After the absolute drubbing the Raptors received against the Warriors, yesterday, one hot topic of discussion has become how long Dwane Casey will remain head coach of the Raptors. In fact, by the time you read this the Raptors may have a new coach.

According to the incredibly scientific poll1 conducted here, 40% of Raptor fans believe Casey won’t even last through the current road trip (they play at Los Angeles and Phoenix before heading home to play San Antonio) without getting axed by Masai Ujiri.

On a personal note, there was a closeup of Casey at one point during the Warriors comeback in the fourth, and I felt bad for him. He LOOKED like a guy who knew he was on borrowed time. Casey certainly isn’t a good head coach, but he’s apparently a good guy and anyone losing their job is sad. He is a hard worker who has the right attitude. He just doesn’t seem to have the talent.

Casey was hired two and a half years ago to great fanfare and optimism. Coming off a Championship as the defensive coach for the Mavericks, Casey promised to instil a defensive mindset among the players and change the culture. This was music to the ears of Raptor fans who had seen far too many poor to mediocre coaches, throughout it’s history, leading poor to mediocre teams.


The first thing Casey did was place a 1300 pound boulder inside the locker room to symbolize the new mentality the team was expected to take. While the “pound the rock” mantra was definitely not new in the NBA, Greg Popovich was the first to use it, Casey took it to new heights with an actual rock.

In his first season, the new attitude seemed to take hold, and team went from the 30th Defensive Rating in the League to the 14th (not great, but still a big improvement) and ended up winning more games than most, including Bryan Colangelo, expected.

While fans were still debating about the roster, the GM and the direction of the team, optimism was high about the coach for the first time in a long time.

Fast forward to today, and I’m not sure whether a Raptor coach’s stock has been lower. And that’s saying a lot. Jay Triano wasn’t well liked by the end, but at least you could point to a few positives and to a roster that really had no chance of success, no matter who was in charge.


Under Casey, this year, the team’s biggest foundation piece, Jonas Valanciunas, has regressed and can’t seem to find the floor during the fourth quarter, the offense is just a series of isolation plays that result in a bunch of contested long jumpers, and there hasn’t been a game this season that Casey hasn’t been out-coached by his counterpart.

And the only argument to NOT fire Casey seems to be that he’s actually helping the team tank.

So without getting into what the team should or shouldn’t do, in that respect, let’s take a look at the options the Raptors have….


At this point, the only reason the team should keep Casey as the head coach is if the goal is to get a top pick in the upcoming draft. And while it might sound like a joke, that actually might be a good reason to keep Casey. Casey, himself, is responsible for at least a couple of the team’s losses this year. Keeping him on might just go a long way to reducing the win total for the team over the course of the season.

On the other hand, in both seasons that Casey has been head coach, the team has played much better in the second half than the first half, so there’s a risk the Raptors, under Casey, could see an improvement in play at the worse time. Again, if the team’s goal is for a high draft pick.

Plus, there’s also the not so little issue of Jonas Valanciunas’ lack of development, this year. While with the Raptors, Casey has shown a lack of ability to develop young talent, especially big men. Ed Davis only got consistent minutes when Casey had no choice but to play him, despite playing well in the limited and inconsistent playing time he did receive.

I don’t see how Casey can last much longer, though. The team is playing poorly, he’s not developing his players well, and the fans want his head.



Whenever a team has a head coaching vacancy, the majority of fans want a coach they’ve heard of. And that usually means an experienced head coach. Raptor fans aren’t any different.

It makes sense. If you know a coach is pretty good, then you choose him over a complete unknown who might just be a continuation of the coaching carousel that has been the Raptors organization.

In the comments section of one of the articles, one reader (whose name I can’t remember, and I apologize for not crediting him) pointed out that of the eight coaches the Raptors have had, six had never been head coaches in the NBA before. And it’s not as if the team has had a whole lot of success, in the coaching department, so the argument was that the Raptors needed to go with a coach who had a successful track record, this time.

There have been a number of names thrown around, but the most common ones have been Jeff and Stu Stan Van Gundy<sup”>2, Lionel Hollins and George Karl. I don’t think anyone else should be in the conversation. Some coaches, like Byron Scott, Scott Skiles and Doug Collins have failed too many times to consider.

And keep in mind that the Raptor head coaching position isn’t the only one rumoured to be soon available. The Knicks, Nets and Cavs head coaches are probably keeping uHaul on speed dial, at the moment.


Van Gundy is already making plenty of money in broadcasting, so money is not going to entice him to step into a coaching role. And now he’s being mentioned as a possible replacement on the Knicks bench if and when Woodson gets fired. He always regretted leaving the Knicks and this would be a possible way to return, but only if he was given say in personnel decisions.

Toronto isn’t the prime destination that the Knicks are, and have little on the roster to entice Van Gundy out of broadcasting, so I see little chance he’s a possibility.



Like his brother, Stu Stan is comfortable in broadcasting, right now. And without an enticing situation, it’s doubtful he’ll want to drop everything to take over a team as poorly constructed as the Raptors.

Besides, while Van Gundy has seen success, he’s also been heavily criticized during both his coaching tenures. In both Miami and Orlando, it was claimed he would crack under too much pressure, which is not a trait you want you team to take after.

Either way, I don’t see Van Gundy agreeing to take over the Raptors.


Fans of Hollins point to the job he did in Memphis, and he did do a fine job there. He took a struggling team and helped turned it around, on the court, eventually coaching them to the Conference Finals. His teams play hard-nosed defense and seem to overachieve, so it looks like an obvious fit.

Unfortunately, Hollins doesn’t exactly have a great record in terms of developing players, especially big men. Thabeet never should have been drafted where he was, but he regressed after a subpar rookie season. Ed Davis has not shown the promise he did while in Toronto. Several young players have gone on to more success after leaving Memphis. Even Gay was basically the same player he was at the end of his tenure in Memphis as at the beginning.


And then there is the issue of analytics. In this day and age, coaches need to be open to analytics, even if they don’t fully embrace them. Even the old school Popovich is well known for changing strategies based on what the numbers tell him. Despite the most success the team has ever had, Hollins was let go from an organization that is moving towards analytics.

Successful organizations have a GM and a coach who are completely in tune with one another, and if Hollins is averse to analytics, then I’m not sure he’s the right man for the job.


A lot of Raptor fans seem to think Karl and Ujiri have a great relationship because he was Ujiri’s coach in Denver, but Ujiri never hired Karl, and the team never did poorly enough to give reason to fire him. At this point it’s impossible to know what the relationship is between them.

The thing about Karl is his teams always achieved plenty of regular season success, but usually underperformed in the playoffs. That in itself is troubling, especially knowing that Karl isn’t the greatest coach at making adjustments when they need to be made. You just have to watch the Denver-Golden State series to see plenty of examples of that.

It’s true that Karl’s teams usually are exciting, that’s not a reason to hire him.

Atlanta Hawks v Denver Nuggets

The biggest reason not to hire Karl, though, is he’s never left an organization on good terms. And that’s a problem if you’re trying to create a stable organization. One thing Karl has never seemed to learn is when to keep things in house. He routinely takes his gripes with players and management to the media, and there is usually far more drama surrounding his teams than there should be.

Karl is also 62 years old, a year younger than Lenny Wilkins was when he took over the Raptors. I don’t think getting a coach on the tail end of his career is the best idea for an organization that is is still years away from contending. This is the same reason I’d never consider Jerry Sloan, despite me being a huge fan of his coaching career.


While hiring someone fans don’t know might not make them happy, teams are more likely to find great coaches, nowadays, by searching through the assistant files than finding an out of work head coach.

Tom Thibodeau, Frank Vogel, Greg Popovich and Eric Spoelstra, who are four of the top probably five or six coaches in the league are all coaching their first NBA team. And of the teams that seem to be performing better than expected, most have head coaches who are new to the job. Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, Denver’s Brian Shaw, Orlando’s Jacque Vaughn, Phoenix’s Jeff Hornacek, Philadelphia’s Brett Brown and even Boston’s Brad Stevens all have impressed with their coaching ability and look to be the new wave of successful coaches.


The problem with the Raptors is not that they’ve hired too many coaches without head coaching experience. The problem is they’ve hired too many below average head coaches.

And just because fans haven’t heard of a coach, doesn’t mean he’s going to be a worse prospect than someone you’ve heard of.

Seven different Chicago head coaches have taken the Bulls to, at least, the second round of the playoffs. All but one had never been an NBA head coach before, including Tom Thibodeau and Phil Jackson.

The most likely scenario, though, is that if Casey is let go, one of his assistants will simply move up as interim head coach. In a season like this one, there’s no real point in trying to bring in someone mid-season. Other teams don’t tend to let their assistants go in the middle of the season, so the pool of talent to choose from is pretty small. And the Raptors aren’t in a position that would require someone to come in right away and turn things around, because they simply don’t have the talent to do that.

The best scenario is to wait until next summer, when the Raptors will (hopefully) be in a better position than they are in now to attract a head coach, and cast their net as big as possible.

  1. The poll is most definitely NOT scientific.
  2. Wouldn’t it be great if the Van Gundy brothers coached together, like the Wachowskis (who aren’t actually brothers, anymore, but brother and sister- I hope one of the Van Gundy’s doesn’t get a sex change operation, because both of them would make UGLY women)? That would be the price of admission right there. The press conferences would sell out.

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  • jjdynomite

    I for one am pleased to see Casey stay on until after December 15th, when he will be even more out of his element (game planning) after Masai starts trading some players and Casey has no clue to change on the fly, as the latest in-game situations have clearly demonstrated. Back to being a defensive assistant coach somewhere for him.

    Ultimately, I think Hollins is a good fit. Hollins may not have developed Thabeet (who has developed nowhere, other than 5 adequate games on OKC last season), and Ed Davis had been buried post-trade with Gasol and Z-Bo eating minutes — but as last night’s game has shown, Davis has produced when given minutes.

    However, both Z-Bo (prior to Hollins’ hire, an offence-only malcontent for his entire career) and Gasol (an overweight unknown) grew into All Star-calibre players under Hollins’ watch; Darrell Arthur also showed promise and growth. So let the front-office handle the analytics, which would start by jettisoning Rudy before his buddy Hollins gets on-board.

    I need to add that this is case in point how Tim W. cherrypicks information to suit his argument that all potential replacements are poor choices, which might work on a debate team, but not in an ostensibly fair article that’s supposed to explore coaching options.

    • Ian Reynolds

      Davis produced when given minutes – what does that have to do with Hollins being a good coach? He wouldn’t even play him for more than 3 minutes a night. Hollins is gone, they have a new coach, who played Ed, and he played to what he should be playing to. Hollins had no effect on that aside from delaying it.

      • jjdynomite

        Ian, you do realize last season the Grizzlies weren’t in the “tank and develop players mode”, they were jockeying for playoff positioning, which is why Gasol (35 minutes) and Randolph (34+ minutes) played so much. That would have left Ed — again, a developing player who was traded to them mid-season — 27 minutes, IF he was the ONLY Big on the roster (but the Griz also had Speights, Arthur, Haddadi, at various times of the year). So the fact that the Griz improved each consecutive year that Hollins was at the helm, turning MGasol and Randolph into high-Win Share players with defensive acumen, isn’t enough for you?

        • AB4EYE

          The Memphis front office requested that he play Davis more and he didn’t want to because he was mad they traded Rudy. The fact he got fired after a franchise record in wins a trip to the WCF and wasn’t hired yet should show some major red flags.

          • jjdynomite

            Hollins wasn’t “fired”, his contract lapsed and was not renewed; Karl wasn’t renewed either, who has a much longer track record of success. When new management comes in, often changes like this are made. I wouldn’t hold that against Hollins. Anyway, that’s the last I’ll say on this.

            • AB4EYE

              That’s just a nice way of being fired because Hollins wanted to come back and they didn’t want him.

              Karl was fired because he got bounced in the first round 8 of 9 seasons with Denver. You don’t get kicked to the curb after a franchise best record season and longest playoff run in franchise history and then get passed over for every NBA job for the next year without there being more to the story

              Hollins and Casey are very similar coaches give DC the Memphis starting 5 and LH ours and the views on these guys would be drastically different despite them being on the same level in pure coaching.

          • bobjoe

            He wasn’t fired. He didn’t play Davis because he didn’t like him as a player. You don’t know anything about him as a coach.

            • AB4EYE

              Like I said before he wasn’t fired by definition but he was still thown out like the trash and if he had a contract he still wouldn’t been welcome back. He still lives in Memphis and wanted to still be there but they wanted no part of him coming off a year he won the franchises record in wins and went deeper in the playoffs than any other team in Gizz history.

              If he was a good coach someone would have him on the sidelines by now, but In reality he’s a mediocire coach at best who got boosted by the FO giving a 3 great DPOY quality players to go with a Double-Double machine like Z-Bo,.

              The players made him! Hollins is Casey without the Grit and Grind defensive players.

            • robertparrish00

              Can we get Davis back now?

        • Ian Reynolds

          He was acting like a petulant baby because of the Rudy deal, and he’s clearly ignorant to the reasoning behind it. As others have mentioned, he didn’t want to play Ed because he was pouting. The team didn’t want him around the players anymore with him being like that, privately and publicly.

          Yes, Gasol and ZBo turned into pretty good players, but we have no way of knowing how much of that was him and how much of that was them. They’ve both put in a ton of work.

          You’re right not to hold the “new management comes in and makes changes” against Hollins, but you have to remember he basically whined and bitched about the new management from the second they got there, because he wanted everything to be his way.

          And he’s exactly the Pro-Rudy-type coach that would sit guys that need to develop long term so he can win a meaningless November game against the Kings on this awful non-playoff squad we have.

          You’re right that they weren’t in “tank and develop” mode. But the fact of the matter is he let his personal biases screw over a budding young stud, and that young stud’s big game 6 months after the coach was let go has NOTHING to do with his coaching abilities.

          • bobjoe

            Hollins is very pro Rudy and cares about winning in November more than developing players (one of many reasons he was let go). Look at a history of their roster and where the players came from. Mike Conley is the only one he deserves credit for.

        • bobjoe

          Ed Davis didn’t play because Hollins thought he was undersized and had a bad attitude.

    • bobjoe

      Marc Gasol was an allstar in Spain, Zach Randolph still plays horrible defense and doesn’t pass much (and Hollins didn’t like him), he liked Arthur a lot but injuries prevented much development (Thabeet was a horrible example in the first place), he didn’t like Lowry, Tony Allen, OJ Mayo, Sam Young, and a bunch of other pretty good former/current Grizz players and propspects. The only person he deserves credit for developing is Mike Conley, a number 4 pick.

      Hollins is a marginal improvement over Casey, but ultimately more the same. ‘Let the offense just happen’

      • bobjoe

        correction, Marc was the MVP of the Spanish league. People knew he’d probably be pretty good (just not fantastic)

        • jjdynomite

          Holy revisionist history Batman. No, “people” did NOT know MGasol would be good outside of the Euroleagues. Case in point: Then Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace was killed by fans and the media for the PGasol trade.

          The fact that Hollins “didn’t like” this or that player is wholly irrelevant. How about the fact that in his full 3 seasons Hollins was 46-36 (2nd round playoffs), 41-25 (strike shortened, first round playoffs) and 56-26 (Western Conference Finals?)

          How can you say he “let the offense just happen” when it runs through a frickin’ C half the time?! Are you seriously comparing the Grizzlies offense to the Craptors iso/heroball?!?

          • AB4EYE

            The Memphis management knew and loved Marc a lot from his time living there and coming to practice with Pau and knew he would be a very goof player once he got into shape.

            He won the State player of the year in his class his senior year despite being sloppy fat. The National media when ripping Memphis didn’t know he could hoop they way he can but Memphis did it was all about him getting into NBA shape and just seen Memphis dumping a guy star to LA and handing them the ring.

            But that trade made Memphis. They got Marc, Dumped Pau who was too soft to be the main guy, opened up money for Z-Bo. The picks lead to them get Darrell Arthur who after his time there they turned into Kosta Koufos who is now starting after Marc injury. They also got Greivis Vasquez who was good in playoff run when they beat the Spurs they turned him into Quincy Pondexter who was a major player off the bench in last years playoff run. They also flipped Javaris Crittenton who they got from LA to Washington to keep a conditional first round pick they owed the Wizard for Juan Carlos Navarro. Crittenton went on to lose his mind and was indited on Murder.

  • Name

    casey has to go cause he’s gonna improve in 2nd half of season, this is the trend with him, shit the bed out of the gates then scramble some wins later on. HOW LONG THIS TEAMS GONNA TEASE

  • Ian Reynolds

    Hollins is a terrible fit – an old guard, who cares about analytics guy. He worships Rudy and the team would only be even more awful to be around, and to watch, and to root for.

    Stan Van Gundy would be interesting, as he could maybe work with Jonas to become more powerful, and he took a Magic team and shocked Lebron to the finals.

    Unfortunately, Casey’s best bet would be to be an assistant coach that oversaw the defence, which at this point helps us zero percent, because we need a head coach to run a team. I love the guy but he’s shown it’s not him.

  • Bears

    Casey is not going anywhere this season as per Masai Ujiri (SportsNet Interview Nov 19)

    I’m betting on him being replaced this summer.

  • Stu Jackson

    What about Nate Mcmillan

    • He’s a decent coach. Not great, but decent. Is he really any better than what the Raptors have right now?

      • robertparrish00

        Question with Question…Can he draw up an inbounds play?

      • joe

        What about Lawrence? Is there an opportunity here?

    • Nilanka15

      I like the idea of McMillan.

      Lawrence Frank too. Although he’s got plenty of years left on his Nets deal, he’s been demoted cuz of his feud with Kidd. And if memory serves correctly, Frank was one of the finalists for the Raptors job before Colangelo ultimately decided on Casey.

  • AB4EYE

    I would go Karl his style of coaching seems like it would fit our roster best.

  • OakTree

    I just don’t see that Casey needs to be replaced. The team is performing right around their talent level. The players are still playing hard, and still want to do well for him.

    In terms of player development he’s been outstanding. DeMar has turned into a heck of a player under Casey. Lowry’s maturity level has skyrocketed since playing for DC. T. Ross has shown a lot of improvement this year. Rudy has developed other aspects of his game.

    Jonas is improving too, he’s just not as good as the hype the media placed on him. Sorry to contradict the article directly but the truth needs to be told.

    Jonas still makes poor rookie decisions, has very limited offense, takes some awful shots, gets tunnel vision in the post, doesn’t read the play well on defense, gets out muscled by the opposition, turns the ball over waaay too much, sets terrible picks and screens, calls for the ball when there’s no passing lane, etc., etc.

    He will be good, but right now he really isn’t. And no, he hasn’t regressed. He was actually even worse last year. He probably plays more minutes than his production warrants.

    Also, I’m fed up with the coaching carousel in Toronto, and in the NBA in general. In my opinion, in order to implement a comprehensive system, the players need to know that the coaches are going to be working for the team probably for longer than they are.

    The team will start playing better with an easier second half schedule, and the young players are developing just fine. Bashing the coaching staff is both unnecessary and counter productive.

    • jjdynomite

      “In terms of player development he’s been outstanding.” Which is your opinion. But even if we take it as a truism, that means he’d be a great assistant coach. Being a head coach means putting your team in the best position to win games on the court on a nightly basis. We see this happening around the league with youthful teams under Hornacek, Brown, Jackson, etc. Why accept continued Casey mediocrity… after 2.25 years?

    • Jamshid

      I 2nd that. I don’t see how changing the coach will help this team right now. There should be no focus on coaching right now and all the resources that UM has, all his time and energy, should go toward deciding which direction this team wants to go and if it is tanking, trading guys like Lowry, Gay, DD and Amir. Casey is a good coach for what we have now and till the end of the year. This team has talent and Identity problems …


      Nice Try Casey

  • Dagger

    I won’t defend Casey’s record this season, but isn’t it funny how supposedly terrible coaches suddenly become great when the talent on their roster improves? Doc Rivers was probably the most maligned coach in the NBA until Allen and Garnett came to town. The reverse also applies: Woodson was widely regarded as a coach of the year candidate last season, but with different players and a ton of injuries he’s now on the hot seat. Sometimes it’s not the talent but the suitability of the roster in a particular system that shapes the perception of a coach: witness the ballad of Mike D’Antoni these last few years.

    Let’s face it: coaches are great scapegoats. Replacing a coach is easy to do, and usually the team (briefly) responds with increased effort. But in the NBA, the biggest factor behind team performance is the talent of the players. Even if you replaced Casey with Popovich, this team isn’t going anywhere meaningful without a franchise player or two.

    • Ian Reynolds

      For the most part I agree with you, but Rivers’ WAS a terrible coach for a while.. he’d use 12 guys in the first quarter because no one ever knew what was going on. He had no rotations so players were constantly lost. He did settle down and learn, but obviously KG and Ray sped that up.

  • RankorTank

    Caseys post game just got removed from the raptors site after that atrocious loss. wonder if its a sign of things to come.

  • Withnail

    In my opinion, coaching is a bit overrated. Name me one great NBA coach who didn’t also have great players playing for him. I think the best coaches in the NBA are more psychologists that are able to skilfully manage ego’s, cause lets face it, most games won in this league boil down to great players doing great things at the end of games. You can only do so much with the cards you’re dealt. Casey should be kept around if only because the Raps are one of the better defensive teams in the league. I think he’s doing what can be done with the mess BC left us and we should wait for Ujiri to make a few moves before we throw him under the bus.

    Isn’t the reason we run a lot of iso’s because we’ve got no dependable interior post presence and we’ve got two athletic wing players who can create decent looks for themselves. Might very well be the best of a lot of bad options though I’m no basketball x’s & o’s expert.

    • 2damkule

      that last part seems about right.

      • DanH

        Seems about wrong to me. We have two very good PnR big men in Jonas and Amir and never use them. Iso is the worst option every time. Defenses LOVE Iso ball. If those two athletic wings could create good looks for themselves, wouldn’t we see some good shooting numbers from them? DeMar has been good lately, but Gay has been awful, and the team as a whole has suffered from the stagnancy.

  • Giblert

    Who is Stu Van Gundy? I know of Stan Van Gundy…

    • Oops. Not sure why I kept calling him Stu, other than I’ve always been horrible with names. Thanks.

  • CrossedTheLine

    How can I become a writer for this site, I find it passionate to write for my team. I’ll be an active writer too.

  • Mexiballer

    The only way I see Casey being replaced anytime soon is if Masai has decided to hire one of the available experienced coaches for the future of this franchise. The idea that Casey will be fired before the season is out because the fans want his head doesnt make sense at all. Firing him now without a good plan in place just messes up the young players who are learning and and trying to get comfortable within the system. Masai’s patience for doing the right thing will win out before a bunch of us screaming fans wanting Casey’s firing ever will.

    • Coaches are fire mid-season all the time. Especially coaches whose teams are playing especially poorly. And it’s often games like the Golden State one that gets coaches fired.

      Personally, I have no clue whether or not Casey will be fired before the end of the season, but I think the young players lack of development along with the history of Casey-coached teams playing well at the end of the season when it doesn’t matter (and when you would rather lose games) would make me want to replace him.



    • some random guy

      I don’t know, then we have to listen to Leo the whole time during Half.

    • Nilanka15

      Much like the current season, the 2006-07 Atlantic division was terrible. Don’t be fooled by those 47 wins like Colangelo was.

      There are many candidates out there. We don’t need to recycle past failures. Let’s raise our standards.

      • FREEJV

        wtf are u talkin about have u seen the roster we had that year it was all bench players playing with bosh

        • Nilanka15

          I’m inclined to say that team won games because of the veteran leadership of Parker and Garbo (and Bosh’s coming out party), not because of Smitch’s incredible coaching.

          Like I said, we don’t need to recycle past failures.

  • Mexiballer

    Im aware that coaches are often fired during the season especially after getting off to such a poor start. And especially when you add in the collapse that we saw last night. I was giving my opinion from what I have seen and heard from Masai so far. Which is that he does not sound at all like a guy who in his first months as GM would want to create even more unpredictability and instability by firing his head coach without a very well thought out plan as to why, and as to where he is going next. And certainly not because the fan base is calling for his head on the forums. Its not a good move to start ripping up your foundation (all be it a flimsy one and one that is most likely going to be ripped up anyway) without having something in place to start replacing it with. He said several times during pre-season that there would be some tough times ahead and we needed to be patient. Im assuming he is going to be patient too and not do anything reactive that could be a mistake and cause even more turmoil. His first big decisions are to important to bow to pressure from the fans.
    Thats just my opinion. I find it hard to believe that he would fire Casey any time soon without knowing who his hire for the future is going to be first.
    I do think he will be as busy as possible at trade time. Im looking forward to seeing how that turns out

    • I agree Ujiri seems to go the patient route, and is unlikely to make any quick decisions. Basically the anti-Colangelo, which can be good and bad.

      I don’t think he would fire Casey because of the fanbase, but it’s obvious he’s done a poor job so far. I normally don’t criticize coaches, because so much of what they do we don’t even see, but his performance on the bench has been simply poor and he’s consistently out-coached by his opponent. That’s not a good sign.

      Plus, the lack of development is a big red flag that Ujiri can’t be happy with.

      As for not knowing who he’s going to hire, I don’t see why that would affect his decision. It should be clear that Casey isn’t part of the future, so the foundation he’s laid isn’t really important. And one of his assistants will give the team some continuity. Plus, it can be a tryout if Ujiri feels one of the assistants might be a candidate.

      The big problem is that keeping Casey could do more harm than good.

      • Mexiballer

        Back to my main point . I dont believe (speculation of course) that Masai has any interest in an interim coach. If he is the “stability” and solution oriented guy that I think he is, then he wants to stake out a plan and hire one, and only one long term coach to start off the beginning of this new franchise era. There are so many questions out there right now regarding the Raptors. Firing Casey now without a permanent hire doesnt answer the coaching questions at all. It only creates more questions and more instability about a franchise with a history of instability. Masai is deliberate. He is aware that the first moves need to be solid, deliberate, foundational moves. He’s looking to the long term championship aspirations that this organization has, not us fans freaking out over the current state of the team. Why create more uncertainty and questions when the goal is to demonstrate long term stability. Again..this is just my take. Well see how this plays out.

        • If Casey isn’t the long term answer, then why would putting an interim coach in for the rest of the season be any different than keeping Casey? Either way, there will be questions. If you stick an interim coach in there, at least there won’t be the constant questions of whether Casey will be extended or let go. Everyone will know that the Raptors will be in the market for a coach when the season is done.

          • Mexiballer

            It would be different with an interim coach because Masai doesnt want to create any more uncertainty for his players than there has to be right now. We all know he wants to develop them this year and for what its worth they are currently in a Casey lead development and learning system. Whether one believes that Casey is the right person for that system or that he is being effective as the leader of that system is another conversation.

            To suddenly remove Casey as the leader breaks the continuity and does effect the players and does disrupt this season. Again…this is my opinion, I dont believe Masai wants to do that, unless he can say “this is your new leader, this is our new direction.”. An interim coach doesnt get that done. Its just more uncertainty for the players and their potential growth this year. No doubt you are aware that changing horses in mid stream is not always as easy as it sounds. My thought is that for Masai its a last resort.

            • If Casey isn’t doing a good job with development, which I would argue he isn’t, then why is keeping him better for their development? To me, the most important thing right now is to make sure the young players are developing, especially Valanciunas. And I don’t see that happening. And that’s something I questioned last year, as well.

  • AxlT

    I would keep Casey around though I want him to be replaced next year with some “New blood” but I would settle for a veteran coach. I don’t think Casey’s even as bad as he seems. He’s put it on the players to stay focused. Frankly, that last game had some of the best Raptors basketball we’ve seen this season. They just couldn’t sustain their focus, they relaxed, got run over and then they panicked.

    Anyway, I would move Lowry and Gay out at almost any cost, even buy them out. Just throw Stone and Buycks out there for major minutes, give Demar, JV and Ross all the minutes they can handle. Apparently some people would refer this as tanking.

  • Ho Tep

    Nobody takes this job until the wrecking ball swings, nobody needs take the job until it does. Enjoy Casey’s press conferences for the foreseeable future.

  • steve fisher

    It is time to part ways! Although my 31 years of coaching B Ball at the high school and minor league ball basketball the all IMPORTANT FUNDAMENTALS have not changed! Over 50% of every practice focused on the execution of fundamentals. EVERY game I shudder at the number of very basic mistakes being made over and over again. Some of the more important mistakes they regularly make is not to take the EFFORT to keep between your man and the basket while always being able to see the ball. This explains why opponents shoot 60 to 75% in one or two quarters in MANY games like G STATE last night when they scored 42 pts in the last 21 minutes. Rebounding takes effort and WILL see ((Tyler H) to get the INSIDE position and BOX out the nearest opponent and your check from crashing in from the outside! Last night our future franchise player JV was on the bench as usual while the Raps earned the amazing total of 0 yes 0 rebounds for the entire quarter! This alone gave GS enough opportunities to score 42 in 21 minutes. That wound NOT have happened if the Raps followed another BASIC defensive fundamental arms straight up and the hand(s) in the face of the shooter. which most Raps especially those with limited college coaching simply have not been taught and or have been forced to OR be shown the almighty BENCH! They blow inbound plays they can`t execute ,and on offence to space themselves in open spaces making it easier for the ball handler to pass. Also they rarely seem to jab away and quickly come to the ball holding their hands up for a target. This would lead to better ball movement better shots fewer turnovers and more points. Often the ball handler has nowhere to go and ends uf getting trapped,turning it over of forcing another LOW % contested shot. See how many of our better coached opponents regularly follow these BASIC fundamentals. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH its time to promote one of our assistant coaches to interim head coach.Raps fanatic Steve Fisher

    • Grape

      You write the way a coach talks.

  • If Casey is let go, they really ought to give Nick Nurse a try. He’s already an assistant and has an excellent track record, but no NBA experience.

    I do think the marks against Casey are really building up. The line-up to start the fourth in the Golden State loss was ridiculous. The absence of organized plays is glaring. And now JV and DD are both obviously very upset with life, and they are two of the team’s most important assets. I can’t see any decent players wanting to play here until a coaching change is made, whether it’s really Casey’s fault or not. That’s just the way it is.

  • Amigo

    Never forget

    by Zarar Siddiqi June 7, 2013

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

    Gregg Popovich
    Tom Thibodeau
    Doc Rivers
    Frank Vogel
    Scott Brooks
    Lionel Hollins
    Erik Spoelstra
    Rick Carlisle
    Kevin McHale
    Larry Drew
    Mark Jackson
    Monty Williams
    Mike Woodson
    Terry Stotts
    Tyrone Corbin
    Randy Wittman
    Jacque Vaughn
    Mike D’Antoni
    Mike Brown

    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.

    Really ?

    • beaverboi

      Where’s Jason Kidd??

      • mike, prague

        That was June 7th … he was just a retired player at the time.

  • some random guy

    Casey reacts to much to what the other Coach does, in terms, that if the other team is going small, Casey reacts, if the other team is going big, Casey reacts. He never either initiates, or takes advantage of the fact he can do something different, and perhaps make the other coach react. Plus there is the lack of offensive vision, even on defense you can bet that 95% of the game will be half court man-man. The only thing that has somewhat improved this year is throw-ins, I remember last year it could be 1 minute in the game or 5 seconds left in the game he could not draw up a throw-in that wouldn’t get broken up, and put to the last player you wanted, or get intercepted, that has improved!

  • Andre

    very good article