Much to the delight of each and every Raptors fan, Dwane Casey has been named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for December. For the month, the Raptors’ bench boss helped guide the team to a 10-4 record. It’s the fourth time Casey has won the award (a fact that somewhat surprised me) — he’s also taken the prize in December 2013, November 2014 and January 2016. Good times.
The official press release for this one lists of some tremendous accomplishments for the month. Ready? Here we go:
- The Raptors averaged a conference-best 112.1 points with a +11.1-point differential. They were second league-wide in offensive rating at 114.6.
- The Raptors scored 100+ points in 11 consecutive games — which caused at least three heart attacks amongst senior promotional staff at Pizza Pizza.
- The Raptors allowed a mere 101.1 points per game — good for second in the league — while putting up a defensive rating of 102.5 — good for fourth. I will assume this is Casey’s favourite stat.
- There’s also this: the Raptors won seven straight road games (five of which came in December), which is a franchise record. They also had some fun dismantling the Hawks with a franchise-record margin of victory (+44 points), and the best sales pitch for Paul Millsap.
- And sure, here’s an odd but fun stat: the Raptors became the first team in NBA history (for real!) to make at least 12 three pointers while shooting 40 percent or better from behind the arc in eight consecutive games (dating back to November). This is such a weird stat and I love it. Also, I imagine Kyle Lowry’s insane shooting run has more to do with this being achieved, but sure, credit to Casey too.
Casey is now in his sixth season with the Raptors, and has (easily) become the franchise’s most winningest coach with 233 regular season wins and, more importantly, 13 wins in the playoffs. Casey has also made himself hoarse more often than any other coach in franchise history. And has easily cleared the Raptors franchise record for most folksy sayings per game.
In any case, congratulations to Dwane Casey. Now let’s make sure we don’t get too fat and sassy over here.