We got two more games left and we set a goal at the beginning of the season to be a 50+ win team. We have an opportunity to do that. We control our own fate. We’ve set goals and we’ve accomplished a few of them so far.
Dwane Casey praised his side on their compete-level:
I thought our guys met the challenge with [the Heat] playing with force. [Kyle Lowry’s] always got that compete level. I thought Lou Williams, his compete level was right there with him. I thought he got upset about a non-call, and it kind of got everyone going.
Tyler’s compete-level against [Hassan] Whiteside was huge, and [Patrick Patterson] activity [was huge]. I don’t think you can just single out one guy, I think all the guys that stepped in had their moment as far as their compete-level.
Casey also pointed out Jonas Valanciunas, who fouled out in 10 minutes, and his need to keep cool:
It’s tough. He had some silly fouls. Getting in a wrestling match, you can’t do that. When you get upset with the officials, they’re human. He’s got learn to keep his emotions under control, I love his passion, I love his give-a-you-know-what level, but he’s got to keep his emotions under control and not let himself get tangled up, because a lot of times he’s getting the short end of the stick.
Kyle Lowry, sporting a Leafs hat which he said was due to the need to ‘represent’ spoke about contributing in ways other than scoring:
My rhythm is still off. I missed shots I usually make. They’re going to fall. I’m not going to stop shooting.
For me it’s not about scoring, it’s about rebounding, assisting. It’s about winning the game for my teammates.
My timing was a little better, my footwork was a little better.
He also spoke about waving off a Casey-called play for the crucial DeRozan And1, and the trust level between them:
That’s one thing about coach and our relationship: he trusts me. He wanted to call something, and I felt very strongly about it and I was on the floor, and he said ‘go ahead with it’. It worked, and it’s not a ‘I told you so’, it was a ‘OK, great play’. It’s a trust-level thing.
Here’s the play in case you’re wondering: