A raspy voiced Dwane Casey with lozenge in mouth, met with the press after a hard fought game 3 loss by the Toronto Raptors, 102-98 on the road to the Brooklyn Nets. Once again the Raptors had a strong 4th quarter, outscoring the Nets 32-25, but it was the 2nd and 3rd quarters that did them in, being outscored a combined 58-43 by Brooklyn and trailing by 11 going into the 4th. Yes, the officials certainly did not help them out down the stretch, with 3 questionable foul calls–and one technical foul–going against the Raptors, but the team also missed 4 crucial free throws in the final 1:07 to ultimately seal their fate.
Commenting on the technical foul on Greivis Vasquez during the final minutes of the game, one of the many calls that coach Casey was visibly upset over–and could be the cause of the loss of his voice. Casey as he always does, responded with class and did not place blame on the referees.
“Again I like my money, but again I’ve gotta go back and look at the tape. Those kind of calls broke our back, it was the difference in the game,” Casey said. “They’re a great team, we give them credit, we respect them. But let’s let the game be dictated by that. I gotta go back and look at it and see what the calls were. I had a different view of them, then evidently as those guys did.”
The team needs to make adjustments, Dwane Casey preached, relating to how the officials are calling the game and the fact that the team hadn’t made the adjustments until the 4th, was too late.
“I thought they imposed their will on us in the 2nd quarter and did a good job of bringing physicality. I thought we turned it around in the 4th quarter and met it,” said Casey. “But we can’t wait until the 4th quarter to meet the physicality. And adjust to the way officials are calling the game in the 4th quarter. If officials are allowing the physical play, we’ve got to play that way. So that’s the difference in the game, we got to do that.”
The two Nets that continue to burn the Raptors on the offensive end, Joe Johnson, who scored 29 points in game 3, and Deron Williams pitched in with 22, the coach pointed to team defense (lack there of) rather than one-on-one when defending the two scorers.
“One on one, that’s the difference. We’ve got to do a better job of making sure we get help there quicker. When we do get it there we’re in pretty good shape in those situations. They’re two great one-on-one players, and there’s no one guy on our team that’s going to guard them by themselves, so we got to make sure we get help there.”
For the 3rd game, the Raptors led in the turnover category, with 17 in game 3—and now averaging 18 TOs per game in this series. The coach knows the team must limit those turnovers if they are to win game 4 to tie the series.
“The key thing is moving the ball without turning it over, that’s the whole key. They got 16 points on 19 turnovers, everything you look at the stat sheet it’s all the same,” Casey said. “If we take care of the ball, be strong with the ball and make the easy plays, that’s the difference. As it was with games 1 and 2.”
Taking a positive away from this victory, Dwane Casey praised the team’s resolve, especially down the stretch when things weren’t going their way in regards to calls, and they continued to fight to keep the game close.
“I love our resolve, that’s one thing about this young team. They never give up, they never give in. They fight through everything. They had some tough calls down the stretch and they could’ve mailed it in, but they didn’t. And that’s what I love about our team.”
The Raptors now down 2-1 in the series, face a must-win situation in Brooklyn on Sunday (7 PM EST), but the odds are certainly not in their favor to win this series as history dictates the team that wins game 3 in a tied series wins the series 76.8% of the time.
How key is tonight’s Toronto-Brooklyn matchup? When a best-of-7 series is tied 1-1, Game 3 winners have gone on to win series 76.8% of time.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 25, 2014