Toronto Raptors: Dwane Casey Was Never Worried About His Job


Toronto Raptors: Dwane Casey Was Never Worried About His Job

Speaking publicly for the first time since his end-of-season press conference, Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey joined Sportsnet 590 the FAN on Tuesday to discuss everything Dinos.

During the interview, Casey opened up about being swept in the playoffs, the team’s core and his job security.

"“I wasn’t worried about my job, never have been, never will be,” Casey said (H/T Sportsnet). “Masai has every right to look at the entire organization, [like] the coaching staff, and evaluate everything that we’ve done as a staff and as a team but I think, if we’re all honest with ourselves and look where we come from and look how the growth process is going, we’re going in the right direction. I think that’s what the evaluation process shows.“Did we make mistakes as a coaching staff? Yes. Did we make mistakes as an organization and players making mistakes as players? Yes. We all do. We all are accountable for everything that goes on, but again, big picture, we’re going in the right direction from where we started last year.”"

Then Casey went on to discuss the differences between last season and this one:

"“One thing you learn, if you’ve been in this long enough, is that to get somewhere, you have to go through something.Last year was a great story. We overachieved and surprised everybody. We started out the regular season and guys did an excellent job of staying together, the chemistry, and playing together.And then, this year, as the year went on, we hit bumps in the road, faced adversity and we went through something. And unfortunately — believe me — it went into the playoffs. But again, it gives us something to measure ourselves by, something to motivate us this summer, to get ready for, when we start preaching about, ‘we’re doing this for playoff basketball’, during these drills, to get ready for the playoffs.Guys now understand the level that you have to get back to, to play playoff basketball. So the embarrassment and the hurt we felt this year in the playoffs, every organization goes through it to get to that ultimate goal.”"

Then, the Raptors’ head coach opened up about the team’s core and how it needs to find a consistent style of play:

"“We have to get better, we have to improve. Experience is a huge thing in this league. … Size, length, toughness, rebounding. Some of those things we have to address with our team.Again, is this the team we’re going to have for the future? I don’t know. I think some changes will be made to get better, to improve.There’s a style of basketball played in the playoffs that is totally different than the regular season. And, y’know, playoff style, game personality, the way we play in the regular season has to be consistent with how the way the game is played in the playoffs. It’s something I know, going into next season.”"

Reading between the lines of Casey’s interview, I come away with a couple of takeaways.

First, the Raptors will look to improve their front-court this offseason. This really isn’t news for Raptors’ fans, but Casey’s comments about needing to add “size, length, toughness, rebounding” solidifies what the team will target this offseason.

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  • Second, don’t expect any massive trades that involve core pieces, which means players like Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas likely aren’t going anywhere this offseason. While that’s not definitive by any means, you get the sense that Casey feels confident with this team and believes it is building towards success.

    His comments about “you have to go through something” is also interesting. If the Raptors were to revamp their roster this offseason, would they not just have to “go through something” again next season with their new core? Again, given his comments, I have hard time believing the Raptors will make any drastic changes this summer.

    Third, the new assistant coaches will likely come from one of Casey’s previous stops. Listening to him emphasize chemistry, consistent philosophy and culture, I’d imagine the Raptors’ new assistant coaches will be very familiar with Casey.

    Sifting through his past stops, a couple of candidates that come to mind are: Scott Brooks, Dean Demopoulos, Ed Pinckney and Mario Elie.

    All four of those coaches have experience and are familiar with Casey. But then again, so did Bill Bayno and Tom Sterner.

    Next: Raptors D-League Team Will Be Based in the GTA