Basketball

‘We are able to get lots higher’: Dwane Casey and the Toronto Raptors are removed from glad

TORONTO — Two video games into their NBA Japanese Convention quarterfinal with the Milwaukee Bucks, little has modified for the Raptors.

If there was any feeling of superiority over Milwaukee given the 9 extra video games they gained than their opponent within the common season— it’s it’s gone now. Though realizing Dwane Casey, he didn’t enable any of his gamers to get too proud of themselves within the first place following Tuesday’s series-tying victory on the Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors weren’t superb in any respect in Recreation 1, failing miserably within the one space they might not afford to be lackadaisical in, and that will be getting again to construct a wall of our bodies in entrance of Giannis Antetokounmpo.

They had been significantly better in that regard in Recreation 2, going from 18 dunks and layups for the Greek Freak all the way down to 11, a considerable enchancment and one that also permits for extra enchancment because the sequence progresses.

The one large change from the start of the sequence till now could be that Kyle Lowry is not trying misplaced offensively. Lowry appeared to be the proverbial fish out of water in Recreation 1 — unable to seek out any rhythm and struggling to place any form of imprint on the sport. His counterpart, Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogden, appeared rather more just like the veteran participant of the 2.

Lowry turned the tables on that matchup properly in Recreation 2, making the most of the younger Bucks guard. He was aggressive stepping into the paint after which took what was accessible as soon as there. Usually it was a kick out to an open shooter however, as the sport went on, Lowry modified it up and completed these drives on the basket.

Pretty much as good because the Raps really feel about their sport right this moment collectively, there’s nonetheless loads of room for enchancment, beginning with {that a} long-held behavior of getting a lead solely to take their foot off the gasoline.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

It occurred twice in Recreation 2 because the Raptors opened the lead as much as 13 after which all of a sudden fell again on lazy habits. The nice ball motion that led to each of these leads was changed by lazy cross-court passes that had been simply picked off, or the ball motion stopped altogether and dangerous photographs had been taken leading to empty possessions.

Casey calls it getting ‘joyful on the farm.’ For Raptors followers, it’s an actual head-scratcher and nothing they affiliate with happiness of any variety.

The excellent news is the Raptors themselves are removed from glad with their present stage of play, as improved because it was from that first sport.

“We nonetheless really feel like we haven’t gotten near our potential,” stated P.J. Tucker, a man getting his first style of the playoffs on the age of 31 and loving what he’s experiencing. “We really feel like we are able to get lots higher. Our power has gotten up, we’re enjoying tougher, however nonetheless, small issues. We haven’t been collectively in so lengthy, so we’re nonetheless figuring one another out, determining how we play collectively, particularly on the defensive finish. As soon as we get that found out, I believe we are able to take it up one other couple of notches.”

Listening to that from one among his defensive stalwarts have to be music to Casey’s ears as a result of he is aware of what a Jason Kidd-coached group is like. And Kidd’s character is throughout this younger group, which performs the sport laborious from tip to horn simply as its head coach did.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Casey stated waiting for Recreation three on Thursday in Milwaukee. “We’ve bought to be prepared for conflict. It’s not going to be simple. The sport will not be going to be fairly. We don’t need a fairly sport. You discuss execution, that’s what the playoffs are about: Enjoying after the execution will not be there. Groups are going to remove your first possibility and doubtless your second possibility. After that it’s nearly enjoying basketball. I assumed our physicality was higher. However we’re going to must take it as much as one other stage to make it a grind-it-out sport.”

STACKHOUSE PROVING HIMSELF

When Jerry Stackhouse left an assistant coach’s job on an NBA bench to return to the minors and take over the Raptors’ Growth League group, eyebrows had been raised.

However the head coach of the wildly profitable Mississauga 905s is proving that the laborious street is usually a productive one as, on Wednesday, he was named NBA D-League coach of the 12 months.

Michael Peake/Postmedia Community

Stackhouse, a defence-first coach like the person he labored underneath in Toronto in Dwane Casey, led the 905s to a 39-11 mark and the primary Central Division title for the group in solely its second 12 months of existence.

Stackhouse’s 905 had been the one group within the D-League to carry its opponents to lower than 100 factors a sport this previous season and are within the midst of a robust playoff run.

“He did an important job with that group, rising that group, creating that group,” Casey stated Wednesday of Stackhouse, who has been a daily customer on the Raptors bench when scheduling has allowed it.

“I noticed (Edy) Tavares bought defensive participant of the 12 months, that was enormous. And I assumed our guys that went down, Freddy (VanVleet) and (Pascal) Siakam and people guys, did an important job. That’s what it’s all about — not solely to develop gamers however to develop the coaches.”

Stackhouse’s title is already showing on these year-end lists of potential head coaches within the NBA.

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