The Casey miracle
Old 04-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Casey miracle

The season is almost over, and it's pretty clear that Toronto, which ranked 29th in defense last season and was never above 20 ever since Mitchell became coach 8 years ago, will finish the season at around 15th in the league in defensive rating.

Considering that this is virtually the same team as last season, and that it employs at least 3 starters who are at best below average defenders (jose, demar and andrea), that we lack a defensive stopper on the wings (JJ is the closest thing and he's only been that occasionally this season), that we also lack a true center to anchor the defense and that our PGs were previously known as little more than animate pylons, it's virtually impossible to understand how is this possible?

As for the future, with the introduction of the first true center in a decade in JV, and hopefully with a signficant defensive upgrade at PG and SF, is it conceivable that Toronto Raptors could be a top 10 defensive team next season? Because that would all but guarantee a playoff spot. Even this season, we will be the only team in the top 15 defensive rankings not making the playoffs.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We're making the playoffs for sure next season, there is no doubt in my mind.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As long as no major injuries happen next year, we are playoff bound, and I cannot wait for the haters to shut up about the Raptors sucking
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We're on pace to surpass last year's record (at least by 2 games) even with the shortened injury-plauged season (Bargnani missed like half the games so far, Calderon has missed like 10, Bayless is gone for the rest of the season, JJ isn't being played anymore).

I honestly don't see why Casey can't be a darkhorse candidate for coach of the year.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Casey is the man!
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmandinky View Post
We're on pace to surpass last year's record (at least by 2 games) even with the shortened injury-plauged season (Bargnani missed like half the games so far, Calderon has missed like 10, Bayless is gone for the rest of the season, JJ isn't being played anymore).

I honestly don't see why Casey can't be a darkhorse candidate for coach of the year.
This year it is not going to happen that's for sure, but in the future maybe..
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bigmandinky View Post
We're on pace to surpass last year's record (at least by 2 games) even with the shortened injury-plauged season (Bargnani missed like half the games so far, Calderon has missed like 10, Bayless is gone for the rest of the season, JJ isn't being played anymore).

I honestly don't see why Casey can't be a darkhorse candidate for coach of the year.
For a coach to win that award, your team should be above .500 ...no exceptions.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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next season possibly, but we'd likely have to win the division

we have the 7th worst record in the league, Casey has no right being discussed as COY, in all honesty.

ive been very impressed with what he's been able to do given our current roster, and with a good offseason, im confident we'll at least be able to compete for a 6-8 seed.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Some of the defensive improvement has come with a lot of fouling. DeMar and Jose have improved a good deal on the perimeter. And I think where Casey has the biggest effect is just in understanding how to make the pieces work together to get the best results. And he has gone away from the terrible offensive game plan of years past that had so many quick shots, and bad shots go up only to see easy transition points going the other way. Instead of having 5 guys running their asses off for as long as they can to try to score off of a greater number of shots, he's got an offense that insists on disciplined role play, good execution, and far more good shots than bad, and that does wonders for the defense - in that it mirrors the disciplined teamwork that is needed on the defensive end, and it allows for the team's energy to be used well on both ends, while taking away a lot of easy transition points for the opposing team.

The effect that's had has been remarkable with a good deal of so-so players in the mix. I can't wait to see the big jump that players that don't need to foul so much can bring.

Last edited by LX; 04-07-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Making the playoffs isnt a high enough standard (are we Leaf fans?)

Being a competitive relevant team is what we should strive for.

And I believe DC can get us there.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Making the playoffs isnt a high enough standard (are we Leaf fans?)

Being a competitive relevant team is what we should strive for.

And I believe DC can get us there.
Yep - that's what I see as a real possibility. Not a team that will rely on big talent from one or two guys to carry them to mediocrity if lucky, but a team that plays the right way together to make the most of whatever talent lies within each one of them, and allowing for talent to be revealed in unexpected places year after year.

The guys right now are sorely outmatched and yet they look like they want to win each game more than their opponents. That fight within a team-first framework gets you to the playoffs with just a little more talent than what is here already. But more importantly, it makes it easier to get to the level above that.

I love how well-prepared these guys are, and how far they've come in terms of paying attention to detail, and ensuring that their individual weaknesses are minimized. Now just inject a few really solid pieces in the mix and let's go.

The only thing that I dislike about what we've seen this year, is the sense that so much time was wasted under Triano. I wish Casey had arrived a year earlier.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LX View Post
Some of the defensive improvement has come with a lot of fouling. DeMar and Jose have improved a good deal on the perimeter. And I think where Casey has the biggest effect is just in understanding how to make the pieces work together to get the best results. And he has gone away from the terrible offensive game plan of years past that had so many quick shots, and bad shots go up only to see easy transition points going the other way. Instead of having 5 guys running their asses off for as long as they can to try to score off of a greater number of shots, he's got an offense that insists on disciplined role play, good execution, and far more good shots than bad, and that does wonders for the defense - in that it mirrors the disciplined teamwork that is needed on the defensive end, and it allows for the team's energy to be used well on both ends, while taking away a lot of easy transition points for the opposing team.

The effect that's had has been remarkable with a good deal of so-so players in the mix. I can't wait to see the big jump that players that don't need to foul so much can bring.
yes, we're fouling a lot more, but that's probably not helping all that much, because we're also allowing a ton of points from the ft line as a result. I guess once you build a reputation for a team that fouls hard, it will intimidate some of the softer guys out there who may not go at the basket quite at will like in the past. The slower pace helps and so does the zone.

I guess there are a lot of small things, but I dare you to find one person last year who thought that roster has it in them to be a middle of the pack defensive team.

If only Casey could get Bargnani to play defense for 70-80% of the time next season ...
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The only thing that I dislike about what we've seen this year, is the sense that so much time was wasted under Triano. I wish Casey had arrived a year earlier.
I disagree, personally I wish he would have arrived one year later, casey alone may cost us 5-6 spots in the draft and a once in a generation chance at a historic player (if Davis turns out as good as some claim - he's considered the best prospect since lebron james these days, at least on espn). At least he didn't cost us JV, who may end up quite a player himself.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Yep - that's what I see as a real possibility. Not a team that will rely on big talent from one or two guys to carry them to mediocrity if lucky, but a team that plays the right way together to make the most of whatever talent lies within each one of them, and allowing for talent to be revealed in unexpected places year after year.

The guys right now are sorely outmatched and yet they look like they want to win each game more than their opponents. That fight within a team-first framework gets you to the playoffs with just a little more talent than what is here already. But more importantly, it makes it easier to get to the level above that.

I love how well-prepared these guys are, and how far they've come in terms of paying attention to detail, and ensuring that their individual weaknesses are minimized. Now just inject a few really solid pieces in the mix and let's go.

The only thing that I dislike about what we've seen this year, is the sense that so much time was wasted under Triano. I wish Casey had arrived a year earlier.
I wish that he'd been here even before that. I'd have loved to have seen how much better a Bosh-led team could have been with him here at the helm.

Oh well... better late than never I guess.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Miracle may be the wrong word.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I disagree, personally I wish he would have arrived one year later, casey alone may cost us 5-6 spots in the draft and a once in a generation chance at a historic player (if Davis turns out as good as some claim - he's considered the best prospect since lebron james these days, at least on espn). At least he didn't cost us JV, who may end up quite a player himself.
Yeah - there is that. Maybe he came at just the right time.

I'm with bjjs though - miracle is the wrong word. A miracle would have been Triano getting any kind of defensive results.

And there is still a long way to go for this team to improve defensively. At this point they are simply putting an end to making it easy for opposing teams. And that can get you to a point where you're better than roughly half the league one way or another, if you stick to it consistently. What provides reason for my excitement is the fact that it is not about miracles, and a lot of good is yet to come, regardless of where the ping pong balls fall, as long as the GM doesn't prove incompetent. And to complete the circle - wasting so much time with JT as coach does not really speak well to his competency level. I do believe BC is able to live off what DC brings, and hopefully enhance that, so I won't get too caught up in hindsight.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:15 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I like this thread, as it expresses many sentiments that I have felt at various times throughout the year. I'm a fan of what Casey has been able to accomplish here.

However, I'll continue the trend of the last few posts and say that Casey's work is not a miracle. I think Casey has been successful with basketball 101: tough defense, having clearly defined roles, holding players accountable, and emphasizing the importance of a winning culture.

The real miracle is that it took this long for the organization to hire a coach of this calibre and mindset. It's a miracle that an organization in desperate need of strong guidance, stability, and respect in the post-Bosh era wasted a year plus on whatever it was that Triano accomplished.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmandinky View Post
We're on pace to surpass last year's record (at least by 2 games) even with the shortened injury-plauged season (Bargnani missed like half the games so far, Calderon has missed like 10, Bayless is gone for the rest of the season, JJ isn't being played anymore).

I honestly don't see why Casey can't be a darkhorse candidate for coach of the year.
That right there shows that there is at least some improvement from last season. It will only get better in the next couple of seasons.
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