page and have the same goals.”

“For me, Dwane Casey has done a great job but I need to sit down with coach and figure out what his philosophies are and what he’s thinking for the future of this team … I need these 2-3 weeks where coach and I are going to figure out whether this thing is going to go forward for the next year. Right now I don’t see any reason why not.”

From the turbulent roster to the ownership structure, it wouldn’t be difficult to critique the executive decision-making, the on-court product, the marketing mishaps, and just about any other aspect of the Raptors organization over the last few years.  There’s been plenty of reasons to be unhappy if you’re a supporter of the club, and Dwane Casey’s coaching could arguably fall into a category of critique.  The question, however, is given the laundry list of items to address, where does coaching rank?  Is it really a problem that’s holding the Raptors back to the degree where it needs to be addressed this summer?

Obviously, I don’t think so. Casey’s coaching failures haven’t attributed to the malaise this organization is trying to get out of, and if anything, he’s brought the Raptors out of the dark ages that Jay Triano (possibly the worst decision this franchise has ever made) had ushered in. The hilarious 4-guard rotations, the odd use of timeouts, the mad substitutions that see our best players benched in crunch time, and the puzzling playing time distribution (e.g., Ross/Anderson) are mere annoyances that we’ve had to suffer in a season that wasn’t going anywhere to begin with. It’s not like Dwane Casey’s coaching is the reason the Raptors missed the playoffs this year, or the year before. It’s not like he’s perpetuating a negative atmosphere in the clubhouse, is catering to players, or fails to focus on the right things (e.g., defense).

The results haven’t been great, and whenever we talk about results you have to examine the roster before wondering if the coach underperformed. Nobody can tell me with a straight face that, given the quality of the roster, the Raptors underperformed. What we did see was a coach experimenting with different lineups, zone types, and approaches to get something to tick. Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t, and when it didn’t he was made to look bad. At times, very bad. The playbook looked awfully thin at times and there’s no argument from me on that, but nobody sold him as an offensive coach upon his hire, only one that would correct the wayward effort and introduce, at least conceptually, some element of defense and effort to the team.

I understand the cathartic value of purging Casey and in the name of turning a new page, and also acknowledge that there probably is a better coach for the Raptors out there. However, I can’t seem to pinpoint what crime of Casey would deserve termination. The Raptors had 10 new players at some point on the roster between Casey’s first and second year, and he managed to get 37 wins. He scaled the wins proportional to the talent-injection on the roster.

The Raptors have had their ownership, executive leadership, and basketball management aspects changed, leaving the coaching to be the next logical area of change (leaving marketing, sales aside). I urge restraint from MLSE on this angle on the grounds of mercy and continuity. Will anyone be heartbroken if Dwane Casey gets axed? No. Would he have gotten a fair share in Toronto? No.

For fun, here’s a list of active NBA head coaches that I’ve spent about 15 seconds ranking, is Casey’s ranking fair?

  1. Gregg Popovich
  2. Tom Thibodeau
  3. Doc Rivers
  4. Frank Vogel
  5. Scott Brooks
  6. Lionel Hollins
  7. Erik Spoelstra
  8. Rick Carlisle
  9. Kevin McHale
  10. Larry Drew
  11. Dwane Casey
  12. Mark Jackson
  13. Monty Williams
  14. Mike Woodson
  15. Terry Stotts
  16. Tyrone Corbin
  17. Randy Wittman
  18. Jacque Vaughn
  19. Mike D’Antoni
  20. Mike Brown

New Guys (unranked):

  • Mike Budenholzer
  • Steve Clifford
  • Michael Malone
  • Jeff Hornacek

  • Matt52

    “It’s not like Dwane Casey’s coaching is the reason the Raptors missed
    the playoffs this year, or the year before. It’s not like he’s
    perpetuating a negative atmosphere in the clubhouse, is catering to
    players, or fails to focus on the right things (e.g., defense).”

    I’m not sure this is correct. Last year, I agree, he was not the reason why the Raptors missed the playoffs. This year though is another story. The Raptors blew how many 4th quarter leads? I don’t think he was perpetuating a negative atmosphere in the locker room intentionally but he did cater to players (Bargnani and Anderson) and admitted he did not focus on defense this year. The lack of focus or commitment to defense this year (despite the lip service) was, I believe, at the heart of the source of conflict he had with Colangelo this year.

    • smh

      “–he did cater to players (Bargnani and Anderson) and admitted he did not focus on defense this year.”


    • golden

      Yep. Matt’s right. And there is a statistical way to look at it. On basketball reference it shows the expected W-L vs. actual, which gives some indication of the coaches ability to generate wins in close games due to strategy, beyond simply the expected W-L based on point differential. Casey is -3 (expected 37 wins, actual 34 wins) . Mark Jackson is +3 (expected 44 wins, actual 47 wins) for example. And nobody expected GSW to win 44 games last year. Nobody.

      Maybe somebody has the time to make the full list of expected vs. actual.

    • mountio

      agree, To make things worse, he didnt do a good job of developing young guys. If his going with vets down the stretch strategy actually worked, Id have a little bit of sympathy. But, when you are coaching to win now over develop for the future, and failing at it, then I have a problem ..

  • raptors phdsteve

    Ujiri and Leiweke both suggested their plan is to “build this the right way.” If that plan includes Casey because they believe he is a solid coach and they, like you Zarar think consistency and security is important at the coaching position (I also agree) then the Raps should re-up Casey for the 5 years that Masai is here. But, if the plan is just to let the 1 year left on his contract play out and then start a coaching search next spring- they are better to cut bait now and start fresh- and lets be frank, Karl is on the market, MLSE has the $, and he is a huge upgrade over Casey.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I’d rather keep Casey for one more year than hire Karl for two reasons. One is that Karl is an overrated coach, in that his teams do well in the regular season, but almost always underperform in the playoffs. Secondly, if Ujiri is going to rebuild the team, then my bring in a guy who may help the team overperform next season when the goal very well might be to get a top pick?

      • hotshot

        But if that’s the case, do you think Casey would want to be a lame duck coach that will get axed at the end of tanking season?! He isn’t going to play ball because he once to be employed somewhere in the NBA.

        Last season he couldn’t even tank right and the Raptors missed their chance on drafting Lilard and Barns. I say find a replacement today if available. So what if Karl underperform’s in the playoffs!? at least he gets the team into the playoffs, which is something the Raptors couldn’t even do in the last 5 years. You can’t build a championship contender in 1 season (Miami & Boston were the exception but the Raptors can’t go that route) but getting Karl a respected veteran coach is a step in the right direction. Hell if the Raptors can get in the playoffs for 3 straight seasons and then don’t go anywhere then find me a better coach.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Yes, he might not want to go through a tank again, so that would be reason to get rid of him.

          As for Karl, I just don’t see the point. If you’re going to tank, then his teams generally overachieve in the regular season, so he’s the wrong guy for that. If you want to contend, then his systems and coaching don’t lead to playoff success, so you’re setting the team up to fail. Why not go with someone who you think could be the long term solution and implement a system you could build around, instead of having to do that after a few years of making the playoffs.

          The “Let’s make it to the playoffs first and then figure things out” strategy is not one that generally works well and seems to me one that Leiweke and Ujiri are trying to avoid.

          Besides, Karl isn’t even the best of the current head coaches who became recently available. I’d take Hollins over Karl.

          • Robert Archibald

            I see your point Tim, If you want this team to tank, as I think you do, you have to admit there is no ‘right move’ when it comes to hiring a coach.

            We’ve already seen Casey blow a tank once, who knows how hard he’ll try in a contract year.

            After Leiweke’s hiring and subsequent big splash with Ujiri, , if Casey IS replaced, Roger Bellenbaum won’t be going for anything other than a top tier coach or a top, up and coming assistant coach – either way, it’s hard to imagine the coach in that situation coming in and proceed to spend this whole season tanking? What kind of desireable coach would choose Toronto to start like that when they could go to a team like the Clippers of Memphis, etc.

            That leaves us with the treadmill coaches. What type of coach would be respected enough, that MLSE could role them in without looking like fools. What coaches might be willing to come cash in of this wealthy new ownership throwing money around? Furious George just might be a good fit. He does have a reputation of getting more out of difficult players, could he have any JeVale type turnarounds with enigmatic players such as Gay and Lowry. His players play hard and Denver’s defence was great last year, so he preaches the right things.

            This is why hiring Karl would drive you nuts, there would be no more tank. But I just don’t see how there is a right coaching move, if you want to tank next season. .

            • Brown Hornet

              I hear a lot about tanking in this blog. First thing first Casey is not a bad coach. He has had one head coaching gig before this and with any new coach things take time. It also helps to have the right pieces playing in order to see fruits of labour. Phil Jackson couldnt do much better with the roaster we currently have. You guys also have to remember that a lot of directive who to play comes from the GM. The idea was to bring Ross along gradually and to get JV in as much as possible to be accustomed to the NBA grind which casey did.
              I think a full year of Rudy Gay, and Kyle Lowry stays health,agressive with the ball, and smart with the ball can make the Raptors go a long way in the win/loss column. If you look at how many close games the Raptors lost this combined witht he games they got screwed in due to bad calls 3 or 4 they should of been the 7th or 8th seed this year. Tanking is not a option, not when you have a lottery style draft. The Raptors couldnt be the worse team in the NBA if they tried. There are a few teams out there that are much worse and Raptors are not great by any sense of the word.

      • Thimble

        One could argue that Karl didn’t have playoff success level players?

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          I’d agree about this season. I didn’t think Denver was getting past Golden State, although that was partly due to the system, which was designed for regular season success and not playoff success.

          But the Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony should have gotten past the first round more than they did. And Seattle most definitely had the talent to go deep (as they did when they reached the Finals), but too often underperformed in the playoffs, which is why he was let go after winning 61 games and then losing 4-1 against the Lakers in the second round.

          • CJT

            You Mean like New York?

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              I mean like New York what?

        • Robert Archibald

          Is there any argument that he might be able to do more with more? Its not like he had Jordan, Shaq and Kobe on his teams.

          • Wilson

            How is this relevant to the Raptors hiring him? They certainly have no Jordans, Shaqs or Kobes either.

      • o;nemanweave

        Labeling Karl as overrated because his teams haven’t done well in the playoffs is making a decision on too small of a data sample.
        Is there anything to suggest Karl has specific weaknesses that prohibit playoff success IF HE HAS THE RIGHT GROUP OF PLAYERS TO SUCCEED? Does he change his coaching strategy from one that works during the regular season to one that fails during the playoffs? Or is the second season a place where most coaches are competent and the best/luckiest teams eventually win?
        Were Bud Grant and Marv Levy overrated football coaches because their teams failed to win championships? Keep in mind, Grant had a huge run of playoff success in the CFL and Levy won a championship as well. Were they overrated coaches or simply ones who’s team met a better/luckier team a few times in the lottery that is post-season playoffs?
        Labeling George Karl as overrated, unless you have specific points to back it up other than the randomness of win-lose over a short frame of time, is pretending to knowledge that you don’t really have and so is the poster you borrowed this ‘knowledge’ from.

        • FLUXLAND

          The 90s are short frame to you? Wow. Were you born in 2006?

          Right group? Hall of Famers are not the RIGHT GROUP?

          You are reaching with this talk of specif points. When players you’ve coached (Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups) do not want to speak to you or tell the media you do not have ANY sort of system in place, what exact specifics do you need?

          22 appearances with 14 1st round exits. What other specifics do you need?
          Educate yourself before you talk about someone else’s knowledge while sounding ignorant. At some point you can stop chalking things up to “luck”. And luck is when preparation meets opportunity. If you’re unlucky, you are probably not prepared as you should be.

          • ItsAboutFun

            “When players you’ve coached (Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups) do not want to speak to you or tell the media you do not have ANY sort of system in place, what exact specifics do you need’

            Because a couple of disgruntled players, of the hundreds he’s coached, mouth off, that tells you A LOT? I guess it does when you put so much stock in gossip, as you so often do. What about the hundreds that never had anything but good to say?

            “22 appearances with 14 1st round exits. What other specifics do you need?
            Educate yourself before you talk about someone else’s knowledge while sounding ignorant.”

            Yeah, small sample data if one only looks at numbers with zero context. Some education that goes beyond simplistic math and puts some of those numbers in context:

            -His first year coaching GSW, he took a team that went 30-52 the previous year, to 42-40 and 5th place in the West, where they beat the Stockton/Malone Jazz in 5 games, then lost the 2nd round in 5 to the Magic/Kareem/Worthy Lakers. Far from any shame in that. He left that team before the next season was completed, when management/ownership traded away 3/4 of his top players.

            -He coached in Europe and the CBA for a few years, and returned to the NBA in Seattle from 1991-1998. He inherited a team with Shawn kemp and Gary Payton that had a 41-41 record the previous year, and had got knocked out in 5 games to the Drexler/Kersey Blazers. That first year, his team went 47-35, swept GSW in 4, got swept by the Stockton/Malone Jazz in the second round.

            -His second year in Seattle, the team went 55-27, they beat that same Jazz team in 5, beat the Olajuwon lead Rockets in 7 and lost the West Final in 7 to the Barkley Suns. Certainly no shame at all in those two years!!

            -I don’t know what happened the next two years, but yeah, they got knocked in in 1st rounds by GSW and Lakers.

            – Then in 95-96 they go 64-18, go through Sac, then those Houston and Jazz teams before going to game 6 in the finals in a loss to the MJ/Pippen/Rodman Bulls. Any shame there?

            – In 96-97, they went for 61 wins, and lost to the Olajuwon/Drexler/Barkley Rockets in 7 games of the 2nd round

            – In his last year in Seattle, 97-98, 61 wins again, and lose the 2nd round to the Shaq/Kobe Lakers.

            – With a big contract offer, he signs up with the losing Bucks in 1998, who went 36-46 the year before. In a shortened season, his new team, the Bucks go 28-22, while his old double 61 win team goes 25-25. Ya think he made a huge difference to both teams?? But according to gossip, Ray Allen didn’t appreciate getting into the playoffs for the first time in his 3 years there. Yup, they lost in the first round, as they also did the next year, but still not bad for a team that hadn’t sniffed the playoffs for 7 years before Karl got there.

            – In his 3rd year with the Bucks, they went 52-30, and lost the East Finals, in 7 games, to the Iverson Sixers.

            – That team did poorly the next couple of years, and he was canned, possibly the period that caused Ray Allen’s self-entitled, gossipy hissy fit.

            – Next Karl show s up in Denver, where he took over a 17-25 team at mid season, and lead them to a 32-8 second half, to end up 49-33. Damn, bad coach that man, eh. But hey, let’s just judge him on that team, that he hauled out of the sewer, losing to the Spurs in the first round. Context man,,,,, context, not just bare stat spewing.

            – They lost in the first round to the Spurs again, 2 years later, then to the Kobe/Pau Lakers the next year. You really feel there’s shame in any of that? Do tell.

            – Then they lose to the Lakers in 6 games of the West finals in 2009, before Melodrama begins.

            Context, kid, context. Spew all the nebulous 14 1st round exits all you want, but “education” about basketball and NBA history goes way beyond stats. This coach has a long history of hauling teams out of the sewer, making them playoff teams, and losing to only the cream of the crop most years. He is easily one of the better coaches in the league over the past 2 decades, despite the gossip of a couple of players.

            • HogyG


            • FLUXLAND

              I’m not sure what that rant was all about, you are not telling us anything we don’t already know.

              The NBA is all about the playoffs, no one cares what you do in the regular season. And his playoff record speaks for itself; maybe you take comfort in diluting the conversation into who he went up against. But Larry Brown went against the Kobe and Shaq Lakers and won. Carlisle went against :LeBron and Wade and won.

              What context? The context of him having multiple HOFers at his disposal and failing in the playoffs. The point has been made over and over again about the regular season and playoffs, but you keep on ranting on about the regular season.

              Maybe you like him, doesn’t mean everyone else does. And the point about the players speaks for itself. Ray won a ring after departing Karl… again, that speaks for itself. When a player ousts you in the media for not having a system….what are we talking about?.

              • ItsAboutFun

                “I’m not sure what that rant was all about,”

                It confuses you when someone does a more complete analysis of the man’s record hey. Awwwww, I know it must be tough to go beyond opinions based on snippets of info and internet gossip, but keep trying. Some day you’ll be able to wear big boy pants and not make a fool of yourself with senseless hissy fits.

                LMAO, what does Chauncey winning with the Pistons, or Ray winning with the Celtics, have anything to do with Karl? Kid, you continue to astound with how you twist your little factoids in some lame attempts to validate yourself. Time to go back to digging up more of your NBA gossip. At least you have a chance with the BS that others can’t disprove, even if it is meaningless.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Gossip? These are facts not denied by anyone. Whatever makes you feel better in your demented illusion. The fact they lost faith in him and departed speaks volumes, to some.

              • onemanweave

                Ray? You’re on a first name basis with him? We should definitely pay more attention to someone with that kind of pipeline. “Ray” joined a team that already had a couple HOFs. What are you talking about?

                • FLUXLAND

                  I’m talking about all the players above scrub caliber that have nothing positive to say. How long have you been following the NBA? He has a reputation for doing what’s best for him (see demanding contract extension as the most recent) and throwing his players under the bus when it suits him. Every team he’s been on he’s done that.

                • onemanweave

                  Since Hondo was coming off the bench for one of the Jones boys. Since Wilt was a Warrior. Since Wayne Embry was setting picks for the big O. How long have you been a troll?

                • FLUXLAND

                  If that were true, you wouldn’t be making the comments like “his teams haven’t done well in the playoffs is making a decision on too small of a data sample.” Nice try, though.

                • onemanweave

                  I wonder if all the other things you ‘know’ are as inaccurate as this drivel.

            • FLUXLAND

              “I don’t know what happened the next two years, but yeah, they got knocked in in 1st rounds by GSW and Lakers.”

              LMAO. You don’t know what happened, but hey Karl is a great coach. OVER RATED, is what he is.

              • ItsAboutFun

                So educate us: which current NBA coaches have a better history of coaching success in the NBA? Why?

                How many, and what coaches did better against the MJ Bulls, Stockton Jazz, Olajuwon Rockets, Kobe/Shaq Lakers, Kobe/Pau Lakers?

                • FLUXLAND

                  This is not about those teams only. Tell us what happened vs Deke’s Nuggets? Educates us. Or do you not know what happened?

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Just what I thought. You can’t respond to either question without blowing your petty factoid posture.

                • FLUXLAND

                  What is there to respond to? No one was talking about MJ or teams that won rings. The conversation embodied his entire work in the playoffs, you want to focus on the ring winners/finalists because “you don’t know what happened” in the other cases, in an attempt to cover up the facts of the situation or portray it for what it is not. Or more accurately, as usual, spinning it the optimist way… kind of like when you compare DDs rookie year to Kobe’s. Or last season to the Titanic Division Title. Nothing new.

            • onemanweave

              Please do not confuse Fax with facts. You’ll make him angry. Oh wait, he’s always angry.

              • FLUXLAND

                Don’t confuse my form with angry. You always assume.

          • onemanweave

            In a short series/season luck is always much more of a factor than over the long haul. If a coach does well pretty much every season, he’s probably a good coach — period.
            Is the litmus test for a good coach that all the players he ever had speak well of him or would he possibly tick a few off by doing what’s best for the team? Sometimes your reach exceeds your grasp.

            • FLUXLAND

              If you’re into the regular season and use it as a measuring stick and believe in luck, that’s fine. Not all of us are. Ticking off players is fine, but when it happens on every team you’re on and you manage to do so with all the HOFs you’ve dealt with, then if’s far more than doing what’s best for the team. Or how about his team USA experience? Everywhere he goes, players are unhappy.

              My reach and grasp are fine, it just doesn’t suit you, that’s all. You just want to look at the bright side and ignore the other realities because they don’t fit your argument. How can you possibly ignore the list of players (non scrub ones) that do not have anything positive to say? That’s far more telling than his regular season record, IMO.

              • onemanweave

                Your opinion is just an opinion — nothing more; nothing less. I’d much rather rely on Karl’s record than your opinion.
                You attempt to verify it with platitudes about luck being the residue of design and that the best prepared team wins etc.etc. The standings seven games into the season often don’t resemble the finished product.. Luck is a bigger factor in a shorter sample. Pretty simple concept.

                It probably takes a better coach to motivate players during the regular season than the Big Lottery. Playoff teams teams that have a few breaks and LeBron, MJ or Kobe often do best. Great teams win multiple championships. Do great teams make great coaches or vice versa?
                However, with the Raps, we are not talking right now about a championship run. Phil Jackson isn’t likely to lead them to the finals, let alone win it. Shoot, Phil might not have gotten this year’s Nuggets into the finals. IMO

                We are talking about finding a coach for a team that HARDLY EVER MAKES THE PLAYOFFS. Motivating them to do that MIGHT be a good thing. Of course you’re way past that phase. You’re doing calculus but can’t do math. You can not win in the playoffs without getting into the playoffs. Your reach is gigantic. Your grasp, not so much.

                • FLUXLAND

                  You just have an opinion of Karl’s record – nothing more, nothing less. And like most Raptor fans think making the playoffs is winning the championship. You don’t even understand what calculus is, but claim simply having the textbook (making the playoffs) will win you a Millennium Prize. Your grasp is non existent and your reach astronomic.

                • onemanweave

                  No, no sonny. Making the playoffs is making the playoffs. It’s the first step towards, rather than away from, a championship. Some coaches seem to be able to install the discipline/will/ability in a team to attain that primary goal. Karl, on the basis of his record, would appear to have that ability.
                  I know you dwell on a much higher plain, oh wise one. However you’re five years ahead of your team.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Really? Maybe you can list some teams/coaches that were continual eight seeds and than eventually won a chip..go ahead, show me. Show us these examples of first making the playoffs and winning it all.

                  There’s a reason some teams are called contenders and the rest pretenders. Only a child would claim making the playoffs is the “first step.”

                  Five years ahead? So now in your infinite wisdom you can see where this team will be in 5 years? You are clairvoyant?

                  (and p00ka, why can;t you just stick to one handle.. the more you type the more obvious you become.)

                • ItsAboutFun

                  You’re not only pathetic with your little factoid arguments, but sleezy with your factoid challenges.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Okay, this discussion doesn’t seem to have any other purpose except to insult one another. Why don’t we knock it off, here. Move on please.

                • onemanweave

                  Nice try with the Pooka guess, sonny. Makes you about 0-for-12. Actually a VERY high percentage of teams who’ve won championships have made the playoffs first. That’s not a fluxed-up guess, you can check it out, as Stengel used to say.
                  Nobody but you is talking about 8th to champs in one easy leap. Oh, sorry, you’re talking about 17th to champs. Yes it can be done. All you have to do is draft Kareem, LeBron or someone similar and the other lottery makes that a tough sell. Or hire a good playoff coach, you guess.
                  Buy a few lottery tickets while you’re daydreaming about Phil and the title. And finally, five wasn’t a prediction, just a number. You may be way further behind than that. Tell us now how Kevin Durant isn’t a playoff player and how the Raps don’t need him. I’m sure you’re up to it.

        • disqus_CSDq4N5HM7

          George Karl is the Marty Schottenheimer/Norv Turner of the NBA. Great regular season success but severely lacking come playoffs. If it only happened once or twice I’d understand, but its a continual thing over many many years with different teams. He doesn’t change his style in the playoffs and that’s part of why he’s a former coach. His teams never change their style even though everyone talks about how the playoffs is a totally different beast than regular season. If he had changed and his teams learned defence. He’s had talented players but can’t get over the hump, I think that’s why he was fired, they saw through the facade and realized he just cant’t win in the playoffs. I will not use this year as an indicator as Spurs were head and shoulders above GSW, but his Nuggets teams with Melo and Seattle teams with Payton shoud’ve done better than they did. With all the talented teams he’s had only 1 finals appearance speaks volumes to me. He’s taken many teams to near 50 wins or over and only 1 finals appearance with several 1st round exits. Specific enough for you?

          • ItsAboutFun

            See above for some education beyond spewing a few stats outside of context.

            • FLUXLAND

              Your lack of comprehension doesn’t mean someone is taking a point out of context.

              Get a clue, before you go off on one of your mindless tangents.

              • ItsAboutFun

                LMAO, I love when you lose it and babble senseless crap. Please entertain us and point out where I’m “lacking in comprehension” on this issue. I responded with specifics about the man’s history in the NBA, and all you’ve got is response is hyperbolic rhetoric. Pathetic.

                • FLUXLAND

                  “I think that’s why he was fired, they saw through the facade and realized he just cant’t win in the

                  “but almost always underperform in the playoffs“
                  Umm, again, the fact people are talking about the playoffs over and over again, but you keep talking about the regular season ” This coach has a long history of hauling teams out of the sewer, making them playoff teams”. Playoff teams that fail? This is what you’re into, I guess.

                  A pathetic and sad lack of comprehension, no doubt.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Geee, you’re so right. I just don’t pay enough attention to internet gossip.

                • FLUXLAND

                  No, you interpret what you don’t like as gossip. That’s all.

                • HogyG

                  It’s true, people do continue to talk about his perhaps early departures from the playoff. But I believe the point that ItsAboutFun was making is that out of context (looking at Karl’s first round exits without looking at the match-ups in those losses) can be misleading. However, when you look at some of the exits as he points out, you can see they were dealt by the inevitable conference and/or league champions in most cases. In that context, Karl wasn’t the only coach to lose to them because eventually everyone else did too.

                  In your dig about the 1993-94 first round series where 1st place Seattle SuperSonics lost to the 8th seed Denver Nuggets, was your point simply that they lost in the first round as the number one seed? It is true that it happened, and I imagine it was heartbreaking for the supersonics to lose that series. However, the fact they lost isn’t a testament of George Karl’s bad coaching, but rather one of the most miraculous efforts by an underdog team, led by Dikembe Mutombo who played out of his mind to win that series. Any shot that man didn’t actually block he altered through his floor presence. It was one of the most special “Rudy”-like moments in sports history, to say it was due to lack of coaching on behalf of George Karl is to take away from the greatness the Nuggets and Dikembe displayed during that series. The fact that 20 years later they still show him laying on the ground crying with the ball in his hands, shows how the league looks upon his impact on the series and basketball to this day. It gives me goose bumps every time I see that shot, it was a special time if you were witness to it.

                  Keep in mind that if there were 5 great teams in any given season 4 of them will still lose by year’s end. Does this mean we shouldn’t want a great team?

                • FLUXLAND

                  That’s what I am talking about. Difference in view on how things went down. Was it “miraculous” efforts by and underdog team or was it lack of preparation and necessary adjustments by the first rounder and their coach. It’s up to you what you’d like to believe, but even then the general consensus was that Karl failed to get his team in the position to win. Let’s remember the Sonics had a 2-0 lead in a best of five format, the Nuggets slowed the pace down (as is the case in the playoffs) and Karl failed to adjust his run and gun style. He’s nothing more than a glorified version of Nellie ball, but somehow he labeled as a great coach? Ummm, no thanks.

                  I don’t choose to get emotionally caught up in Rudy type stories and the like. Issel had his guys ready, he had a plan and he shut down Karl. No more, no less. If anything you are completely discrediting that team’s execution, which was far more than Deke altering shots.

                  And I already pointed out those champions fell to other teams at other times.

                  It has nothing to do with not wanting a great team, it’s about wanting the real McCoy, not a pretender.

                • HogyG

                  Other than the Bill Russell Celtics, no team wins every year. Haha. Your point that “those champions fell to other teams at other times”, is nothing more than an attempt to skew the point and push it out of context. For example, it is irrelevant that the Lakers failed to win it all in 2003 due to the fact that from 2000-02 NO ONE could beat them. When Karl lost in the first round against that Lakers squad during their time of dominance, it was as good as anyone else could manage against the Lakers in that time frame. It was unfortunate that for Karl that he had the 1st round match-up in that time frame. Would you look at him differently if he had lost in the conference finals instead in that time frame? If so, why?

                  I challenge you to put a few coaches names on the table that would be a better choice for the Raptors moving forward (since you clearly believe he is not the right choice). Please be sure to fulfill the following criteria:

                  – they need to be currently available

                  – they need to have a competitive record to Karl’s of making it into the playoffs (that would be 23 times in 25 years, not to mention his career regular season winning % is .599)

                  – and they need to have championships under their belt, because as you seem to believe, only a coach who has won the championship can win a championship. (kind of sounds like a chicken and the egg scenario to me)

                  For me, the only indisputable fact is you’ve got to BE in the playoffs for a chance to win in the playoffs. 23 appearances in 25 years puts you in that position. George Karl is in the top 10 coaches of all-time according to NBA.com not just his supporters around the league. I look forward to seeing the list of coaches you can comprise.

                  Allow me to restate my point from a previous post in the hopes to help you better understand it. If five real McCoys were playing in a one-on-one tournament against each other, at the end of the day, four of them would still lose. It is my understanding that the “real McCoy” is to be considered a branding as a reference to the genuine article, much like like a winner, a contender or a “great team” does as well in the context of sports. As you have already pointed out, every winner can lose. Therefore, I say that all you did in your previous post was agree with us at the end, and only disagreed with the jargon being used.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Again, this is not about Karl losing to the Lakers. He’s lost to other teams. Say, were those Nuggets dominant? Convenient you ignore that. Was that GSW team dominant?

                  As per your “challenge”, that’s very clever. There are quiet a few assistant coaches that I may think are more qualified than Karl, but according to you, because they do not fit your criteria they are not “better choices”. I wonder if that’s the line of thinking the Bulls used when they hired Thibs or what the Pistons were thinking when they hired Rick.

                  I didn’t agree with you about Karl, so let’s stay focused. This is very simple, you look at his body of work as a success and believe his approach with players breeds franchise respectability. I look at it and believe the opposite, because what I am looking at is what he’s done with the highest caliber players he’s had and how far he got, not what he’s done with average NBA players. To you this has something to do with “fortune”, just like he was “unfortunate” and resulted in “heartbreak” vs those Nuggets. In fact, this past season encapsulates his entire career very well – this is what you want moving forward? How can you possibly look at his career and roster and claim the caliber of players/opponents is the problem he’s faced? At what point does one stop and wonder?

                  And do I really have to point out players/teams that changed coaches and then achieved greater success with those same players? Let me know. Lakers, Bulls, Pistons….

                  “you’ve got to BE in the playoffs for a chance to win in the
                  playoffs.” This is very typical of the Raptors fan mentality of “hey, doesn’t matter we’re the 8th seed, we have a shot” – and to that I don’t even know how to reply, since it’s infantile/Rudy type mentality, based on emotions and blind optimism. Or as you boy TL would say 7-11.

                  And by the way, as pointed out earlier – the only record that matters is the playoff one.

                • HogyG

                  I silently agreed to disagree on our points about the ’93-94 nuggets as we both have our opinions which we believe in. The Lakers were simply used as an example to clarify a point within the subject, not to be seen as the only example or the entirety of the subject at hand.

                  As for Karl’s high caliber of players on his roster, and how “this season encapsulates his entire career”, I would point out that no one had this year’s Denver Nuggets slotted to finish 3rd at the top of their division and go 57-25, as the best projections had them slotted 6th to match-up against the Spurs (the inevitable conference champions) and only go 50-32. You’re right a lot of Raptor fans would love to have a team that could make it into the playoffs or play above their projected abilities. Why do you try to make that a bad thing? You’re hating on the man for coaching his team up to more wins than was projected of them. That’s F’ed up. I would kill for a team that did that each year (as opposed to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in how long?!), but let’s agree to disagree on that as well.

                  Furthermore, Karl’s past respective teams are never projected to finish high despite the supposed “caliber of talent” he has. The most complete team he may have had was arguably the Sonics team with Payton, Kemp, McMillian, Schrempf, and an old Sam Perkins and company. None of these players were considered a top ten overall player in the league during that time and therefore questionable to be called “high-caliber” or HoF’ers. When you find a team of his with a top ten “caliber” player on the roster (eg. Melo, and questionably Ray Allen) you will find that there was no one around them to step up their game come playoff time, leaving those players to shoulder the burden on their own. No team wins it all in that type of scenario. Of course we can agree to disagree on all of that too.

                  But let’s stay focused here shall we…

                  I would love to hear your supposed list of more suitable candidates from your ranks of assistant coaches or beyond, despite the fact it may not fulfill any of my simple requirements. Remember, it is you who seems to have chastised anyone who isn’t a holder of a championship ring (as it is often the only leg you stand on for being against Karl in the first place) and is therefor the reason it became part of the criteria. So, instead, IF you give your list of assistants, provide proof of what make them a better choice than a man with a record such as George Karl. Please keep your proof to facts (stats, sited quotes from actually qualified authorities etc.) and not opinions, as from what I’ve seen of you so far you get those confused. You have clearly shown you’re opinion in general is to disagree with others, we get that. Now it is time to learn to debate, which is won through presenting facts against your opponent.

                  Come on. Drop your knowledge and present your list… Or, are you just talk?

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Awwww, he stumbles onto the odd good point, but his anger filled schtick is so full of blustery cliches, factoids, and gossip, that he won’t give you a straight answer that is based on anything more. Classic example of “those that can’t do, criticize”.

                  The anger is the saddest part. The constant anger at fans that have a more casual view of what pro sport means, and don’t need to find their happiness in a basketball team, is almost enough to feel sorry,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, but he’s too much of a jerk to sympathize with.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Blah, blah, blah… Karl sucks…list: (really, I just wanna make this quick, I’ve entertained you enough today, but if you want a full rebuttal let me know)

                  Lester Conner
                  Elston Turner
                  Bill Laimbeer
                  Bill Bundenholzer
                  Keith Smart (liked him much more a few years back)
                  Brian Shaw
                  Mario Elie

                  (this list once upon a time included Larry Drew, Monty Williams, Tyrone Corbin.Thibs…all since then have become head coaches and none of them held the record of your main man GK.)

                  again if you really need reasons why these people are qualified, l’ll find that …surprising. But you can keep holding your regular season record and 14 1st round exits as qualifying criteria .

                • ItsAboutFun

                  As predicted, no substance to your response, but since you insist on this “1st round exits” babble, denying any context, the 4 guys you mention who now have head coaching experience, Larry Drew, Monty Williams, Tyrone Corbin.Thibs, have a combined head coaching playoff history of:

                  1x 3rd round exit

                  1x 2nd round exit

                  5x 1st round exits

                  3x no playoffs

                  That’s quite a distinguished coaching record you speak of, lol, but ummmmm, worse than Karl’s.

                  As for the assistants names you throw out, with zero reasoning (totally predictable), at least a few have a history of mostly no playoffs and first round exits as assistants, and one (Elston Turner) whose been interviewed, and rejected, for 6 head coaching jobs in the last 4 years, and another who doesn’t even seem to be able to hang on to an assistant job for more than a year (Mario Elie).

                  Hey, throwing out names is meaningless without some reasoning, so how about putting out with some semblance of reasoning to put your brilliance on display. What about all of these guys gives you reason to be convinced they can do better than Karl, to say nothing of justifying being such a jerk toward those who think Karl is a good coach?

                • FLUXLAND

                  OK, So now you’re HogyG (something I should have figured with the Bill reference)

                  Let’s review: because I don’t agree with your opinion of Karl, you demand a list of assistant coaches I think are “better” in an attempt to turn the conversation away from Karl’s record and performance and to disagree/discredit my opinion because they do not fit your criteria. So what exactly is the point of providing my reasoning when your’re hung up using Karl’s record as the acceptable qualification for a “better choice”? Sleazy, for sure.

                  Not to mention while completely ignoring how long they they have been head coaches in comparison to Karl. This make sense, how exactly? You’re talking about reasoning. LOL, you’re a funny guy,I’ll give you that. You talk about people debating, but you don’t have the 1st clue about it. It doesn’t mean bringing in another subject (coaches) in order to disprove/prove another, just because you’ve failed to convince someone that your argument is valid. (and the only thing you think validates your argument is stats)

                  What you’re ignoring is what I have been saying all along: we have a difference in opinion based on stats. You look at his stats and claim for him to be a success story. I look at the RESULTS and believe the opposite. My opinion of other coaches or assistants doesn’t change that in the slightest, contrary to how you may want to spin this.

                  Fun stuff, p00ka. And predictable, as always. And being a jerk? Are you kidding me? Do you read the stuff you post towards the bloggers and poster? Spare me.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  There doesn’t seem to be any point to this conversation, so why doesn’t everyone move on, please.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Yeah, pretty much what I just said in the last post, no?

                • HogyG

                  Let the record show I am a separate entity. I don’t know who either of you are, but clearly you both know each other much better. Sorry to get in the middle of some rivalry, I was simply agreeing with a position on a particular thread, perhaps next one I will have the other’s back instead.

                  That said, I like a few of the names on your list, and would like to think some of them may be upgrades from Casey (or at least an interesting alternative). I have no problem to let go of my opinions of “my main man GK” (that made me feel a little like Ahmed Rashad BTW, thanks.) as apparently Tim W. seems to want “everyone to move on” (which is fair, I don’t want no trouble boss.). I can play nice, so if I was rude at all to you FLUXLAND I apologize, though for the record I clearly think Karl’s a pretty good choice. Consider me moved on.

                  At any rate, I had posted a few days back on this thread, that, even though I may be considered crazy, I would like to see the triangle used with the talent we’ve currently acquired (along with some tweaks naturally). I was quickly told that the triangle offense is going the way of the do-do, however I wasn’t convinced is was due to anything other than understanding it and taking time to break things down back to the basics, buy into hard work (players) and a willingness to allow time for the system to work and be properly learned (fans). The article given to prove its extinction pushed towards the league’s growing adoption of a more “D’antoni” style offense that builds it’s offense around the 3 pointer and quick transitions (likely due to the ease in which to teach it and insert new players into the lineup, and it’s obvious crowd pleasing style and pace). Shaw is someone who has been rumored to be able utilize the triangle offense and perhaps would bring it if given the right circumstances and personnel.

                  I gotta imagine that Laimbeer would be good in the development of our bigs like JV or even Acy as well as refine others like Amir. With his background of the Detroit Bay Boys of old, I could only imagine he would help create a tough-nosed and resilient team. He also won championships in his playing career as well as a head coach in the WNBA I believe, which shows he knows what it takes both as a player and a coach to win it all.

                  Is this how you see them? Personally, I’m not really a fan of Elie (as a coach), or Keith Smart (I prefer Keith Murray) and don’t have an understanding of the others enough to have an opinion on them one way or the other. How do you feel about a coach like Nate McMillan, I believe he is available as well? Any interest there?

    • vino

      if the plan to “build this the right way” includes blowing this up… Casey is the coach for this year and maybe one more; then, when the team core has been identified, bring in top notch coach – Sloan/Karl/?

  • SR

    I agree with keeping Casey for a year (in spite of risking a “lame-duck coach” season) because management doesn’t know what direction they’re going to take this roster yet. That means that none of us knows what coach is a good fit for this team going forward. Fit is critical – just ask the Lakers.

    Give the roster some time to shake out and start moving in a new direction, then examine whether or not Casey is the guy to take that roster (not this one) to the next level.

    The Raptors do not need another 2-season coaching experiment.

  • PBJake

    Scott Brooks is a top-5 coach? Please.

    • Tom

      Agreed. Thunder are not going to climb any higher unless 2 things happen 1. New Coach 2. Defensive Center that can put in buckets.

  • Danny95

    you definitely have to put mark jackson over casey

    • Statement

      Mark jackson is too low and Scott Brooks is too high.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    I have to add my name to list proclaiming Brooks is rated way too high. And I think Spolestra and Carlisle are rated too low.

    And there’s no way in hell I would put Casey over Mark Jackson or Monty Williams, who I think could be several slots higher.

    Casey has shown he can be a good defensive coach, but he’s a poor in-game tactician, he doesn’t develop players well, his whole “hold players accountable” thing never seemed to actually be true, he’s not a good offensive coach and worst of all, he hasn’t actually shown much, if any, improvement over his two years as a Raptor coach.

    I would say those are all good reasons to move on, although I have no problem with keeping him another year if the Raptors are going to tank.

    • sleepz

      Brooks and Hollins over Carlisle is blasphemy.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        I forgot about Hollins. Yes. Totally agree.

        • mountio

          agree 100% on carlisle being top 3 or 4. Brooks is pretty bad (just has great players) .. that was shown this year in the playoffs.
          I also agree with your first post, except for the part “if the raps are going to tank” .. because we have seen that casey will do idiot things like play AA over Ross or AG over JV to squeak out a meaningless win. If we are tanking .. let the young guys play .. and casey doesnt have the DNA to do it

  • Bendit

    George Karl merits a ranking, no?

  • oi

    Casey’s fine I think. He just needs to get better on drawing up better plays in late game scenarios. Also he’s gotta learn to roll with the hot hand

  • matt

    He’s gone if the Raps aren’t in the playoffs next year

  • elkabong

    “Nobody can tell me with a straight face that, given the quality of the roster, the Raptors underperformed”
    i may be just a fan and far from a basketball expert but i’ll state that with the straightest of faces.this was not a team that scratched and clawed it’s way to 34 wins but rather a .500 team that flittered and fluttered many games away. i don’t know if there are stats that show 2nd half leads of 10+ points that were blown but it seemed to me we had plenty. you can look up game stats on the 9 overtime games that we went 2-7 on BTW and 7 of those we had leads in regulation.we also seemed to have many other leads that were blown and while we were never a threat for a title,making the playoffs seemed a very reasonable possibility to me. Casey appeared to me to have little to no in game management skills and was overmatched and outcoached in many of those losses. i also thought his lineup choices were poor in many cases and while being obsessed with matching the other guy he went small ball way too often for my liking.instead of playing what seemed to me to be our obvious best lineup after the big trade of Val-Amir-Rudt-Demar-Lowry he slaps Rudy at the 4 on a pretty regular basis. he’s gonna let Anderson chuck up 9-10 shots a game? he’s gonna staple Jonus to the bench for a whole bunch of 4th quarters? this you can look up and he played in 62 games and has stats for 59 3rd quarters and a dismal 36 games played in the 4th quarter so that’s developing our young talent? whether the decision is to retool or rebuild i don’t see him fitting either scenario as a head coach


  • wes mantooth

    mark jackson is a much better coach the casey. so is mike brown for that matter

    • Nilanka15

      Mike Brown’s pretty bad. His offensive philosophy is taken from a Fresh Prince episode. “Pass it to Will (LeBron)”.

      • mountio

        as compared to the caseys? … which I cant even define ..

  • RaptorFan

    I was just about to say that Mark Jackson is a better coach than Dwane Casey…lol

  • RaptorFan

    Casey refused to play Valenciunas in soooo MANY 4th Quarters this past season…….Personally, I think any good coach would see that JV is more useful than Gray or EVEN Bargs over an entire period (especially when the game is on the line). Casey’s insistence on playing AB over ED and JV in sooooo many games after they were having good games and AB was playing like shit is unforgivable and warrants a firing. He is the coach and is supposed to be accountable for his decisions JUST as he wants his players to be accountable.
    However, I would also be okay in giving him this last year to see if he learned anything from BC’s demotion. No excuses….get it done or your GONE.

  • Van Grungy

    Popovich will be better ranked with what he does post-Duncan

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Popovich is one of the best coaches of all time. Period. Yes, he’s been fortunate to have Tim Duncan, but make no mistake, the way he designs the Spurs offense and defense, and the way he’s ALTERED them over the years, the way he develops players and uses role players, the way he can adjust his plays depending on what his opponent is doing, puts Popovich on another level for just about any coach in the league.

      • Van Grungy

        that’s nice, I’m going to reserve my judgement to see if it’s him or his luck

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Unless it’s Tim Duncan designing the offense and defense himself, I don’t need to see the team without him. I can see it for myself by just watching.

    • WhiteVegas

      You’re off your rocker here. Pop has made the Spurs a contender for 16 straight years. You don’t do that based on luck.

      • Van Grungy

        luck is getting to draft Duncan.
        Tim may have disagreed, but he didn’t misunderstand what I meant.

        • 2damkule

          by that ‘logic,’ every winning team has simply been lucky to have drafted / otherwise acquired the talent required to win. you should probably just stop, before you try to expand and embarrass yourself further.

          • Van Grungy

            Luck is also Duncan staying his whole career.

            stick it up your ass you arrogant jerk

            • Bendit

              Tim Duncan does not exist in a vacuum in SA. He continued to stay with the Spurs because he was assured of fundamentals important to maintaining a good and competitive basketball team….great management of the franchise and a great coach. TD no doubt probably sacrificed larger contracts by staying but Popovich (who has also great say in personnel decisions) I believe, had much to do with TD staying. They are complimentary in many ways.

              • Van Grungy

                Imagine how many Championships Boston would have today had they snagged Duncan.

                • Bendit

                  No, I am afraid I cant. They tanked to get TD and failed. I dont believe Pitino is an NBA coach…he loves beating up on college boys and did not last. Besides TD had Robinson as mentor and player when he joined the Spurs. The Celtics were pretty bad at the time and imo TD getting drafted by the Spurs good for him & the NBA.

  • golden

    The list is completely the wrong way to look at it and totally biased towards making him look good (i.e. currently ’employed’ coaches). The better way to look at it is to make a list of all active and/or available coaches who Casey is clearly BETTER than. I can only come up with: Keith Smart, Mike Dunlap, Mike D’Antoni, Randy Wittman and Lawrence Frank. And you can even make excuses that some of those guys have seen better days or just had bad talent last year.

    Ranking who-is-worse-than-Casey makes even more sense, given the fact that there are a ton of great coaches on the sidelines (JVG, SVG, Phil, Larry Brown, Sloan, …. just of the top of my head). IMO, even Smitch was at least as good, if not better than Casey. Casey is OK, but the point is that OK represents a third tier coach nowadays, given the supply-demand dynamics in the coaching market.

    Mark Jackson lower than Casey? C’mon.

  • Nilanka15

    Who’s this “Zarar Siddiqi” charlatan? Where’s Arse???

    • golden

      LOL. You should never mess with your brand, although a few rare stars like P-Diddy can pull it off. Arse is probably shopping the website for a buyout by USA Today sports and the bloggers want to get their ‘real’ names out there when they hit the big leagues. If so, more power to them. Thanks to RR, I never even have to think about reading Doug Smith’s sorry excuse for a basketball column.

      • arsenalist

        Dude, I am Zarar, and trust me, I have ZERO aspirations to do anything with sports professionally. If I really wanted to be a “reporter”, I would’ve made it happen years ago.

        • golden

          You have talent. You should think about it.

          • 2damkule

            why? so he’s ‘legit?’

  • HogyG

    I’m glad you started this post with words from our new GM because they show how well he has already begun to handle the situation of the Raptors head coaching position. Generally, when a new GM comes into a franchise they want to fill it with their own personnel, because at the end of the day it’s the GM’s neck that is out on the line for the results that his subordinates produce. This is why Ujiri quickly released the majority of the staff chosen by BC so he can insert people he trusts in the weeks ahead.

    When looking at Casey, he smartly wants to measure his options with the team before he decides to move forward with him at the helm or thank him for his time and let him go. Ujiri’s statement shows both confidence in coach Casey along with the willingness to release him, and make no mistake this is by design.

    Yesterday, I clicked on the link you guys have to Tim Leiweke’s interview on the Tim and Sid show and enjoyed it and what he had to say. During a portion of the interview, Tim mentioned that he has sat down with Ujiri and talked at great length about what to do with the team. Basically they have three scenarios, one where they tank and rebuild through the draft, one where they make a couple of roster changes and make a run with the pieces they have, and their third is a hybrid combination of the first two. As Ujiri continues to evaluate the talent on our team and refines his plan for its future, the decision of which route to take will ultimately decide whether or not to keep coach Casey.

    When I look to evaluate the coach’s performance the past two seasons for the Raptors, I first think to the lockout season and the large improvement he made in the team’s overall defensive presence and intensity. I liked his philosophy of “pound the rock” to get better, which began creating a mentality within our young core to persevere. I respected the fact that he was out right in saying that everyone on this team has to grow and learn including himself, leaving himself vulnerable to be criticized for perhaps not knowing his craft as well he should. Despite that he took a team that in 2010-11 had a disgusting .268 win% (22-60) and improved it in his first year to .333 (22-44) in an addition by subtraction kind of way.

    When this past season began with the acquisitions of Lowry and Fields, I rightfully expected to see another defensive improvement over the lockout season, as they were brought in (in part) to improve the defensive presence at the point and wing positions. Coach Casey would also have his first full preseason and training camp with his team . As we all know, the team struggled to find an “identity” and began the season 4-19 digging a large hole to work their way out of. Casey resorted to relying upon Jose to run the floor like the professional veteran he is, and opted to sit the newly acquired Lowry until he could gain some discipline and make better team decisions.

    Coach Casey also chose to run with the veterans in his squad in general at that time (perhaps the reason we acquired Pietrus at one point?), and tightened his rotation early in the season to try and dig his way out and found some success, giving the fans hope once again. However, the cost for this was not developing our new young talents as Jonas, T-Ross and Acy found themselves consistently riding the pine. Meanwhile, BCs newly acquired starting point guard sat alongside them. This put some extra heat under the seat of BC who decided to make some moves in the hopes to impress the public,force his newly acquired point guard into some floor time and perhaps save his job. Out goes Calderon and Ed Davis, in comes Rudy Gay and sometime later Sebastian Telfair.

    After a short burst of success, the Raptors found themselves once again struggling in a battle to find consistency on a nightly basis. We would hear Matt Devlin begin to remind the public, seemingly every third quarter, about the growing amount of losses after relinquishing double-digit leads in the fourth quarter, and the numbers continued to grow. Down the stretch of the season Coach Casey decided to give the rookies some extra run, this is where we saw the first signs of what the future may hold for JV. TDotFlight31 had won the dunk contest, but he then began to struggle from behind the arc and couldn’t find consistent effort in his game, while the coach seemed unable to help him through it.

    Casey continued tinkering with his lines, match ups and rotations, which in my opinion ended up being the downfall for the team and its chances to make the playoffs. He made poor decision by consistently placing guards and wing players in power positions (AA, Gay, Fields), or ran with four guards (something that a team with four high quality guards could get away with, just not this team) or he sat guys for long stretches when they were hot because they were entering foul trouble despite being down in a close contest. He admitted that he focused more on offense then the defense this year, which to me is rather sad since his entry level offensive schemes were too easy to break down by his opponents, his in-bounding plays were nonexistent, and the thing that got everyone excited about the Raptors the year before was their defensive presence, which was now inconsistent at best. Despite all this he ended up this year improved once again, having the win % up to .415 (34-48) leaving the team only 4 games out of the playoffs.

    It’s amazing to think that after all that crap this season, the team managed to be only four games out of the playoff hunt. When I look at that, I believe those four missing games fall on Casey’s shoulders more than anyone else. I’m not saying he doesn’t have excuses, between the referees, the injuries, the personnel changes, the growing pains, inconsistencies and all the unreasonable expectations the GM and fans put on the team, there’s more than enough reasons why his coaching could have fallen short.

    For those who defend Casey’s lack of offensive schemes with the fact that he was chosen on his defensive merits I bring this; in the lockout season the Raptors scored an average of 90.7 points per game while allowing their opponents only 94 points per game (9th). However, this year the Raps increased their output to 97.2 points per game while allowing their opponents to score a whopping 98.7 points per game (17th). What this says to me is that while his focus on offense brought the difference in the scores closer together, it also allowed nearly 5 more points per game. It’s also hard not to wonder whether the conditioning of the average player coming in to the lockout season had something to do with the lower totals and added success of the defense.

    Still at the end of the day, when you look at the history of the NBA, we generally see that with new management comes a new coaching staff that they believe in. Ultimately, I believe that is the way this will go, It’s unfortunate for coach Casey because despite all his shortcomings he IS a decent coach, and two years at the helm is rarely enough time to institute any real change to the culture of the team and show what your system is capable of.

    If I was the Burger King and could “have it my way”, I would try to work it out in a way that I could bring in George Karl as the head coach and slide Dwayne Casey into the assistant role.that way they could both focus on what they do best Karl on offense and Casey on D. this would give our team the best chance for success out on the floor every single night. I realize this is unlikely, and therefore I would still lean towards bringing in someone new and releasing Casey. Call me crazy, but I would love to see someone come in and run the triangle offense with the group of players currently on our roster.

    • Bendit

      Triangle? How many/who on the Raptors is even a marginal post threat. I doubt if Phil Jackson were to coach here he would employ that system because of the personnel or lack of. I doubt anyone actually uses the system today.


      • HogyG

        First off, I said to call me crazy, not question my choices. haha.

        That said, JV clearly showed a lot of raw skill in the post in the second half of the season, something that would perhaps garner a title of “marginal post threat’ with some obvious room to grow into that title as well, Lowry showed a desire and ability at times to post up PG’s and use his strength as an advantage. If we ran Fields as the backup point (something seen in NY due to injuries) he would have a real size advantage and already seems comfortable with his back to the basket. I wouldn’t call Gay inept in the post either. Are any of them great post threats? Perhaps not. Would it take time for the team to learn and become effective? Perhaps so. Would the Raptor fan base have the patience to fine tune the change? Doubtful.

        But if you read the article you attached, you will see that the reason the writer claims no one uses the triangle is because it takes time to learn, where you have to go back to the basic fundamentals with most professional players. Something that today’s player isn’t willing to buy into (working on the basics of the game and increasing their basketball IQ instead of playing ball) It is NOT that it isn’t effective. This statement remains true for the coaches around the league as well (again according to your attached article) they don’t learn it because it goes against the systems they grew up with or their beliefs in a PG dominated game.

        Besides, I was feeling the system more to create spacing for both Gay and DeRozen, so they can be used more effectively (with one on either side of the floor) while still giving players like JV touches and a chance to grow. It would also utilize someone like Fields (which we need to do a better job of) who has a high IQ as well as a good set of passing skills, as do a few others like Amir for example who has also developed a consistent mid range shot.

        You’re in luck though… it’s not my decision decision to make. Go Ujiri!

  • mountio

    this list is WAAAAY to optimistic in terms of Casey’s standing.

    Brown, Dantoni, Woodson, WilIIiams and Jackson at a minimum should be ranked ahead of casey. That puts him somewhere 16th-20th .. which seems about right.
    Sure, Mike D was stubborn in LA in terms of refusing to coach around the players he had .. but you have to remember both LA and the Knicks chose him over pretty much anyone else (including Phil Jackson). Has to count for something.
    Similar comment for Brown.
    As for Casey, he literally has no offensive scheme. None whatsoever and apparently no sign of achieving one. Mike D might be stubborn in sticking to his system .. but at least its a system.
    Its embarrassing. Hes a decent motivator and middle of the road defensive coach, yes. Hes a great assistant for that reason. Head coach however, he is not. On top of that, he has a bias (from his assistant days) towards riding vets and not playing rookies in key situations (or even remotely key situations). This is exactly the opposite of what he need with a team that needs to develop its young talent.
    Super nice guy, great assisant, but for many reasons .. he has to go.

  • NyAlesund

    Fire him (Casey) now. No excuse for the poor job his done.

  • FAQ

    I think (yes I do), you must first determine whether the current edition of the Ratpors are a team under construction or destruction…. BIG difference…. and then you decide who is best to coach…. otherwise yer all fartin’ in the wind.

  • Raps Loyalist

    Rick Carlisle and Erik Spoelstra should be higher. Jackson and Woodson were better than Casey last season by a large margin.