An email exchange between Will and Zarar about Casey’s new 3-year extension.

The following is an email exchange between two esteemed writers on this site. Fearless leader Zarar Siddiqi will be suiting up for Casey, while Will “amateur hour” Lou plays the role of devil’s advocate. 

William:

So it looks like Dwane Casey is sticking around after all. Human tabbycat Doug Smith reported that the two sides agreed to a 3-year extension. TNT reporter David Aldridge says Casey will earn just under $4 million per year.

You’re a fan of Casey’s work. I’m guessing you like this move by Ujiri?

Zarar:

Had to be done.  He has to be credited with the chemistry the team played with since the trade, and not extending him would send a very confusing message to our free-agents who, I suspect, would expect Casey to return if they are to.  As discussed on the recent podcast, he’s left wanting offensively at times, but firing him for that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  I’d rather have a defensive coach who needs help offensively, rather than the other way around.

The signing gives them continuity which is what this franchise desperately needs.  I’m not sure the Raptors can attract a high profile coach at this point and more importantly, they don’t need to.  You could also make a strong case that Casey cost the Raptors the Nets series, which as grave as it sounds, is more a learning experience for him than a cause for termination.

William:
I want to start by acknowledging the work he’s done. I’m not counting the first two years against him because he had nothing to work with. I appreciate his hard-working and humble attitude, and by all accounts, he’s a very nice man. He certainly has his merits, and his defense-first philosophy did culminate in a 9th ranked defense this season (per Def Eff), which is impressive given that he had two rookies and “_eMar _eRozan” in the starting lineup. Most importantly, I agree that chemistry is fleeting.

However, I simply can’t help but think the Raptors squandered a chance to make an upgrade. Perhaps they bandied the position around, but no one would take it. If so, that’s unfortunate, and I guess it can’t be helped. If it were possible, I would have liked to see a more X’s and O’s oriented coach brought in – Stan van Gundy and George Karl are immediate names that come to mind. It’s hard to watch Casey’s uncreative play-calling.

Zarar:

Never quite understood the obsession with George Karl – have you seen his playoff record? He’s the king of the first round exit. And Stan Van Gundy has won what exactly? And what creativity did he display when he had Dwight Howard to work with? They both have more experience than Casey, but neither can be considered major upgrades.  Every fan base feels that X’s and O’s are an issue with their coach, the Raptors are no different.  Fans tend to focus on the plays that end up going south instead of focusing on all the ones that worked.

I acknowledge that he’s come up short when asked to come up with strategies to stop key players, the playoffs being a good example, but his overall body of work suggests that he can only improve, while the other coaches you mentioned are known quantities.

William:

Okay, I’ll concede that George Karl isn’t necessarily a definite upgrade, but SVG is undoubtedly a fantastic coach. He took a team an Orlando Magic team with Hedo Turkoglu as its best playmaker to the NBA Finals. His defenses were always fantastic, dating back to his days with the Heat (it helps to have Mourning and Dwight at center), and his three-point oriented offense would work great in the modern NBA, where three’s and layups are king.

But I digress. I’m not necessarily advocating for specific names. Rather, I believe there was an opportunity to improve. Look at last year’s hires — Mike Budenholzer, Jeff Hornacek, Brad Stevens — just to name a few. There’s a lot of coaching talent out there. Why not look for someone who can draw up better plays, or has a firmer control over the locker room?

I keep coming back to one sticking point on Casey. Remember the infamous 18-game Rudy Gay stint? Remember the 11-for-37 loss against Houston? I see that as a definite problem because it either meant that Casey intentionally drew up those plays, which means he was just being cruel (mostly to Raptors fans), or he couldn’t reign in Gay, which is also a problem. And also, dude got out-coached by Jason Kidd in the last playoff series. I’m just saying there was an opportunity to improve.

Zarar:

Dwane Casey is not the best coach in the world.  That implies that there’s always “opportunity to improve”, which really doesn’t mean anything beyond thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.  I’d contend that playing Rudy Gay extended minutes was little more than showcasing the guy for a trade, which was always Ujiri’s intent.  Pinning Rudy’s ridiculous night on the coach, and using that as an example to not re-signing him, means that you’re pulling at straws here.

Jason Kidd got the better of him, the same Jason Kidd that has 21 years of NBA experience, the last few of which were essentially as an assistant coach.  Getting out-coached by Kidd, as much as I dislike the man, is not necessarily the worst thing in the world.  I’m not suggesting Casey is the ultimate head coach, I’m saying that given all the variables in the franchise, it’s important to retain a constant.

William:

Okay, let’s say it was a directive from Ujiri to showcase Gay. How exactly did Casey succeed in that regard? He literally didn’t draw up any plays for him, and his numbers were awful. He used 30% of possessions while he was on the floor, and turned them into points at a rate of 46.8 TS%. That’s worse than any Monta Ellis season. Either Ujiri gave a misguided directive (which is a problem), or this falls on Casey (which is a problem).

For me, the Gay ordeal is a microcosm of a bigger issue — Casey wasn’t always given much to work with, and I don’t fault him for that. Chicken shit/salad and the whole ordeal. But what about the decisions he did make? What about his obsession with Alan Anderson, or John Salmons? His perverse obsession to veterans troubles me.

Casey began his coaching career in 1979. That’s a lot of basketball. During that time, he was a coach, whereas Kidd was a player. While Kidd was out boozing and hitting strip clubs, Casey (the hardworking man that he is) was probably thinking up new defensive schemes. And he was still outcoached. Granted, Kidd had more options to work with, but come on, getting outcoached by Kidd? At the minimum, that means there are more capable replacements out there.

Zarar:

Regarding literally.  Alan Anderson got minutes ahead of Terrence Ross, which is part of Casey’s thing of giving minutes to players who have shown they deserve it.  That’s part of his style, it’s great when he’s benching guys for not working hard enough, not so when the season is lost and you just want to see young players play, which is what the case was when Anderson got his minutes.  That’s not a big issue for me.

John Salmons – as stated on the pod, perhaps he felt that his three-point shooting was a greater threat than Landry Fields, which is a valid point.  I don’t agree with it but there’s an argument to be made there.  Listen, I’m not suggesting you won’t find faults in his decisions, but that’s true with any coach.  I don’t see Bulls fans wanting Thibodeau’s head because he got “out-coached” by Randy Wittman – we can’t be so reactionary.  After all, we’re talking about Dwane Casey, not Jay Triano.

wittman

William:

English is tough, almost as tough as correctly pronouncing the name “Jonas”. And Thibs has a long track record of being a successful head coach, while Randy Wittman is a meme. And I wouldn’t necessarily say Thibs was outcoached. His team simply couldn’t score, which makes sense given that DJ Augustin was their leading scorer this season. DJA vs John Wall. Not exactly a fair fight.

The difference with Casey vs. Kidd was that there were tangible changes that swung the series. Kidd realized that he didn’t necessarily need Livingston’s defense on DeRozan (when any two players could have trapped him) and subbed in Alan Anderson, which made the Raptors even more unable to deal with Joe Johnson’s post-ups. Kidd platooned Blatche and Plumlee for offense/defense. Kidd opted to aggressively blitz the ball-handler. Those were tangible decisions he made that swung the series, whereas Casey couldn’t figure out a single thing to deter Joe Johnson in the post. I think fans are going overboard with the Fields thing, but they’re right. He was right there.

If this team has expectations to advance a round or two in the playoffs, they’ll greatly benefit from two things: an upgrade in talent (seriously, Salmons and Hayes played meaningful minutes) and a head coach that is capable of making the right in-series/game adjustments.

Zarar:

You can play judge and jury with Casey, not executioner.  Ignoring his body of work and axing him for one series is hasty.  As positives, I can point to his defensive work this season, the culture change and increased work rate he brought in the post-Triano era, and the team identity he’s worked so hard to create, not to mention the results.  Focusing on details of one series, which have been discussed ad nauseam, is seeing a singular tree, not the forest.  Many head coaches have miserable first series, that doesn’t mean they’re bad head coaches.  If we’re so keen to give DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, and Amir Johnson a pass after sub-par series, why are we so harsh on Casey – surely, he has to undergo a learning process as well, no?

You keep pointing to Jason Kidd “out-coaching” Casey without giving enough weight to the experience the Nets have on their team.  I could debate that Kidd had to do very little coaching and that guys like Pierce, Johnson, Williams, and Garnett are more than capable of parsing the game flow and adapting as needed.  This argument that because you lost a series, you lost your job is rubbish.

William:

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily unhappy with the extension. He has made a lot of positive strides with the team this season, and regardless of how much uncertainty exists with respect to crediting coaches, he did a great job this season. In the end, I agree with most of your points, and perhaps I am focusing too much on the negatives. Things like defensive schemes, building culture, maintaining a healthy locker room – they’re hard to evaluate from the outside as a fan.

We only see the on-court product. Our job as fans is to watch, react, and throw peanuts at things like his play-calling or substitution patterns. I weigh those parts more heavily in my evaluation, and on those accounts, it’s hard to argue that Casey is a great NBA head coach. On the tangible things we can see as fans (ie: adjustments, lineups, minute allocation), Casey grades out as average. But again, I also understand the importance of the big picture, which is the success of the team as a whole.

To wrap up, I want to touch on your point earlier about how this affects free-agents. Clearly, players like DeRozan, Lowry and others absolutely adore the man. If the Raptors are interested in bringing the band back together (they are, sans Salmons per Ryan Wolstat), then restoring the masthead makes a lot of sense. Plus, Ujiri really would have come out looking like a prick if he didn’t make this move. The man just took the team to a franchise-high in wins, and his players seem to like him – that would have been one cold pink-slip.

A hardworking man did a good job, and got rewarded. I can dig that.

  • Brian

    There’s a few key things I take away from this. The first 2 from Zarar:

    “The signing gives them continuity which is what this franchise desperately needs.”

    “You could also make a strong case that Casey cost the Raptors the Nets series, which as grave as it sounds, is more a learning experience for him than a cause for termination.”

    The last from William sums up my thoughts from before they announced they were extending Casey:

    “The man just took the team to a franchise-high in wins, and his players seem to like him – that would have been one cold pink-slip.”

    There is NO WAY they were not going to bring him back given the season they just had. I for one am glad he’s back and expect him to work to improve his coaching just as I expect our young players to work to improve.

  • Rappy

    My bigger concern is that this signing signals Ujiri’s desire to play Glen Grunwald circa 2002: reward everyone with huge paydays at the expense of cap flexibility and go all in on a flawed group that teased us with just a modicum of post-season success. Next he maxes out Lowry (Vince) and gives Vasquez/Patterson mid-levels (Alvin). Cap it off by sinking 21 million into, say, Jermaine O’Neal (Dream) and the throttling of this promising infancy is complete.

    • photoman

      No way this is the same… the guys then Alvin, JYD, etc. were not RFAs nor was the cap structure as it is today. Lowry will not get max money… maybe 11MM a year. What are you talking about with Jermaine O’Neal… he basically needs crutches to walk his knees are so shot. No way MU does that kind of stupidity and especially not at THAT price.

      • feylines

        agreed… that hakeem team might have actually been good if the hakeem money was spent on a player with some gas left

      • Ghotte

        A saw some random [baseless] article mention Lowry’s agent will start the bidding at 4 years at 6Omil. Not sure where I saw that but it seemed B$ to me. At any rate, I don’t see Masai mortgaging the future on one player unless 2-3 others with growth potential were locked up around the same time.

    • CM

      This core is young snd has upside. Other than Vince the 2002 team had players who were on the downside. Not a valid comparison.

  • Guest

    Will – Caving to the boss at the end of the day?

    • DDayLewis

      We all serve someone, but I stand by what I said. I’m not against it, I just wonder if an upgrade was possible. The man does have his flaws.

      • Guest

        You mean Dwane, not Zarar… right? :)

        • DDayLewis

          Both.

          • noname

            BREAKING: Will gets his ass canned by Zarar in what was a ragefull, spirited, violent argument about each other’s journalism skills. Lmao just kidding.

            • DDayLewis

              #WojBomb?

              • noname

                yup, I don’t go for the bullshitters, like chris broussard and doug smith.

                • DDayLewis

                  Good man. Don’t forget Stephen A. Smith

                • noname

                  well he doesn’t really do reports, he just takes the opportunity to try to act like he knows what he’s talking about on his segment, same with skip. Then kevin hart shows up and SHAMIFIES them. Lol at a comedian knowing more about basketball then two analysts.

      • asifyouknow

        Yes, if they could of been patient they could of had MARK JACKSON! Toronto will be crying in their soup by mid-season ..bad move…..The east won’t be as bad as they were this year…

        • DDayLewis

          How exactly is Mark Jackson an upgrade? The man couldn’t make a top 10 offense with steph curry.

          • asifyouknow

            Jackson 121-109 record makes him a proven winner.
            Casey 159- 193 makes him a part time winner or a losing coach you pick the poison.
            Not much more to say..oh and two playoffs …

            • CM

              Can’t compare warriors talent to raps. Mark Jackson is too outspoken for the owners. Think he could handle Rogers and bell? They are bureaucrats !

            • DDayLewis

              There’s quite a talent difference between the two franchises.

              • asifyouknow

                Lol ..we can do the justification debate all day long but facts are facts the record speaks for itself ….There is an old saying that goes ” if my uncle had boobs he be my aunt” again we can go around and around with this all day and the records still stands

                • ItsAboutFun

                  I think I know you under a different troll tag.

                  “facts are facts”, but you insist on dismissing the most relevant facts: different teams, in different stages of development. By your reasoning, if Pop had coached the Bucks or Sixers this year, they’d have had a better record than the Raps. Wrong.

        • Guest

          I, for one, am glad we didn’t end up with Mark Jackson. The turmoil under him in GS this year has made the press. No thanks.

          • asifyouknow

            Had nothing to do with him ..That was all management, rumors are it was probably because of his religious believes. Again those are the allegations.

            • Guest

              I read others that had nothing to do with religion.
              At the end of the day, he got the Warriors no further than Casey got the Raps, so I’m hard pressed to agree with your enthusiasm, particularly the ALL CAPS! :)

  • guest

    I would like everyone to stand back for a minute and think about the whole ” Kidd outcoached Casey argument”
    I firmly believe the coaching was a watch. The only thing that Kidd had on us was his players execution. Harder screens(moving or not) – sharper cuts, faster decision making.
    We started two sophomores that essentially disappeared in the two pivotal games of the series. 1 and 7, which is to be expected.

    • Guest

      A “guest” with lower case g? C’mon now.

    • TheSpiceTyrant

      Agree…Kidd did NOT out-coach Casey. Kidd had a team of veterans who didn’t need to be told what to do. AND he will continue to rely heavily on what the team says. The tough hedges in their defense and those adjustments were a good call, but, really… he RODE JJ like a twerker on a wrecking ball.

      If dudes like Livingston/Blatche/Thornton destroyed us, then I’d say “YES KIDD can coach”. They might have had some solid games, but nothing statistically significant.

      • CJT

        Kidd also have 4 or 5 former franchise players to work with. we had zero.

        • noname

          thats what he’s saying…

      • Adriiian

        Seriously, William is retarded.

    • golden

      FFS. The whole ‘young players cost us the series’ excuse is becoming Casey’s version of The Big Lie. You just say it often enough and eventually you start believing it, and then more people believe it and then it becomes generally accepted as truth.

      Tony Parker was 20 frickin years old in his second season with the Spurs and he helped lead them to a championship that season. Yes, a 20-year old POINT GUARD. Oh, I know, it was all Duncan… and I guess Timmy D had the ball in his hands 50% of the time, too? The veterans vs. rookies excuse is a huge red herring, IMO. If the Nets lost, the whole premise flips and now their veterans are over-the-hill who got beat by young legs. But now all of a sudden, our youth is considered a major weakness and Garnett on fumes is a strength? SMDH. And some people want to tank and get more younger players? SMDH even more.

      • jjdynomite

        Tony Parker is a superstar and a future Hall-of-Famer. But lo and behold, in his Wikipedia entry:

        “Despite the [2002-2003 championship] victory, Parker struggled with inconsistent play throughout the playoffs, and was often substituted for the more experienced guards Steve Kerr and Speedy Claxton late in the games.”

        And, like you wrote, he was a Sophomore — just like Jonas and Terrence.

        So don’t let logic hit you on the way out.

        • CJT

          Stop making sense.

        • golden

          That’s cherry picking picking stats… oh, wait… that’s not even a stat or a fact …. it’s a Wikipedia quote. LOL. How can anybody possibly counter those facts? And speaking of facts…

          Parker played almost 34 minutes per game during the playoffs and had 3 games over 40 minutes in the finals. And the Spurs knocked off Nash/Nowitzki, Kobe/Shaq (with Jackson coaching), Amare/Marion & Kidd/Jefferson all in their prime.

          But really, the only fact that matters is that he WON. And the sophomore Parker was a huge contributor to winning – against veterans future HoF’ers, no less.

          Oh, and what’s the “excuse” for the inexperienced Rajon Rondo winning his championship in his sophomore season?

          • ItsAboutFun

            LOL, and you weren’t cherry picking by using Parker’s soph playoff success as a guage? Care to list a few hundred sophs, not playing with 2 future HOFers in their prime, that fumbled their way through their first playoff experience?

            • Alex

              That’s a terrible argument. It’s been statistically proven that veteran teams make it further in the playoffs than younger ones. With all the talent in the world the Thunder and Clippers couldn’t even get by the first round until they rounded out their rosters. Tony Parker played with Glen Robinson, Steve Kerr and Tim Duncan. Sorry but there isn’t a single Raptors player that even has a touch of the championship pedegree these guys do. Bringing in a steadying hand off the bench is what is needed in the offseason. Case in point, if Jonas falters is there even a half decent backup C? No. I was praying that Rasho Nesterovic would make a WWE style surprise entrance and box out the Nets.

          • jjdynomite

            The true refuge of those who lose an argument (to put it mildly) is to impugn the winner’s sources. As if you never used Wikipedia as a source.

            Fine, since you seem to live in a sphere of unsubstantiated arguments, I won’t do your work for you. Just google “Jason Kidd Tony Parker” and see how much Parker was valued by the Spurs organization in the early years. I guess NY Times isn’t a reputable enough source for you.

            And, oh yes, please, bring up Rajon Rondo. Is that the same Rajon Rondo whose petulance and sophomoric immaturity singlehandedly destroyed his contending team’s chances of repeating as champs by getting into physical altercations with his championship-winning coach and driving his Hall Of Fame backcourt-mate to take less money to go to Miami, thereby changing NBA history? Google “rajon rondo doc rivers” and “rajon rondo ray allen”. The Celtics may or may not have caught lightning in a bottle in Rondo’s sophomore season — but you accuse ME of cherry-picking?!?

            Look, for every playoff outlier like Parker or Rondo, there are stars who played mediocre or worse in their first playoff encounters; how about Carter or Bosh, to bring examples from close-to-home.

            Anyway, at least you have guys like “asifyouknow” sharing your perspective, who are incapable of writing complete sentences. Now go take a (golden) shower.

            • golden

              Oh, and in addition to Parker (2003) and Rondo (2008), there’s Dwyane Wade (2006) in his 3rd year who become finals MVP, no less. Yeah, I know, Wade was a seasoned veteran by year 3, right? That’s 3 cherries picked in a 6 year span where young players played major roles on championship teams. And I’m not yet even counting a whole lot of teams that made it to the finals or conference finals with young players. Pop, Rivers and Riley didn’t make excuses. They just worked with what they had. They trusted the young guys to play through the mistakes, and do the best they could and they delivered.

              Don’t you think there’s a reason why late round picks like Parker and Rondo developed into all-stars, far beyond anybody’s expectations? I don’t suppose it has anything to do with coaching, does it? Do young players make mistakes? Of course. But veterans make mistakes too. *cough* *salmons*. Tons of them. Over and over. Yet Casey will never utter a negative word about that.

              The thing is, when a young player makes a mistake, at least it’s a learning experience with some future upside. But when a veteran makes a mistake, you lose twice, because that’s what he is at this stage in his career. And to repeatedly call out your young players in the media as THE main reason why you lose is weak leadership, to put it politely.

              • jjdynomite

                We could go on-and-on and back-and-forth in this Gordian Knot of whether or not rookies/sophomores perform well in the playoffs and whether or not it was Casey’s fault that JV (in games 1 and 7) and T-Ross (in all games but 7) underperformed.

                But the reality is ALL the players you listed were dominant ball-handlers and/or PGs on their teams. Note the dominance of Westbrook in his first year, and now Lillard and Wall in their first seasons in the playoffs.

                For you to try to extend this to JV and T-Ross, neither of whom are ball-handlers or PGs, is trying to fit a square peg in the round hole. And I was not the only one who tried to explain to you that Parker took a long time before Buford/Pop could trust him to run the team (even looking at Kidd to replace him), and that Rondo followed up his nice run by destroying his team’s chemistry. Some maturity there.

                The only point you are making, really, is to shit on Casey using flimsy evidence. I guess the fact that all the players — to a T — respect him and dug deeper for him, especially the top 3 pending free agents of Lowry, Vasquez and Patterson, means nothing to you?!

                Glad Masai is in charge of the team and not you.

                • golden

                  Ibaka (PF, age 21, WCF), Kawhi Leonard (SF, age 21, WCF), George (SF, age 22, ECF) are dominant ball handlers?

                • jjdynomite

                  Kawhi and George, yes they are solid ball handlers, actually — far, far more than T-Ross and JV at this point in their young careers, no doubt, and far more than JV as a C will ever be (unless he turns into a Sabonis or MGasol, which would be great, although unlikely).

                  As for Ibaka, the best shot blocker in the league after Anthony Davis, he has a special skill set to offer. And, oh yeah, if OKC doesn’t beat the Clippers in these playoffs, Brooks will LIKELY GET FIRED due to Brooks’ repeated playoff flame-outs. Maybe according to your POV Masai should have waited and hired Brooks instead of Casey?

                  I’m curious golden, do you even watch basketball, or are you just pulling some numbers of young players who succeeded off of a spreadsheet? Jesus Christ, Ross was considered a total failed draft pick prior to this season, but accordingly to you he failed upwards, no thanks to Casey.

                • golden

                  LOL. Hilarious to see how far you’ve backed up from your original position. Now you’re saying that useless young players are restricted to ‘non ball-handlers’ and that Casey is great coach because the expectation of Ross is that he would suck badly. Were you 12th man on the high school debating team? No problem, keep changing the argument until you win (at least in your own mind)

                  My position is the same: Casey keeps using the excuse of young players as a reason you cannot win in this league. That’s a cop-out. In fact, I’d even give him props for a great regular season. But Casey has flaws and stubborn principles which hold him back. He also got out-coached by Kidd, and wasn’t able to adapt. But the veterans vs. young players excuse gets trotted out again and again. .

                • noname

                  ibaka has kd and russ, kawhi has parker and duncan, george had granger (albeit injured, but he could’ve provided moral support and helped george mentally prepare), west and hill, they all had experienced guys who helped them along the way.

            • noname

              That last sentence generated one reaction from me: jjdynomite wins…BRUTALY.

      • asifyouknow

        I agree!!! Is just an excuse by Casey just like he tried to explain why the last play did not work….NOT because he called a terrible play but that his players did not do it right. Casey should grow a backbone and just take the responsibility as THE coach of the Raptors as the guy who called a play that did not work because Kidd had a better answer……
        Just saying

  • gizzly73

    That the Raps overachieved there is no doubt. Casey deserves a lot of credit. The record speaks for itself. However, had he played TH instead of Chuck “two inch vertical” Hayes in the final game considering that TH almost always gets to the foul line and gets to loose balls, could that have been the difference in a one point game. I was absolutely baffled at DC playing Hayes over Hansbrough on a regular basis..

    Brooklyn isn’t that great of a team but still the Raps would have been very luck y to win considering how their team offense broke down into hero ball at the end.

    Now, the Raps have continuity with coaches and players which should bode very well. if the chemistry holds, if JV and TR improve, if they tweak the roster effectively, we may have a serious contender next year. Stay tuned. Many thanks to RR for frequent reports and updates and intelligent bb discussion.

  • sleepz

    Thibs didn’t get out coached by Wittman. Washington has more talent than they do.
    Casey got out coached by Kidd. Game 7 was good proof of this. The offence being run was strained and every possession was a struggle for the Raps

    • noname

      how do you know casey didn’t try to do something about it? didn’t you see him screaming like a banshee on the sidelines? The guys were too nervous and inexperienced and the pressure caused them to revert to the kind of play that was pre rudy gay trade.

    • CJT

      Kidd had a major talent advantage as well.

      • sleepz

        Valid point.

    • CM

      You are right. Did Carlisle get out coached or was he undermanned. Players win. If you don’t have the horses you will lose. See thibs and Carlisle.

  • raptorstand

    For 60 games we came out and ran the first 3 plays through JV. It was a constant it showed that we wanted to go low and it took pressure off of our outside shooters. Completely thrown out the window when the play offs hit. I am completely at a loss for words how the coach let the other team dictate what was going to happen. Completely out coached . That being said, I will pray this was a learning experience and he will not go away from the low post when we had the advantage. I agree with the signing.

  • ItsAboutFun

    “Why not look for someone who……………has a firmer control over the locker room?”

    What? What are you missing? Have you been listening/reading at all? How can you have a valid opinion of coach Casey when you don’t acknowledge his greatest strength?

    “What about his obsession with Alan Anderson, or John Salmons? His perverse obsession to veterans troubles me.”

    What is this about? Your obsession with throwing the kids into the fire as THE development solutions? How about it’s not about being a perverse obsession with veterans, but an “obsession” with making sure the young guys understand, and execute, to the best of their abilities, what is asked of them on the defensive end, as an integral component of their development. Else, the guys who do give their all toward doing what their taught, the vets, get the PT. Listen to the player exit pressers. Something that jumps out is common statements about coach being consistent with what he preaches, and the players appreciate it immensely. What does that say? Does it translate to “obsessed with vets” or perhaps determined to stick to his message of accountability (on effort toward working the system, for those that will whine about DD’s lateral quicks) on defense? Maybe something else. Surely you can think of something a little more profound than “perverse obsession to veterans”. Masai surely has.

    “Thibs has a long track record of being a successful head coach”

    Huh? Where do you get this stuff from? His coaching career started in college in 1981. His head coaching experience in college lasted 1 year, when he then became an assistant again for a few years before entering the NBA, also as an assistant, for the next 21 years. He only became a head coach, for the first time, with the 2010-11 Derrick Rose lead Bulls. This “long track record” you speak of is 4 years, and “being successful” boils down to;

    2010-11.. Rose’s MVP season, and getting knocked out by Miami in East Finals
    2011-12.. Lost the 1st round, 4-2, to the powerhouse Sixers
    2012-13.. Won 1st round, 4-3, vs not so great Nets, near swept by Miami, 4-1, in 2nd round
    2013-14…With home court, got bounced by lower seed Wiz, 4-1

    Where is this long track record of success? Seems that without Derrick Rose at his best, for 1 year, he’s done nothing.

    “On the tangible things we can see as fans (ie: adjustments, lineups, minute allocation), Casey grades out as average.”

    Since you have precious little of the information that goes into these decisions, grading is hardly tangible. Like the crying for more Fields, less Salmons, in the playoffs. Do you/we really know what kind of condition Fields’ back was in? Forget the Casey “he and is back are good to go” line. Do people expect that Casey would be telling the Nets that they don’t have to worry about Fields defending JJ? No, one hides as much info as possible to a playoff opponent. We don’t know what Fields’ condition really was. Fair to question why he wasn’t in there, but not fair to lynch to coach for decisions you have precious little info on.

    • DDayLewis

      Yup. Thats what I did. I lynched the coach.

      • ItsAboutFun

        Pretty lame, kid. I put in some effort to rebutt, and all you got is a lame ass one-liner, hey. Figures.

        • DDayLewis

          Kudos. Must have took a lot of effort to stuff those strawmen.

          • ItsAboutFun

            Like someone else said a day or two ago. You’re like a Mini Tim W. That poster was referring to something else, but I refer to your gushing over compliments, but handling criticism like a smart-ass diva.

            • DDayLewis

              I react positively to compliments and negatively to unreasonable comments. I’m the worst.

              • jjdynomite

                I react positively to compliments and negatively to unreasonable comments that go against my blinkered, amateurish, straight-outta-undergrad worldview. I’m the worst.

                /fixed it for you

                • DDayLewis

                  I’m an adult that yells at nobody on the internet. You got a great thing going man.

                • raptorstand

                  How does this guy get to keep posting , while anytime I called any writer out I was banned. I got banned this year for telling tankers they sit to pee, I got banned for going back and showing the writers where actively calling for losing. I got banned for telling the truth , jjdnomite is telling the truth , you better throw him out with that big stick of yours.

                • DDayLewis

                  Way to fight “the man”. You’re winning!

                • ItsAboutFun

                  You need to get a grip, and a thicker skin while you’re at it. Your choice to put yourself, and your views, out on the internet. You can’t expect just rose petals at your feet.

                • DDayLewis

                  Thanks dad. Way to look out for me.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  You’re welcome, son.

                • DDayLewis

                  I was actually serious with that last one. You’re right about the thicker skin on the internet.

    • mountio

      Your comments on how taking the hard road and keeping consistent punishment are interesting … but you dont speak to two important points of the flipside; 1) Doing this hurts the confidence of TR and JV and 2) by doing this, less talented players (Salmons, Hayes, AA) see the court, thus reducing the ceiling of the team.
      So, I guess it comes down to results. Did JV and TR grow from this tough love and play their best when it matters? TR obviously no. JV? Maybe … but Id say over the series he was average.
      Would we have been better if casey let these guys play through mistakes and play more pressure minutes down the stretch in regular season games? We will never know. (If I had to guess, Id say yes .. but obviously its just a guess)
      All in all, Im mixed on Casey. He deserves credit for getting his teams to play very hard and getting this team in particular to gel. But, he is horrible in games (although he did improve in that regard) – and this obsession with vets (its really the only honest way to describe it) is clearly a negative in my view. At a minimum it caps the upside of the team.
      I appreciate your unwavering support of Casey – hes a super nice guy and probably deserves it … but its tough to rationally step back and say he deserves praise in all the areas you are giving it.

      • ItsAboutFun

        Your 2 points that I’m not speaking to are:
        #1. What evidence is there that doing so has hurt their confidence? Or is this based on presumed explanations for some body language you see for a moment here and there during games? I don’t speak to it because I see no reason to believe it true. It’s a figment of some fans’ imaginations, imo. What I have many reasons to believe is that the man has the entire locker room, from every player, to a man, and coaches, to trainers and med staff, all the way to his GM, on his side and approving what he’s doing with these young men. If he was ruining these guys, in the eyes of many who see much more than we do, would he have been re-signed?
        #2. “Reducing the ceiling of the team”? I don’t understand how. The plan moving forward, as in reaching the ceiling, wasn’t to be reached this year, and playing them now has no bearing on when that ceiling will be targeted, as they won’t be here. Having said that, those guys go out and execute the game plan, especially on defense, as required. The benefit of this are: a) the other players they’re on the floor with (Lowry, DD, Amir, PPat GV) are at least able to get accustomed to playing the system with other players that get it. Fine to want JV and Ross to get the time to develop, but others that need development shouldn’t be held back to their pace all the time. It’s up to them to shorten their learning curve, not the responsibility of the rest of the team, though they all seem quite supportive and helpful.

        As for basing an opinion on results, we don’t know the results. Just like with the ceiling, the results go way beyond this year’s playoff run. The coaching, training and experience they’re getting is part of a much longer process, and depends more on themselves, and how they respond, than how the coach handles their minutes.

        We disagree with the “obsession with vets” thing. I think that’s far from “the only honest way to describe it”. Honestly speaking, might there be some other reasoning, quite different that being obsessed, to explain his usage of these vets? Something that MU might be privy to, and accept in the coach he just re-hired? Honestly.

        “Unwavering support”? That might be a tad extreme. I recognize that he’s not perfect, as does he. He’s got some things to improve upon, and he owns it. If I have unwavering support, it’s for the efforts from a class act, with character that the organization appreciates. Some fans ought to pay a little more respect too, imo.

    • Stef 511

      When the word ‘lynch’ is used so casually the way it often is here these days, it’s stomach turning. aiyk (Vasquez fan) started using it here almost daily a while back and now it seems to have gotten into the regular RR lexicon. Most probably wouldn’t be aware but the word shouldn’t be used in a casual or jocular way. If you don’t know what I mean, google it. (And sorry but I think this every time I see the damn word; had to say.)

    • truth be told

      You googled Thibs history and now want to diss him as a coach in the NBA? lol

      Ask around the elague who the top 3 coaches are and I’m sure you will hear his name constantly.

      You have information but no basketball sense at all.

      • ItsAboutFun

        Not dissing Thibs at all. Dissing a statement by the writer that Thibs has a “long history of success as a head coach”, which is very far from reality.

        “Ask around the league”??? lol, how much asking around the league have you done, or does your immense “basketball sense” come from internet writers’ comments and fan forum comments?

        I don’t doubt Thibs is a good coach, but blatantly wrong statements are just that. Wrong. And shouldn’t be coming from people that profess to have basketball sense. Does that make sense? Basketball sense or otherwise?

  • FuckRR

    This William dude is a fool, Having DWill, Pierce and KG on the team is like having extra coaches, what part of THE TEAM DIDNT EXCUTE BECAUSE THEY WERE YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED, do you idiots not understand ??? He didn’t get “outcoached”, their excuted and we didn’t because of inexperienced. Casey is a leader and this will FIGHT for him. That in itself should a reason to sign him. SMDH.

    • The Chef

      3 things…

      1) Did you understand the premise of the article? William Lou was “playing devil’s advocate.” It was his job to argue the “fire Casey” perspective.

      2) Did you read the entire article? William Lou concludes by basically agreeing that Casey’s extension was a good decision, despite point #1 (see above).

      3) Chill the f— out. You can express your opinion on a matter without screaming and insulting people.

    • Northbound

      I agree with this wholeheartedly.
      not all plays drawn up by the coaches goes as you planned. That is where veteran experience comes in. Veterans have an ability to adapt to changing circumstances much better than younger players let alone playoff experience. Kg PP DW JJ has both. Casey and the team did helluva job taking this all the way to the final second

      • Ghotte

        More than chemistry or culture, you need leadership. Raps had to sign Casey. There was little choice. Now, they’ve got two months to try and play nice and hope the market doesn’t get angry at them before they have to resign Lowry :)

    • Adriiian

      Agreed, a total fool. Not to mention suspect refereeing in game 7, but that’s not really an excuse, we were not the better team.

      I’d pin this mostly on our extreme weakness at the 3. AKA TRoss.

    • CM

      Agree William really doesn’t know basketball. First you have to appreciate taking a beaten organization and developing some character . Very tough to do. Casey may not be the most flexible in game coach but he created a culture which never existed before. I live in la snd saw dantoni coach his offensive style that minimized gasol and had no defensive scheme at all. So all in all Casey is a decent coach who could use a good creative offensive assistant. They should run more given the athletes they have and given their bigs are better on scramble plays than in a half court. But you have to give credit to a guy who Can get 48 wins out of a roster with a bunch of new pieces. You need to build stability in Toronto so keeping him is a no brainer. There is more to coaching than just player rotations, something william just doesn’t understand . I’m guessing William never played team sports and is a fan/ fantasy player.

      • Ghotte

        Yup. They tried that experiment a few times in the past and it failed horribly each time.

        Generally you’d think that if you fail taking a defense-first position, you’ll be less likely to fail abysmally from a financial POV due to the inflated market for offensive talent.

  • Northbound

    Mark jackson has been fired. I agree that it was more players execution. But next time, I want to see casey taking calculated risks. I felt he was a tad bit too predictable

    • CM

      Casey is not very flexible that’s his weakness slow to adapt in game

  • Bryan Colangelo

    I think there is a solid argument for continuity. The Raptors had three critical free agents we have to resign. What message are you sending to the team if you attempt to replace the coach that, by the GM’s definition, far exceeded the organizations expectations? And what kind of locker room environment are you handing off to a new coach, if you do replace him?

    42-22 is a pretty tough act to follow. Can you imagine Mark Jackson walking into this locker room next year, after the job Casey did this year? If I were DeRozan or Amir, I would be thinking, “Okay buddy. Let’s see if YOU can lead us to 48 wins.”

  • asifyouknow

    Listen to the interviews with Casey and Ujiri’s over and over I’m convinced that this hire is a marketing decision by the ownership and not Ujiri’s . The language by the GM sounds like a public relation scrip and not off the cuff comments.
    Ujiri will have a quick hook for Casey. I see him out by mid season if Kyle is gone……Lowry wants Paul money can Toronto pay it?
    They won’t

    • Chuck Johnson

      I listened to the interviews, I didn’t get that impression at all. I think Ujiri was rewarding Casey for overachieving this year. Very few people had the Raptors winning 48 games.

      The “marketing” decision would have been to go with a big name coach like a Van Gundy or George Karl. Fans would eat that up.

      • asifyouknow

        This the same situation with Kyle , they could not trade him because they were winning and it would of been a PR nightmare. Same with this.
        They most be very confident in getting Kyle. LA and Knicks want Kyle there is lots of money in those places, not only can they pay the money but also endorsement money to the player. Unless the Raptors are willing to give Kyle the house and half of Toronto…lol..this is not going to happen…

        • CM

          Klow won’t be getting endorsements in la. It’s Kobe’s town and the clippers have griffin and Paul. I live in la that’s what is reality

        • Ghotte

          Less an issue of PR even when they started winning (ie failed NY trade) especially if they were definitely in blow-up mode. So, think there are two distinct scenarios. One based on blowing things up and jettisoning vs one based on acquiring at market value. Different.

      • webfeat

        Yep, the Raptors success this year likely added millions in added revenue to the team and heightened the value of the brand. With MLSE, it’s the bottom line that counts. A rebuilding year would have been a lot more costly.

    • ItsAboutFun

      “not off the cuff comments.”

      lmao,,, so you think they pay MU his salary to conduct a press conference, related to the signing of the head coach, unprepared with simply off the cuff comments. He had a prepared statement? OMG, something smells fishy!!

    • CM

      Not true you are imagining things Masai makes his own decisions . He will resign kl GV pp snd add a small forward to fill the salmons role as well as a backup Center. I don’t think that’s enough but Masai will see how that works out before trying for a bigger deal. Team needs low post scoring if JV can’t develop a proper back to the basket game

    • Ghotte

      Fantasy much?

      • asifyouknow

        Nope a reality guy here…lol

    • DC

      If ownership is making bball decisions over Uriri’s head for marketing reasons, it’s probably Ujiri that would be gone.
      No way is Lowry getting Paul money. Lawson money is more like it.

  • WhiteVegas

    The contract is only 2 years with a team option for the 3rd. We aren’t locked into Casey long term which is very nice. It’s still sink or swim for him. If he doesn’t do well next year we could easily fire him without too much financial pain. If he does awesome, we have him locked up through 2016-17. Smooth move by Masai to appease the fans and maintain continuity while also being able to quickly change course if need be.

  • Chuck Johnson

    In Casey’s exit interview he mentioned that he plans to re-watch all of the big games from this season and critique his play calling and substitution patterns.

    As well as evaluate if there are better ways to communicate his principles to the players and get them to execute them better.

    Also he’s instructed his staff to spend the summer with other coaches (college and pro) and to come back with improvements that they can apply to the Raptors. So I’m officially in summer optimism mode!

    • asifyouknow

      Chuck all teams do that coaching is a year around gig…lol

      • noname

        not all coaches are open enough to tweak their system and sets…no matter who you are I don’t think mark jackson seems like he would be open to your critique on his iso-heavy offense sets that hardly work (although personnaly I would’ve re-signed him because he led them to 51 wins in the west).

        • asifyouknow

          It all makes for great debate but is all done Casey is the coach for awhile….I dont think he will last all three years

  • asifyouknow

    There are about 36 PG guards available. The only ones that are of any importance are Lowry by far…Vasquez…AJ Augustine ,Thomas from the Kings and maybe Sessions.
    The rest are the types that say “for a player to be named later” after their names, or just old recycle guys like Fisher.
    WOW slim piking at PG and there are a bunch of teams that need a starter or back-up. Lowry and Vasquez are in a good position to get paid.
    I hope they both get lots of money..

    • ItsAboutFun

      “bunch of teams”? Name 3 with the cap room available, and the need for a starter of KL’s status? And why KL would want to go there, over his gig with the Raps?

      • asifyouknow

        Look I understand all that but its about the money. Is always about the money, those guys are businessman, they want to maximize their value.
        LA and the Knicks can offer a barrel of money that can be a game changer, plus remember (I know Toronto is a modern and awesome city) but New York and LA are big markets for players to get endorments and make the big money.

        • ItsAboutFun

          CBA says NY can’t. So the 3 team request has a 1 team answer, LA. Yup, Kyle wants to go be Kobe’s decoy pal (that’s what PGs are on Kobe’s team) because he’s going to get big endorsements as a bit player to Kobe? Just how much do you think LA would offer KL to entice him from a team that’s been handed to him, playing with guys he loves, that the Raps wouldn’t match?

          • asifyouknow

            Will the Raptors give him 10 mill plus plus??? Almost double his money…That is what is going to take..Agree?

            • Ghotte

              He’s going to get at least 12mil and the team will grin and shake his hand. (Money well spent. Maybe.) HA ha

              • asifyouknow

                Well than is done …lol…we need something else to talk about..like …Toronto needs a 6’8″ 230 lb or so to play for Ross until he develops. who you think would be a good fit?
                Can Toronto afford Deng? That would be a hell of a player for Toronto…I think he is only 28 years old..

                • Ghotte

                  I just don’t know if there’s an available player that would fit with them. They need a Draymond Green type of player – hard nosed D and three point shooting – and I’m not as sold on the old Deng legs.

            • jjdynomite

              Why do you have to be so negative asifyouknow, especially about something you *don’t* know, since you’ve only been posting here since the Gay/Vasquez+ trade?

              The Raps have never been shy about spending money (at least, up to the tax). They’ve just made garbage financial decisions (cough, Colangelo, cough) that have hamstrung the team’s flexibility going forward.

              $12 million per for Kyle is a fair bit more effective spend than $8.5 mil for Fields, $10 mil for Turkeyglue or $11 mil for Bustnani.

          • noname

            add that to the fact that they wanna save up for 2015…although the bucks could go for him and move knight to the 2 and get rid of mayo. So there is still competition.

          • asifyouknow

            Look I agree, I feel Kobe is done….But again is about money ..lets see…

    • CM

      Lakers looking for a pg that is rsptors only real competitor. Lakers have nobody except an old Kobe. But living in la beats toronto

  • webfeat

    I’m disappointed Ujiri take this opportunity to upgrade, however I can see why his hands might have been tied considering how popular Casey is with the players. Ujiri’s gonna let this core have another year together then he’ll decide if it’s time to break up the band or not next year (or sooner if the team falters before the trade deadline). Casey’s under contract for three years, but that doesn’t mean that his job is safe. Ujiri’s employers can afford to lose a few million here and there.

    • ItsAboutFun

      lol, love how the naysayers need to justify swallowing what they have no choice in

  • Guest

    Interesting that Masai discussed an extension with Casey before the season finished and it was Casey that said he wanted to discuss it after the season (SN)

  • Blair Miller

    So, Karl DID coach the Sonics to the finals….

    • Bryan Colangelo

      Just a reminder — Gary Payton, Kemp, Schrempf — these were great players. Payton was elite at his position. Hall of Famer. Kemp was terrifying.

      I don’t want to take anything away from Karl but imagine if you replaced Amir and Lowry with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. It still saddens me that they lost to Jordan, that fucker.

      • Blair Miller

        I’m not trying to get into magical “what if”s; just saying that Karl’s track record in the postseason goes beyond first round exits.

  • Wes mantooth

    I don’t think Casey is a good head coach at all.
    The only credit I will give is for the teams chemistry , being well liked and the fact that they got there 48 wins. Oh and he “preaches defense”
    As far as everything else goes he’s not the guy! Made no adjustments in the playoffs , had a horrible defensive scheme against the nets namely joe Johnson. The team was utterly confused. Can’t draw up and offensive play to save his life and got out coached by jkidd. He had the one solution for Johnson that worked glued to the bench and has a bizzare and horrible I dea of rotations. His use of john salmons was criminal and I think a huge reason for us losing that series falls on his shoulders.
    Also his inability to reckognize that players when players get hot they should stay in the game. Kidd kept his whole squad of “old” players in for the entire 26 point comeback. Him being stuck in his ways an lack of creativity makes us predictable and stale.
    My biggest gripe is his mistreatment of Jonas. The leash on this kid is so short that he’s constantly confused and out if rhythm getting ice in the bench. He was our biggest advantage and Casey refused to run plays for him.
    We have a good roster. We needed an upgrade. Franchises that reckognize these things win.
    Mark Jackson is being replaced, and Lionel hollins was fired after last yet for Christ sake. Right or wrong this outlines the importance of the coach
    Uriji blew this one

    • Ghotte

      Jonas seemed really upset about his treatment. Didn’t you hear the exit exam? He mentioned all the things you’ve been saying about him over the past couple months!

    • TheSpiceTyrant

      JV blew a tonne of help defence coverages this series, particularly in the later games, That deserves a short leash. His defensive mistakes don’t make up for his offense. Plus the dude was bumbling turnovers.

      • Wes mantooth

        He wasn’t blowing those coverages in the first three games when he was dominating. Getting the ball was a focal point.
        It’s when Casey stopped trusting him after he got some really questionable calls against him that he starts goin away from him. Totally messed up his head and our team suffered noticeably after that. All cohesion gone. Casey made him tense and dizzy.
        Casey’s fault.

    • noname

      when memphis fired hollins, they started off terribly and played better when they reverted back to his defensive schemes…and the mark jackson firing is very evenly debated right now (i think it was a mistake even though his sets involve too much iso)

  • Ghotte

    Hayes should be a great assistant coach to Jonas (and the bigs.) While wildly overpriced at 7+M, he’ll be able to occasionally fill that coveted ‘Aaron Grey 13th-man’ roster spot.

  • Ghotte

    Really prefer the term ‘culture’ to chemistry. One sounds all spontaneous or random (as some viewed things transpire in RaptorLand) which doesn’t properly explain things.

    It’s moot whether their success was a result of a number of carefully crafted messages placed on all members of the franchise or if (close games, lint roller specials, crazed crowds, inexplicable momentum, veteran savvy, youthful exuberance) were just a perfect storm of conditions falling neatly in place. Great season!

  • Piotr Rzepol

    Kłopoty z kalkulacjami, podatkami oraz rozliczeniami? Perfekcyjnie to rozumiemy. Każdy przedsiębiorca ma z tym problem. Każdy, kto nie zrozumie, że księgowość poznań jest tylko dla profesjonalistów. Jeżeli w związku z tym wyszukują Państwo pomocy księgowej – uprzejmie zapraszamy do nas. Zapewniamy, że
    zagwarantujemy Państwu jakość, jakiej nie gwarantuje żadna inna korporacja. Pomagamy nie tylko firmom, ale też szablonowym ludziom, którzy mają kłopoty z rozliczeniami.

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