Toronto Raptors: 6 Revelations from Game 4 loss to Wizards

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: DeMar DeRozan /
4 of 6
Toronto Raptors
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 20: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Toronto Raptors talks with his team in the first half against the Washington Wizards during Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

4. Tighter Series, Tighter Bench

Coach Dwane Casey once joked and bragged about not cutting down his rotation simply because it’s common place to do so. That was before the Toronto Raptors were up 2-1 in a seven-game series, looking to win by any means necessary.

The Drakes rotation was trimmed to nine players. Norman Powell, Bebe Nogueria and Lorenzo Brown were nowhere to be found.

Casey tapped his youngsters, Jakob Poeltl, Delon Wright, Pascal Siakam and shooter C.J. Miles as his true difference-makers in the series. The only problem is, that group laid an egg contributing 22 points in Game 4, when they usually rake in 40+.

An effective bench is a massive plus in the playoffs; it gives the team the ability to be flexible in terms of on the court personnel. With VanVleet out, coach Casey spent the last three games searching for an answers with Miles shooting, but that was a dry well in Game 4. Casey has nine players that he trusts, but they’ve barely worked; other pieces are gambles with unpredictable results.