TORONTO- The Raptors fired Dwane Casey in a move that seemed expected. Toronto is obviously getting sick and tired of losing playoff games to the one team that always beats them, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Raptors have a very good roster especially with DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry. The issue for the Raptors involved the game planning. The Indiana Pacers practically handed a gift to Casey and he failed to take advantage of it. Indiana showed the Raptors how to defeat the Cavaliers. Toronto has a better team than Indiana but failed to exploit matchup problems. Although it seems unfair to fire Casey and not give him another year, the blunder of being swept and losing 10 straight playoff games to the same team invites unwanted questions.
Like it or not, Casey did it to himself. He was an effective leader with a strong roster. However, questionable strategy and inconsistency doomed him in the end. As a coach, you can’t lose ten consecutive playoff games to the same team. Management tends to look on such results unfavorably. How can the Raptors be so good in the regular season and struggle in the playoffs? The Raptors looked sluggish at times against the Wizards too.
In fact, Casey’s playoff record is so bad, the Raptors had no choice but to fire him. As Head Coach of the Raptors, Casey’s playoff record was 21-30. Those are the kind of results that can get coaches fired. Coaches can’t keep their jobs with playoff records like that.
This could open another door for Becky Hammon? Is this a potential avenue for the Raptors to explore? Perhaps the Raptors can set a historical precedence. Hammon learned from Greg Popovich and that knowledge could come in handy.
Perhaps Steph Van Gundy is a reliable candidate. What about Mike Budenholzer?