A nice quote-heavy piece from ESPN New York.

Dwane Casey:

“We knew exactly what Brooklyn was going to run,” Casey said. “Our defense was set. Kyle Lowry was on the ball because he had five fouls and we were going to take a foul if Brooklyn got it in and we didn’t want to waste him with that foul. Usually we have our big man on the ball and we have a special coverage that we have for that type of lineup. In a scramble situation we had numbers and Kyle Lowry had two or three options to throw the ball to and we made the right play at the end.”

Patrick Patterson:

“Pretty much coach drew up a couple plays that he thought they were going to run and they wanted me to be out by half court and whoever ran in that direction I would take. Luckily, I was in the right place at the right time and I was able to gather the ball which I then wanted to get to Kyle.”

Kyle Lowry:

“I was on the ball and we knew they did not have any timeouts. You know they have a million and one plays they could come up with but we guessed right and Patrick looked like Richard Sherman out there with that steal. I know we were just going to go when we go the steal because they were off balance. I had a couple guys but I just went with Pat and he made it.”

Got to say, the decision to not put pressure on the ball-handler paid off. The fact that the Nets chose to essentially make the sideline an extra defender helped, but that didn’t mean that the read from Patterson didn’t need to be perfect. I was yelling on Twitter about bringing a long-armed dude like Austin Daye in, and that goes to show you what I know.

The more I see of Dwane Casey lately, the more I can’t understand his pre-trade decisions. It’s like not only has the team turned a corner in terms of their play, but their coach has has found a new gear and is handling matters at a might higher level. Just some of the things he’s improved on:

  1. Out-of-timeout plays
  2. Early timeouts to kill runs
  3. Forcing teams to matchup to them rather than adapting
  4. Shorter, tighter rotations that work well
  5. Defensive individual matchups (Salmons has helped)
  6. Overall ball-movement, no more getting stuck
  7. Late-game clock management
  8. Finding roles for guys like Vasquez, Patterson, Salmons, and even Hayes – all returns in the Gay trade
  9. Figuring out Ross’s role on the team

What has stuck out for you?

See the Full Play Here (Nets Commentary)

  • Tanks-a-lot

    Seems to me that Casey was really trying to get fired as long as Gay was on the team.

  • GetLicks

    Pre and post Gay DC has been one of the biggest turnarounds I’ve ever witnessed for a coach. It’s almost as if Ujiri wanted DC to give Rudy full reign in order to showcase him for a trade. Other than the timeout blunder in Charlotte, that’s the only logical explanation I can come up with. I’m glad to say he’s proven me wrong, cause he’s always seemed like a hard-working, likeable guy.

  • c_bcm

    I think Casey has already explained himself. He had a guy on the roster that the organization was paying 17-20 mill per season to be THE guy. He had little choice but to run the team as it was constructed, through Rudy. As it stands now, the team is constructed such that everyone on the court needs to be involved for the engine to work well. This is clearly a more enjyable way to play/watch/coach the game.

    • Ds

      Sorry, but that is not a reason to do the same things. He complained a million times in the papers that the ball was “sticking”, but did nothing to change that. He kept giving the ball to Gay because, as Casey said it, “he could see over the defence”. At what point was he supposed to say, this is not working, let’s change things up? When we were 20-40 and completely out of it?

      A coach has to have the balls to change things up when things don’t work out.

      • c_bcm

        c’mon man. The guy is trying to go with what the organization is giving him. He had one of the highest paid players in the league, who was brought in to run the offence through. TO take the tough shots. To be the leader. He can’t abandon that in less than a season. If that’s the roster he has been given, that’s how he has to coach the team.

        I agree that he would complain about the ball sticking. That just serves to fortify my opinion though. You HAVE to find a way to make it work with the players you are paying to play. You can’t move Gay to a bench role when he is on that contract. Its a ridiculous proposal.You can’t have him in the starting lineup without him touching the ball. So what exactly was Casey supposed to do?

        • Will

          Just because Gay was the team’s highest paid player by a huge margin, doesn’t mean you have to run every play through him. Yes, you can go to him at the end of games where he’s proven to be clutch, but you don’t go to him every time, especially when he doesn’t drive or pass. Lowry never got to run the pick and roll when Gay was around and both Amir and Jonas depend on it. Also, you seem to forget that Gay was Colangelo’s choice, not Ujiri’s. Ujiri would never take a guy like Gay and if he was telling Casey to run everything through him, it was to put him on display for trade purposes, not because he’s the highest paid player on the team.

          • c_bcm

            Oh, did I forget that? Thanks for reminding me. Did you forget that NBA players are a commodity and that you ruin their value by not involving them in the teams offence? Oh maybe you forgot that Ujiri got a great haul for Gay BECAUSE Casey continued to play him so much. Remember when everyone thought that that trade signalled a rebuild? That’s because Casey was maintaining trade value on a player they weren’t intending to keep once it became apparent he wasn’t as good as his contract.

            Maybe you should refresh your own memory before you help me with my own.

            • Will

              Relax man. If you took offense to my phrase “you seem to forget”, I apologize. In your previous post, you wrote “The guy is trying to go with what the organization is giving him.” I just wanted to point out that it wasn’t Ujiri that gave Gay to Casey and that Gay wasn’t his baby like Bargnani was for Colangelo.

              Also, I completely disagree with your point about using Gay the most because he’s paid the most. A coach’s number one priority is to win, especially a coach without a contract the following year. If playing Gay fewer minutes or running less plays through him gives your team a better chance of winning, do you not make that move?

              • 43-39

                how did that work out for Sam with Barnie again ?

                • Will

                  I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at. Are you saying that Mitchell could’ve kept his job if he treated Bargnani like the franchise player Colangelo thought he was? Mitchell got fired the year they weren’t winning. The year they did win, his contract year, he got extended.

  • thegloveinrapsuniform

    Because AA told them! hahaha

    • Pong

      lol

  • 2damkule

    everyone develops/grows with more reps. some get better, and some have their flaws even more exposed. it’s nice to see that casey seems to be an example of the former. this situation came up in a close loss earlier, in which they put a body on the inbounder rather than focus on doubling, and it bit them.

  • vino

    still not convinced by Casey. you say the plays coming out of the time-outs have improved? maybe they have; slightly… but every game we are taking long 2 jump shots coming out of a time out. last night was not exception. one thing that goes for Casey is the players’ respect. he has it. and that’s the most important thing. Still a long way to go in my eyes. the second half of the season should tell us plenty. no need to rush here.

  • ScarBoro416

    Wow! You know it’s bad when your (Jkidd) being out schemed by casey.

    • PurpleHaze

      You forget though that Jason Kidd is a rookie coaching who won is first NBA title as a player in DALLAS. Dwane Casey was assistant Coach who specialized in DEFENSIVE schemes. Remember Casey been coaching the best in the league for a long time, so check his resume. So i wouldn’t down play Casey like that.

    • robertparish00

      Especially regarding it was an inbounds play.

    • Nilanka15

      Does Kidd even coach? He just sits there with blank looks on his face.

  • Lyall

    In my opinion, and it’s been said before, but Coaches are on too tigght of a leash most of the time as they are considered the “head” of the team, although others argue it’s the point guard. In any case, if teams are losing, lot’s of people blame the coach, to which it gives more chance for the coach to be fired. A very underrated quality that teams need is stability. In office, coaching and players (…and T-Ross 51 point games..*cough*.

    We have stability in the fans! YEA GO FANS! HOWEVER, I sense that Toronto fans expect too much too quickly; the majority of the fans need to slow TF down, develop a sense of patience and don’t let their emotions from the games and season cloud their lives and their ravings of quick, ill-tempered decisions. Just think good intentions for the team and all will work out well.

    We need stability next in coaching; when that rounds into form (and I personally Casey is a great coach to have for the Raptors. He’s already got xp and is gaining and absorbing more every second, has, several all-star caliber young talents with some solid young vets from the tested West that has imporoved from last year & is showing in our W/L record, has a motivated PG in Lowry to take charge(s) and I mean the list can go on with Bob Yer Uncle.) Casey is rather set in a good way with this team, so let’s give him our salutations!

    Let’s put our best, positive intentions towards the team!

    PEACE!

  • Mexiballer

    At Masai’s press conference after the Gay trade, Masai said in a very clear way…”sometimes us general managers put our caches in very tough situations”. I took that to mean that Casey was under definite order to play Gay for good or for bad until Masai figured out what he was going to do.

  • Andre Julian Ward

    they also got some help from Amir … loll https://vine.co/v/MuXUxVrn9TM

    • Bryan Colangelo

      How can people complain Amir is overrated? That was some Oakley-shit right there. You can’t put a price on that kind of evil.

    • Will

      Holly crap. I never saw that till now. How do the refs not see that? haha

  • mountio

    I cant believe no one has hit the obvious joke … Casey knew what they were going to run, because he is so familiar with drawing up the “critical turnover on an inbounds play” over the years ….

    • raptor-holic

      Holy shit! That’s sooooooo funny. A ha ha ha……………..ha

  • Nilanka15

    From a tactical perspective, the biggest change I’ve enjoyed is seeing Ross guarding opposing PGs every so often.