||12-30-2011 04:14 AM
SI: Casey out to change NBA culture in Toronto
Dwane Casey was headed back to Dallas on Friday with a better winning percentage than the team he left behind. The surprise is that he left the champion Mavericks in order to become head coach of the cheerless Raptors.
Last season, Toronto lost 60 games and ranked 29th in field-goal defense, enabling opponents to convert a plentiful 48.2 percent of their shots. In Casey's first week in charge, the Raptors held Cleveland and Indiana to a combined 40.4 percent from the field, which is better than all but four teams, including the Mavericks. He acknowledges this trend may not last, but his players also understand their 1-1 start was no accident. In the preseason, according to Casey, they invested at least 75 percent of their practice time on the defensive end of the floor.
"It's not there yet," said Casey of his team's commitment to defense. "It's going to be an ongoing daily conversation we'll have, and we'll work on it every day in practice. We have to treat our shootarounds like practice, because we haven't had a lot of time together."
Read more: Raptors' coach Dwane Casey out to change NBA culture in Toronto - Ian Thomsen - SI.com
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