So getting a better chance at the top pick this year is proving to be a difficult task for Bryan Colangelo and his Toronto Raptors. No matter what they seem to do, no mater the obstacle in their way, the Raptors keep winning.
I’m not suggesting that Colangelo is trying to “tank”, but he has shut down Jarryd Bayless (in the midst of a hot streak), Andrea Bargnani and has filled the teams holes with D-League players and borderline NBA talent. He seems to be forcing Dwane Casey’s hands a little bit and attempting to get this team closer to a high pick.
It doesn’t seem to matter what ingredients Colangelo gives Dwane Casey, because Casey he keeps making five-star meals. Alan Anderson? No problem, Casey’s got Anderson playing like he belongs in this league for years to come. Justin Dentmon? Well Casey’s got this kid playing better than anyone ever could have imagined. Ben Uzoh? Well he posted a near triple-double against Celtics All-star Rajon Rondo. Suddenly Raptor fans are including some of these unfamiliar names on their depth charts for next year.
It all starts with the coach, in my opinion.
No matter what Colangelo gives him, Casey keeps winning.
The Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks were the latest victims of seemingly unimaginable play from a team full of D-League castaways. Next is another chance at the Hawks and then a matchup with the Heat.
This team shouldn’t be winning games. They should be losing a lot and yet they are playing great basketball and winning games they have no business being a part of. Most of the success is due to the defensive system Casey has put into place.
Credit Dwane Casey for this surprise turnaround.
The Raptor organization needs to sit up and take notice of the fact that Casey is getting results with D-League players. His system is working and whatever it is that he is using to motivate his team is getting through to the players.
Perhaps it is time to talk “extension” with our coach.
Colangelo is not likely getting the player he covets (a Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes) but maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe he just needs to upgrade the talent on the team so that his coach has something more to work with.
If Casey can make magic with this lesser group of talent, imagine what he could do if he was given even a minor upgrade in personnel.
Colangelo can keep shutting players down and bringing in more D-league players to try to finish up the season with as many losses as possible, but I have a feeling it’s not going to matter.
Casey is going to keep fighting and he’s going to keep getting his players working hard no matter where they may have started the season. He’s also likely to keep winning.
So what is Colangelo to do?
Maybe enjoy the ride and know that you hired the right guy to guide this team going forward. And in the last year of your contract try to go out and give him a roster he can do some damage with next year.
Perhaps all this talk of a “tank” has actually revealed where this team’s true strength is going to come from going forward: Behind the bench.
The Zan Tabak Herald