Friday, May 11, 2018

Dwane Casey

Fired as coach of the Raptors. He was just on TV yesterday saying his swipe card was still working at the office.

His fellow coaches named him Coach of the Year. He transformed the way the team played. I'm just a fan, but my understanding is that there was a shift from getting the ball to Lowry and DeRozan, otherwise limited movement and take a shot only if it looks good, to constant ball movement, giving lots of people the chance to shoot, take some riskier shots. In the regular season this will sometimes backfire, shots won't go in and people may not get back quickly enough to play defence. So the coaching staff had to get the team to buy in to the new approach, and stay with it even during inevitable low points in the season. Mission accomplished, record number of wins, etc.

Coaches have responsibility for a team's overall approach and effectiveness. Are you getting the best possible out of every player, using them to the greatest advantage? The regular season provides a meaningful bunch of data, more than 80 games. By comparison, the playoffs are very short. One would think the players, having learned to play well as a team, either keep doing it or they don't. Is a coach fired over four playoff games after a great regular season?

There is lots of talk that Casey will get another head coaching job, and some of his assistants will get similar jobs; if one gets the big job with Toronto, others may go to other teams. I can understand the thinking of Masai Ujiri, President of the Raptors. Getting to the playoffs, and then getting eliminated befor the Eastern final, is old news. The Raptors were expected to do quite a bit better. DeRozan, who has taken some of the blame for the team looking so bad against Cleveland, said it is up to the coaches to keep thinking of new approaches when what they do doesn't work. He implied the coaches should have doubled down on their creativity and strategic thinking for Cleveland, and they failed to do so.

The team is fortunate in being fairly deep in good young players. Can they swing a trade for a top 10 player, while keeping enough of the team intact so that they improve overall?

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