As we approach the new Raptors, it means welcoming any and all chatter heard around the league. Today, however, we’re dispensing with the qualifier “any and all” and getting to something specific: the words and wisdom of one, Dwane Casey, head coach of the Toronto Raptors.
Yesterday, TSN’s Josh Lewenberg tweeted a series of clips of Casey speaking to the assembled staff about said incoming Raptors season. There’s not a ton of revelation here, but it always interesting to listen to Casey sand his words into something resembling a philosophy. Nowhere is this more apparent then here, in his brief discussion on changing the team’s operating procedures:
Dwane Casey was at TSN headquarters today & did a Q&A with staff, spoke a lot about finding more of a balance in the Raptors offence this yr pic.twitter.com/PPM09lKD98— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) September 18, 2017
I like a few things about this clip. First, Casey acknowledges the limitations (his limitations) on basketball knowledge in the universe. Second, he admits there are things that can be done to more effectively leverage the talent the team has — namely, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka, and Jonas Valanciunas. And third, the most underrated part: admitting that the most talented players on the team are what they are. Casey’s acceptance of fact here is downright refreshing. Not every coach works within a player’s limitations, or designs a team’s offense and defense around said limitations, but that continuity Casey also references allows him to do just that. (Now, yes, go ahead and slag the guy in the comments. I understand.)
Next up, the young guys!
Casey rifles through all the usual suspects here. Delon Wright is going to play, Jakob Poeltl is going to play, Fred VanVleet is going to play, Lucas Nogueira is (apparently) going to play, Bruno Caboclo is... working on his three-point shot. Pascal Siakam did indeed start 38 games last season — which feels like a fever dream now -- so he’s got a chance to play. The Raptors’ youth is real! (You can read Lewenberg’s excellent piece on this subject here.)
And finally, Casey talks about.... Vince Carter?
Casey, careful not to tamper after being asked about Vince Carter: "Hopefully (the Raptors) will get his jersey up in the rafters" pic.twitter.com/dkAcsDRucz— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) September 18, 2017
The Raptors retiring Carter’s jersey in the next five years is 100 percent going to happen. Prepare yourselves now.