I feel like I can sum up the Raptors season in one sentence: this was the season of jamming square pegs in round holes.
Casey has been consistent and steadfast in his approach to the game on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, the Raptors are finishing their 5th consecutive season of no meaningful March/April games and Casey is a measly 2.5 win percentage points ahead of last season. Adding insult to injury there is likely no lottery pick this year and the Raptors are in danger of finishing behind the tied for 7th worse overall from last season. Perhaps the ultimate slap in the face is the Raptors have dropped in just about every defensive category - an area Casey is suppose to hang his hat on.
After reading Eric Koreen's article this morning from the National Post, I can't help thinking: At what point does Casey have to adjust his style and strategy? Despite everything there is more talent on this season's roster. Please don't blame the rooks, they have hardly been given a chance this season due to Casey's lack of trust in rookies and JV's injury.
Lowry is not perfect but he has had more success as a starting NBA PG than Casey has had as a head coach. That is not saying much but Casey seems to be stuck on the idea that his way is the 'right' way when the standings and the effort from the team of late tell a very different tale.If there is one player who embodies the tension between the coaching staff and the analytics’ staff that was exposed in this week’s grantland.com piece on the Raptors, it is Lowry. The numbers say that Lowry’s offensive game ensures the Raptors will use their possessions more efficiently. However, the turnovers, lack of ball movement and occasional chaos that reliance on Lowry can create can be torturous for a coach to sit through, particularly as a team struggles to win.
What the Raptors have been left with is a point guard who is more or less running the team as designed, but without a gung-ho joie de vivre. Casey is pleased with his progress, but Lowry has not necessarily killed the perception that can be a mercurial presence around a team.
Lowry will drive you crazy if you let him. His shot selection looks and feels random at times, even though he is cagier than he will ever let on. He certainly is not Calderonian in his countenance, either. Yet, as this year has gone, he has slowly earned Casey’s trust.
In accomplishing that, however, he has lost a bit of himself. Accordingly, it is tough to say whether this version of Lowry is worth sticking with as the point guard of the team’s future.
I always thought one of the jobs of a head coach was to maximize the talent on his roster. It is my opinion Casey has failed in that regard this season.
What do you think?