Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Ex-Hawks coach Budenholzer among top targets to replace Casey

Eulogy to the 2017-18 Toronto Raptors
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By Leo Xie | Staff Last Updated 1 min Ago Eulogy to the 2017-18 Toronto Raptors Google Courtesy By Leo Xie | Staff Last Updated 1 min Ago
Cassandra Gardner | 12 May, 2018, 08:21

Not only did the Toronto Raptors president fire his head coach Dwane Casey, but the organization announced the news just two and a half hours after his corporate brethren, the Maple Leafs, declared that they had promoted Kyle Dubas to the position of general manager.

Also in line and well known to Ujiri are two members of Casey's coaching staff in Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian, as well as a former member of his staff in Jerry Stackhouse, who took Toronto's G-League entry to back-to-back league finals, winning the title a year ago. He has a 320-238 record in those seven seasons and led the team to five straight playoff appearances.

Casey led the Raptors to a franchise record 59 wins this season, while earning the East's No. 1 seed. Was it Casey that was holding back the Raptors, or has that core group of players maxed it's potential out and they need to trade one of them to try and win with a different combination?

Ujiri said a few times on Friday that he hoped Casey would be celebrated for all that he has done here.

The Toronto Raptors have fired Dwane Casey after the team was swept in the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers for second straight season.

The reality, though, is that they did win all those games and they did, statistically speaking, fit the profile of an elite team.

The announcement comes two days after Casey was named Coach of the Year by his peers. How can the Raptors be so good in the regular season and struggle in the playoffs?

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But Casey could not solve the Cavaliers and LeBron James puzzle. Casey's mistakes and slower-than-ideal adjustments do not invalidate the bigger-picture success he had, but he has guided the Raptors to a point where, unfortunately for him, they matter.

And so, the Casey era in Toronto is over, if for no other reason than it was simply time to make a change.

TORONTO (AP) - Masai Ujiri believes Dwane Casey deserves to be recognized as the best coach in the National Basketball Association, but the Toronto president doesn't think Casey should be leading the Raptors.

Casey insisted Wednesday that "the gap is closing" between the Raptors and Cavaliers, who ousted Toronto from the postseason for the third consecutive year.

"We're not saying this roster is flawless", he said.

Throughout Casey's time in Toronto, Casey loved saying that Toronto needed to be a "hit-first team" and play with "a two-by-four on our shoulder".

He had already said it was a hard decision, and when asked how he had broken the news, his answer showed how much Ujiri had struggled with this.

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