The 2015 NBA Playoffs with chalk being the order of the day for the most part, the Toronto Raptors were the exception.
As the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference they went up against the fifth-seeded Washington Wizards. They dropped the first two games at home. You knew trouble was brewing because now they were forced to try to get back into the series in Washington. That didn’t happen as they were swept in four straight games, the last one by an embarrassing 125-94 margin.
With three former Cats (Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes and Dwane Casey) Toronto is the most UK heavy team in the NBA. The Phoenix Suns also have three former Cats as well with Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe and Archie Goodwin. That said I think two former players and Dwane Casey as head coach tips the scale in the Raptors favor. That’s a uniqueness that all the other teams with UK guys don’t currently have.
Changes happen in the NBA quickly and frequently whether they be firings or trades or other methods. My thoughts, and those of others, immediately went to Casey.
Casey is 154-158 in his four seasons in Toronto. He’s followed up two bad years with two solid years (48 & 49 wins respectively). Their 49 regular season wins are the most in the history of the franchise. However, those two solid years have both ended in first round playoff exits.
That won’t sit well with fans or management when the excitement is blunted with such a sour finish.
As of now it looks like he will have another opportunity to hopefully guide the team to the postseason next year in hopes of finding more success in the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
More clarity comes Tuesday when Raps GM Masai Ujiri has season-ending presser but initial indications are Dwane Casey to return next season
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 28, 2015
Carving out respect and success in the NBA is a tough process. Hopefully Casey, Patterson and Hayes can do just that next season.